Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Latest mock draft has 49ers going all defense with their first 3 picks

Apr 22, 2022 at 10:29 AM--

You have to applaud anyone who puts in the effort to build out a seven-round mock draft. After the first dozen or so selections, there will be more missed projections and hits. However, these massive efforts are a good indicator of the perceived needs of each team.'s Chad Reuter is the latest analyst to deliver a seven-round mock draft. While it does contain trades, it doesn't feature the San Francisco 49ers shipping off wide receiver Deebo Samuel to get back into the first round. The 49ers lack a first-round pick this year and next, thanks to last year's trade to draft quarterback Trey Lance. For now, San Francisco's first selection comes in the second round, at pick No. 61 overall.

With that selection, Reuter has the team bolstering the defensive backfield with Maryland safety Nick Cross. Former 49ers safety Jaquiski Tartt remains a free agent while Jimmie Ward is entering the final year of his contract.

Cross registered 66 tackles, 3.5 tackles for a loss, three sacks, two passes defensed, three interceptions, and two forced fumbles through 12 game appearances as a junior in 2021, per Sports Reference. He recorded 134 tackles, 5.5 tackles for a loss, four sacks, 10 passes defensed, five interceptions, and three forced fumbles through his three collegiate seasons.

The 49ers' following selection comes in round three at No. 93 overall. Reuter has the team sticking with defense, adding Western Kentucky pass rusher DeAngelo Malone. The team could see him as a nice bookend to complement two-time Pro Bowl pass rusher Nick Bosa.

Malone registered 94 tackles, 17.5 tackles for a loss, eight sacks, four passes defensed, and four forced fumbles through 14 game appearances as a senior in 2021, per Sports Reference. He has recorded 349 tackles, 59 tackles for a loss, 32.5 sacks, an interception, and seven passes defensed through five seasons with the Hilltoppers.

San Francisco owns the final selection of the third round—a compensatory pick. Reuter projects three straight defensive picks by general manager John Lynch and company. He has the team adding Pittsburgh cornerback Damarri Mathis.

Mathis registered 43 tackles, two interceptions, a touchdown, and five passes defensed through 12 game appearances in 2021, per Sports Reference. He recorded 86 tackles, 4.5 tackles for a loss, 18 passes defensed, five interceptions, and a touchdown through his collegiate career.

Those are the first three 49ers selections from Reuter's seven-round mock draft. San Francisco owns six more picks, though, including the final selection of the 2022 NFL Draft. Those six projected selections are below.

  • Round 4, Pick 134: OG Logan Bruss, Wisconsin
  • Round 5, Pick 172: RB Zander Horvath, Purdue
  • Round 6, Pick 187: Edge Cameron Goode, California
  • Round 6, Pick 220: WR Calvin Turner Jr., Hawaii
  • Round 6, Pick 221: OG Zach Thomas, San Diego State
  • Round 7, Pick 262: TE Nick Muse, South Carolina

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