We surveyed 65 online mock drafts and tallied which five players are the most popular choices for the San Francisco 49ers at the ninth-overall pick in next month's draft. The mock drafts include big-name sites like ESPN, NFL.com, and others to smaller independent sites.

Below are the top five projections for the 49ers among the mock drafts we examined.

4) TIE: S Derwin James, Florida State


Measurables
Height: 6-3
Weight: 215 lbs.

Combine Results
40-time: 4.47 seconds
Vertical: 40 inches
Broad jump: 132 inches
Bench press: 21 reps

While Derwin James missed all but two games in 2016 due to a meniscus tear, he is seen by many as the best available safety in the draft. Lance Zierlein of NFL Network compares James to the Kansas City Chiefs' three-time All-Pro safety Eric Berry.

James compiled 186 combined tackles, 15 passes defensed, and three interceptions in three seasons with the Seminoles. He returned from injury in 2017 and registered 84 combined tackles, 5.5 for loss, two interceptions, 11 passes defensed, and a blocked kick, which earned him first-team All-ACC honors.



4) TIE: LB Roquan Smith, Georgia


Measurables
Height: 6-1
Weight: 236 lbs.
Arm length: 32 inches
Hand length: 10 inches

Combine Results
40-time: 4.51 seconds

Roquan Smith has soured into the top five potential prospects for the 49ers. The 2017 Butkus Award winner registered college career highs of 137 combined tackles, 14 for a loss, 6.5 sacks, two passes defensed, and two fumble recoveries in 15 games last year, according to Sports Reference. He also had a forced fumble. In 2016, Smith recorded 95 combined tackles, five for a loss, a pass defensed, two forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery in 13 games and 10 starts.

With the future of star linebacker Reuben Foster unknown, Smith would be a solid selection to either play alongside Foster or temporarily replace him should the NFL decide to suspend the second-year linebacker after two offseason arrests.



3) DB Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama


Measurables
Height: 6-1
Weight: 201 lbs.

Combine Results
40-time: 4.46 seconds
Vertical: 33 inches
Broad jump: 121 inches
Bench press: 14 reps

Minkah Fitzpatrick was projected to the 49ers in recent mock drafts by ESPN analysts Mel Kiper and Todd McShay.

"Fitzpatrick could start at corner -- opposite Richard Sherman -- or safety for the 49ers, who have a young, talented front seven but need to fill out the secondary," explained Kiper.

"San Francisco would love if Nelson fell here, but CB is still a need," wrote McShay. "GM John Lynch will go for the best player available, and Fitzpatrick is the best player on the board."

Fitzpatrick registered 171 combined tackles with 16.5 for a loss, five sacks, nine interceptions, 24 passes defensed, and two forced fumbles in three seasons with Alabama, according to Sports Reference. He also returned four of those nine interceptions for touchdowns.

In 2017, Fitzpatrick recorded 60 combined tackles with eight for a loss, 1.5 sacks, an interception, seven passes defensed, and a forced fumble. In 2016, he led the team with six interceptions, 186 interception return yards, and two touchdowns while setting a school record with four (his other two pick-sixes came in 2015).



2) LB Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech


Measurables
Height: 6-5
Weight: 253 lbs.

Combine Results
40-time: 4.54 seconds
Broad jump: 117 inches
Bench press: 19 reps

Edmunds played in 13 games and started twice as a true freshman. That season, he registered 11 total tackles with 2.5 for a loss, according to Sports Reference. As a sophomore in 2016, Edmunds recorded 94 total tackles, 16.5 for loss, 4.5 sacks, three passes defensed, and an interception. As a junior in 2017, he had a college-career-best 108 total tackles, 14 for a loss, 5.5 sacks, two passes defensed, and three forced fumbles.

"Edmunds is 19 years old," NFL Media draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah said last month during an interview with KNBR. "He's 6-4, 250. He can run all day long. You just don't see guys like that very often, and at 19 years old, he's not even close to being what he's going to become. So I'm a big fan of his, and I think that would be a home run pick."



1) CB Denzel Ward, Ohio State


Measurables
Height: 5-10
Weight: 191 lbs.

Combine Results
40-time: 4.32 seconds
Vertical: 39 inches
Broad jump: 136 inches
Bench press: 16 reps

Denzel Ward has steadily climbed the list of top selections for the 49ers at the No. 9 spot. He appeared in 26 games over three seasons with the Buckeyes. During that time, Ward has 67 combined tackles, two for a loss, two interceptions, and 24 passes defensed, according to Sports Reference.

"Ward is polished, though he's not huge (5-10, 191) like 6-2 Ahkello Witherspoon, San Francisco's third-round pick last year," wrote Kiper in an earlier mock draft. "Ward had two interceptions and 15 pass breakups in 2017, and he plays the ball well and has good instincts."

As Kiper mentions, the 49ers used a third-round pick on Witherspoon last year. The team also signed veteran cornerback Richard Sherman, who, if healthy, is a lock to start.



Poll

  • Which of these projected picks do you like the most at No. 9 overall?
  • LB Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech
    50%
  • DB Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama
    16%
  • LB Roquan Smith, Georgia
    14%
  • None
    9%
  • S Derwin James, Florida State
    6%
  • CB Denzel Ward, Ohio State
    4%
  • 1,067 votes