Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

49ers projected to land two offensive stars in Draft Network seven-round mock

Feb 20, 2021 at 4:06 AM--

Mock drafts are a dime a dozen this time of year, and most of them wind up projecting something unexciting that has already been projected several times before. But every once in a while, a mock draft comes along that is interesting enough to single out and discuss on its own, like this one from Ryan Fowler of The Draft Network.

Fowler put together a complete seven-round mock for the 49ers using The Draft Network's endlessly entertaining Mock Draft Machine and came up with an intriguing list of players that includes two of college football's biggest offensive stars over the past two seasons. The first is quarterback Justin Fields of Ohio State, whom Fowler has going to the 49ers in Round 1. The second is running back Chuba Hubbard of Oklahoma State, whom Fowler has coming off the board to the 49ers in Round 4.

This isn't the first time a mock draft has had Fields (6-3, 228; 5,373 yards, 63 touchdowns, nine interceptions in 22 games at Ohio State) dropping to the 49ers at 12, and chances are it won't actually happen, but the possibility is always a fascinating one to ponder. Fowler thinks the 49ers should jump at the chance to select Fields, who has some work ahead of him to straighten out some flaws in his game but has shown a high ceiling as an NFL prospect.

"Durability aside, Jimmy Garoppolo has shown he's an average NFL quarterback, at best ...Add in he's set to make over $24M this year, and the 49ers would be foolish to let Fields, an uber-talented, multifaceted quarterback slip by the wayside," wrote Fowler.

The presence of Fields, Fowler adds, would add to a highly talented young offensive core that could set the 49ers up to be contenders for years to come.

"The addition of Fields would immediately make San Francisco a top-three team in the NFC for the foreseeable future," wrote Fowler.

In Hubbard (6-0, 208), the 49ers would be adding a player who burst onto the scene in 2019 with an All-American redshirt sophomore season that saw him rush for 2,094 yards and 21 touchdowns on 328 carries (6.4 average). But Hubbard elected to stay in college rather than declare for the NFL Draft, a decision that likely will cost him after seeing his production drop as a junior (625 yards, five touchdowns on 133 carries for a 4.7 average). Some view Hubbard as primarily a speed back whose game is lacking in other areas, but Fowler thinks he'd be a fine addition to the current stable of 49ers running backs.

"With Raheem Mostert entering a contract year and having questions about his durability, it would be wise of Lynch to snatch Hubbard up in the fourth," wrote Fowler. "Outside of Najee Harris and Travis Etienne, Hubbard was arguably the most well-rounded running back in college football the last couple of seasons. Jeff Wilson enjoyed a productive season following the ankle injury to Mostert, and he'll be back in 2021, but Hubbard, alongside Fields in the San Francisco backfield, would provide a unique power-speed combo in Shanahan's zone running scheme."

Of course, it's all just for fun at this point, but a future offensive core that includes Fields, Hubbard, Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, and George Kittle would certainly lead to some interesting possibilities.

Fowler's other projections for the 49ers include the addition of Minnesota cornerback Benjamin St-Juste, who spent time with the 49ers at the Senior Bowl. The rest of the picks are below, while the rest of Fowler's in-depth analysis of the picks can be seen by clicking here.

Round 1, Pick 12: Fields
Round 2, Pick 44: Richie Grant, S, UCF
Round 3, Pick 102: Benjamin St-Juste, CB, Minnesota
Round 4, pick 117: Hubbard
Round 5, pick 157: Jack Anderson, OL, Texas Tech
Round 5, pick 173: Deommodore Lenoir, CB, Oregon
Round 5, pick 182: Patrick Johnson, EDGE, Tulane
Round 6, pick 198: Garrett Wallow, LB, TCU
Round 7, pick 224: Josh Imatorbhebhe, WR, Illinois
Round 7, pick 234: Stone Forsythe, OT, Florida

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