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Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

Mock Draft 3.0: 49ers add to several positions of need

Apr 17, 2022 at 8:32 AM--

Welcome to another mock draft. This mock draft is filled with trades, allowing the 49ers to move up and down in the draft. The 49ers recently signed defensive end Kemoko Turay, which enables the 49ers freely look to draft the best player with their selection at 61. Will the 49ers stay at 61, or will they move up to address the only blaring need, the safety position?

The 49ers currently have picks 61, 93, 105, 134, 172, 187, 220, 221, and 262. I began this draft with a trade with the Houston Texans. The Texans wanted to move up six slots from 67. The offer made was for pick 68 (round three), pick 107 (round four), and pick 245 (round seven). The Texans received picks 61 (round two) and 262 (round seven).

Since the 49ers are going into the draft loaded at the edge-rushing position, I decided to trade back and look at the needs on the team. The 49ers currently have four safeties—Jimmie Ward, Talanoa Hufanga, Tarvarious Moore, and newly signed free agent George Odum. Odum signed a three-year contract with the 49ers to be on the books until 2025. Moore will be an unrestricted free agent in 2023. Ward's contract is up in 2023, making him an unrestricted free agent. So that leaves the 49ers with Odum and Hufanga going into 2023.

With the newly acquired 68th pick of the draft, the 49ers select safety Nick Cross out of Maryland. Cross is pure safety. He can line up in the box (257 snaps) and free safety (400 snaps). His versatility screams the San Francisco 49ers. Last season, defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans would rotate Ward and Tartt numerous times. He also experimented with Hufanga and Wilson. Cross is 6'1", 212 pounds, and has 31 1/2" arms and 9" hands. He ran a 4.34 in the 40-yard-dash, the fastest time amongst safeties.

Cross completed the 2021 season with 66 total tackles (44 solos), three sacks, two forced fumbles, three interceptions, and five pass deflections. He has the size and strength to cover tight ends. With Crosse's versatility, he could have an immediate impact with the 49ers in Week 1.

The 49ers select Cam Jurgens, center out of Nebraska, with the 93rd pick. 49ers center Alex Mack has two years left on his contract. He becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2024. Mack was toying with the idea of retirement, but general manager John Lynch has said the team is hopeful he will play in 2022. In 2021, the 49ers selected Aaron Banks with their second pick and red-shirted him the whole season. Jurgens is arguably the most athletic center in this draft. He appears to be undersized, standing at 6'3" and 290 pounds. Jurgens benched, pressed 25 reps, and ran a 4.92 with a 1.71 10-yard split.

Jurgens fits the zone run scheme perfectly. He's able to kick out and get to the second level quickly. In 2021, Jurgens completed the season with zero sacks, three quarterback hits, and ten hurries, totaling 13 pressures. Jurgens is the type of player that protects his quarterback and the passing game and helps his running backs get extra yards in the run game.

Trade Alert

The 49ers traded pick 105 (third round) and 245 (seventh-round pick) to the Jacksonville Jaguars for pick 106 (fourth-round) and pick 198 (sixth round).

The 49ers select James Cook, a running back out of Georgia, with the 106th pick (acquired from the Jaguars). I'm not sure if Cook makes it to round four, realistically, but no one believes he will be on the board much longer. Cook had an interview with the 49ers, making him one of the 30. He would be joining the running backs room with Elijah Mitchell, Trey Sermon, Jeff Wilson Jr., and JaMychal Hasty. Cook is 5'11" and 190 pounds. He had one of the most impressive combines at the running back position. Cook is a change of pace running back with a deadly one-cut ability. He ran a 4.42 in the 40-yard dash. On film, Cook has the patience of Le'Veon Bell and the outside burst of a Raheem Mostert.

Cook completed the 2021 season with 90 attempts for 581 yards and seven touchdowns. He averaged 6.5 yards per attempt. Cook forced 22 missed tackles and had 16 ten-plus yard runs. Cook caught 17 out of 19 targets for 119 yards in the receiving game with zero drops. He doesn't have the wear and tear on him like most running backs. If Cook is available and falls into the lap of the 49ers, he could be the steal of the draft.

The 49ers select Jeremy Ruckert, a tight end out of Ohio State, with the 107th pick (acquired from the Texans). Ruckert could not run at the combine and his pro day due to a foot injury at the Senior Bowl practices. He is 6'5" and 251 pounds and benched 19 reps at the combine and 22 reps at his pro day. Ruckert finished the season with 26 receptions, 309 yards, and three touchdowns. He will provide his talents in three phases—specials teams, receiving, and most importantly, blocking in the run game. If the 49ers are looking to give George Kittle some help, Ruckert would be a solid option.

