The San Francisco 49ers stocked up on wide receivers in Rounds 2 and 3 of the 2019 NFL Draft, leaving a number of positional needs to be addressed as soon as Round 4, which kicks off day three of the draft on Saturday.


There probably aren't too many analysts and pundits who would have predicted the San Francisco 49ers would take wide receivers in back-to-back rounds of the 2019 NFL Draft. Maybe one as early in Round 2 and another in Round 6, perhaps. But not in the second and third rounds, consecutively.

Yet that's exactly what general manager John Lynch and Co. did, grabbing South Carolina's Deebo Samuel at No. 36 overall and then doubling up with the Round 3 selection of Baylor's Jalen Hurd at No. 67.

It's pretty safe to assume the Niners aren't going to use one of their remaining three picks, currently, on a wide receiver. Hurd's size, 6-foot-5 and 226 pounds, likely crosses off a tight end from San Francisco's wish list, too, although Hurd will have to learn how to block before he assumes a significant role on the depth chart there.

San Francisco's picks have yet to address the secondary, however, and the offensive line and linebacker spots could be considered needs as well.

Assuming the 49ers stay put with the 104th overall pick, here are five players they should consider and why.

Safety Deionte Thompson, Alabama


Deionte Thompson is arguably the best player left in the NFL Draft, and it wouldn't have been a complete reach if he ended up going in Round 1 somewhere.

Now available in Round 4, the Alabama product could be a perfect fit in the Niners' Cover 3 defense, which needs sideline-to-sideline skill and natural instincts. Thompson has those, for sure, and he's more than adequate in coverage. Perhaps some concerns about his durability caused Thompson to drop this far in the draft. Consider this, though: San Francisco generated just two interceptions all of last season.

Thompson had two by himself, along with six pass breakups in 2018. The 49ers need ballhawks, and Thompson looks the part.

Cornerback Isaiah Johnson, Houston


Pro Football Focus ranked San Francisco's secondary dead last in 2018, so more than one defensive back could be a smart move on the part of Lynch and Co.

If the prototypical boundary cornerback for the 49ers is a long, lanky prospect with good instincts and reaction skills, Houston's Isaiah Johnson might be worth looking at in Round 4. Interestingly enough, NFL.com's Lance Zierlein compared Johnson to one of the Niners' younger corners, Ahkello Witherspoon, which helps reinforce the comparison. Should San Francisco go with Johnson, it would add to the youth looking to take over for veteran corners Richard Sherman and Jason Verrett at some point down the road.

Selecting Johnson might also push second-year pro Tarvarius Moore back to safety, which was his natural position coming out of college.

Linebacker Tre Lamar, Clemson


Clemson's linebacker, Tre Lamar, is something of a love-or-hate prospect. It isn't hard to find rankings of him on day two, while some big boards put him as a late day-three pick.

The latter looks to be the case for the 6-foot-3 Tiger, who could help fill a void in the 49ers' linebacking corps, particularly on the strong side (SAM) where the team doesn't have a clear-cut option heading towards training camp. Lamar has some good speed, even though there are liabilities in coverage and matching up against elusive ball carriers. Still, the instincts are there, and he'd help reinforce another area of question.

Offensive Lineman David Edwards, Wisconsin


The 49ers don't necessarily need to put top priority on their offensive line right now, but they should strongly think about it. Left tackle Joe Staley will turn 35 years old before the regular season begins, while interior linemen Weston Richburg and Laken Tomlinson are both coming off 2018 knee injuries.

Wisconsin has produced more than a number of top-quality offensive linemen in recent years. And while right tackle David Edwards isn't as high profile, he does possess a lot of the traits one would like to see in run scheme employed by head coach Kyle Shanahan. Edwards, a former collegiate tight end, is a great mover and handles run blocking exceptionally well. Aside from that, though, Edwards is pretty raw. But that's what you tend to get with Round 4 prospects, and it wouldn't be a shock to see San Francisco make such a move at No. 104.

Safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, Florida


If safety is the 49ers' top priority in Round 4, and Thompson winds up going off the boards at No. 103, slating in Florida's Chauncey Gardner-Johnson wouldn't be a bad idea, either.

Gardner-Johnson, 5-foot-11, has the skill set to be that rangy center-field free safety. And while his coverage abilities don't appear to be quite on the same level as those of Thompson, he's arguably a much better ballhawk, posting a whopping nine interceptions over his collegiate career, including four back in 2018.

Remember, San Francisco's interception problems? They haven't gone anywhere.

Day three of the 2019 NFL Draft kicks off on Saturday, April 27 at 12 p.m. ET.
  • Peter Panacy
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    Peter Panacy has been writing about the 49ers since 2011 for outlets like Bleacher Report, Niner Noise, 49ers Webzone, and is occasionally heard as a guest on San Francisco's 95.7 FM The Game and the Niners' flagship station, KNBR 680. Feel free to follow him, or direct any inquiries to his Twitter account.