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Mock Draft 1.0: 49ers bolster defense with first two picks

Apr 6, 2022 at 7:35 AM--

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It's officially Mock Draft Season. The 49ers have addressed several needs in free agency. In this mock draft, I look to find players that will help elevate the team. I am using the Pro Football Network Draft Simulator. Let's get down to the nitty-gritty and recap the selections in my first mock draft.

The San Francisco 49ers were on the clock with pick No. 61 and selected defensive end Arnold Ebiketie out of Penn State. Ebiketie finished the season with 9.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, and 34 solo tackles. Ebiketie's combine and pro-day results were through the roof. At the combine, he was second in the vertical jump (38") and second in the broad jump (10'8"). He had a 4.65 40-time, a 4.24 in the 20-yard shuttle, and a 6.95 in the three-cone drill at his pro day. Ebiketie has power and active hands. His ability to whip and rip and the edge screams Kris Kocurek. His combination of power and speed will be the perfect complement to Nick Bosa.

With pick No. 93, the 49ers select Verone Mckinley III out of Oregon. The 49ers need a playmaking safety. The 5'11", 194 lbs free safety finished the season with 44 solo tackles, one forced fumble, six pass deflections, and six interceptions. Mckinley is versatile. He had 19 snaps on the line, 141 snaps in the box, 506 snaps at free safety, 129 snaps in the slot, and 12 snaps outside playing corner. McKinley has excellent instincts and reads the quarterback's eyes very well. He does tend to throw his body around when making tackles. He sounds like a young Jimmie Ward, in my opinion.

With pick No. 105, the 49ers selected Cole Strange, a guard out of Chattanooga. There's no doubt that the 49ers need better offensive linemen. Strange is one of the best guards in the draft that fits the zone scheme. He's 6'5", weighs 307 pounds, and has 33-inch arms and 10 1/8" hands. Strange ran a 5.03-second 40, with 1.76 ten-yard splits, and finished sixth in the three-cone drill with a 7.44. Strange could compete against Jaylen Moore and Daniel Brunskill for the right guard position. He could also redshirt his first year and learn the center position under Pro Bowl center Alex Mack.

With pick No. 134, the 49ers select Tyquan Thornton, wide receiver, Baylor. If you feel the "need for speed," it's the 6'2", 180-pound wide receiver. Thornton ran the fastest time for wide receivers at 4.28 in the NFL Combine. He finished the season with 62 receptions, 948 yards, and ten touchdowns. Thornton averaged 15.3 yards per catch. His most impressive statistic was the zero drops in 2021. He has quick-cut abilities and can line up in the slot. Thornton's strength is his speed, and he can take the top off any defense. There aren't many 4.3 cornerbacks in the league. The 49ers could use this deep threat and allow quarterback Trey Lance to stretch the field vertically.

With pick No. 172, the 49ers select Marcus Jones, a cornerback out of Houston. Jones may be one of the most versatile players in football. He has nine career kick returns for touchdowns in his career. In 2021, Jones had 36 solo tackles, one forced fumble, five interceptions, and 13 pass deflections. He lines up anywhere on the football field—the slot, corner, safety, and wide receiver (he has a receiving touchdown). Jones can give the 49ers a jolt of energy if selected. He would provide a boost on special teams and can be the day one starter at the nickel back position. Jones is recovering from shoulder surgery on both shoulders, so there is a slight possibility he will be available later in the draft.

With pick No. 187, the 49ers select Jalen Wydermyer, tight end, Texas A&M. Wydermyder is a pure pass catcher. His pro-day results were the worst of the tight ends. One may question his work ethic and character because he had the worst pro day, but let's not forget about what's on film. Wydermyer finished the season with 40 receptions, 515 yards, four touchdowns, and averaged 12.9 yards a catch. He ran a 5.03 at his pro day but didn't run that slow on the football field. His poor testing could have him fall late in the draft, and he could be a diamond in the rough for the 49ers.

With pick No. 220, the 49ers select D'Vonte Price, running back, Florida International. Price is "Fast and Furious." He's 6'2", 215 pounds, and is the perfect combination of speed and punch. Price finished the season with 682 yards, six touchdowns, and averaged 5.3 yards a carry. It sounds like a Bobby Turner, pardon me, Anthony Lynn kind of guy. Price ran a 4.38 at the combine and tested off the charts. Price could be a gem on special teams and be an option as the goal line back.

With pick No. 221, the 49ers select Julius Turner, the defensive tackle out of Rutgers. Turner finished the season with 18 solo tackles, 2.5 sacks, and one forced fumble. Though his measurables, 6'0' 275 pounds, seem tiny, he could provide depth on the interior for the 49ers. Don't expect Turner to start, but expect him to compete.

With pick No. 265, the 49ers select Luke Fortner, center, Kentucky. The 6'5", 307- pound center would perfectly fit Kyle Shanahan's zone scheme. Fortner ran a 5.21 40 at the combine with a 1.81 ten-yard split, and his three-cone drill was 7.75. Fortner would be a great student of the game year one under pro bowl center Alex Mack.

I hope that you enjoyed the breakdown of the first mock draft. I look forward to the mock draft 2.0 coming soon. It's time to get aggressive on mock draft day!
  • Written by:
    Wayne Breezie is a 49ers content creator. He had his first guest appearance on Ronbosports in 2012. He began writing for a Facebook group called the League of the 49ers. Next, he began writing for Nothing But Niners in 2017. In 2018, Wayne Breezie made his debut on YouTube’s Nothing But Niners show. In 2019, he started his podcast called Nitty Gritty Niners. After putting the pen down for several years, Breezie saw an opportunity to write for His first published article was in January of 2022 with 49ersCap, and he currently writes and produces weekly podcasts.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


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