The 49ers select Cordale Flott, cornerback out of LSU, with the 134th pick. LSU is known for producing some of the best corners in the NFL, such as Patrick Peterson. The 49ers have a nice cornerback room, but they lack an actual nickel corner. With Houston's Marcus Jones off the board, the 6'1", 170-pound Flott could provide the 49ers with big-play capability at the cornerback position. Flott didn't participate in the NFL Combine, but he ran 4.40 and tested well at his pro day. He is light in weight, but he plays big.

Flott has tremendous length and can play inside and outside cornerback. He completed the 2021 season with 40 total tackles (28 solos), one forced fumble, one interception, and three pass deflections. In addition, he had 16 run stops and gave up 23 receptions on 45 targets for a 51.1% rate. The Tigers used Flott all over the secondary with 42 snaps in the box, 21 at free safety, 357 in the slot, and 178 outside at the cornerback position. With 4.40 speed, I could see the 49ers using him on special teams in the return game and as a secondary weapon.

The 49ers select Danny Gray, wide receiver out of SMU, with the 172nd pick. Danny Gray was the fourth fastest wide receiver at the combine. He ran a 4.33. Grey is 6'2" and 199 pounds. With this speed, he could allow Trey Lance to take the top off of the defense. Gray completed the 2021 season with 49 receptions of 72 targets, 803 yards, and nine touchdowns. He can line up inside at the slot (31 snaps) and outside as a wide receiver (276 snaps). Gray has 420 yards of off yards after the catch. He forced nine missed tackles and seven drops. Gray is the receiver the 49ers have yet to add to their repertoire. If they add speed to their core, they will be even more dangerous.

The 49ers select Jeremiah Moon, a linebacker out of Florida, with the 187th pick. Though his combine results didn't catch the eyes of many, I was most impressed by his work in the drills. Moon ran a 4.76 in the 40-yard dash. However, I was most impressed by his 7.09 three-cone drill. Moon is an outside linebacker that can play defensive end. He completed the 2021 season with 49 total tackles (20 solos), two sacks, one forced fumble, and one pass deflection. Moon is 6'5" and 245 pounds. He's long with 35-inch arms. He smells like a Kocurek "Special."

The 49ers select Cade Mays, an offensive tackle out of Tennessee, with the 198th pick (acquired from the Jaguars). The 49ers need to add more depth on the offensive. Mike McGlinchey is looking to press his way back to the starting lineup, and he's also on the last year of his contract. Mays stands at 6'5", 325 pounds, with 10-inch hands. He ran a 5.24 in the 40-yard dash with a 1.86 ten-yard split. Mays only gave up one sack, four hurries totaling five pressures in 2021. Mays is a right tackle that would come and sit under and learn the ropes. He can potentially be a starter in this league.

After trading the seventh-round picks, the 49ers were left with picks 220 and 221. I took a chance on a player at pick 220. Edge rusher Adam Anderson out of Georgia is a player I don't see the 49ers drafting due to his troubles off the field. He was charged with rape in 2021, and the case is currently pending. Anderson was projected to be a first-round pick. If Anderson clears the charges and the 49ers are willing to take a risk on a sixth-round pick, this could considerably value the team. Adam Anderson stands at 6'5', 230 pounds. He completed the season with 32 total tackles (18 solos), one pass deflection, and five sacks. Anderson held his private workout with 17 NFL teams in attendance. He ran a 4.5 in the 40-yard dash and jumped a 33-inch vertical and a 133-inch broad jump. Will the 49ers take a risk on Anderson as I did?

The 49ers select Matt Araiza, a punter out of San Diego State, with pick 221. Why would the 49ers draft a punter? Araiza is more than a punter. He can also place kicks. 49ers punter Mitch Wishnowsky is in the last year of his contract. The 49ers could save almost $1 million if he were released. The 49ers could like to flip Wishnowsky and draft Araiza. With Gould getting older, it may be wise to have a punter that can also kick field goals.

There you have mock draft 3.0. "It's in the books," as they say. Please comment if you agree or disagree with the trades and selections. All feedback is welcomed. Feel free to comment with your choices, and I'll consider them. I'll see you at mock draft 4.0
  • 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 49erscap.com. 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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