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Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports


49ers Mock Draft 5.0: DB help added in first round

Mar 23, 2024 at 6:00 PM--



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The Pro Football Focus (PFF) Mock Draft Simulator was used to create this mock draft.


In mock draft 5.0, I continued using the "best player available" model for the San Francisco 49ers. This week, the 49ers' position of need and value met in the first round.

Round 1, Pick 31
CB, Kool-Aid McKinstry, Alabama

The 49ers have three defensive backs in the last years of their contracts. Charvarius Ward is a veteran in the last year of his deal with the team, and Deommodore Lenoir and Ambry Thomas are playing in the last year of their rookie contracts. Kool-Aid McKinstry is one of the best outside corners in the 2024 NFL Draft.

McKinstry has excellent lateral agility, is strong in press-man coverage, and tackles well in the run game. He's 5'11.5, 199 lbs with a 32" arm length and 8 1/2" hands.

Although he didn't participate at the NFL Combine due to injury (Jones fracture), he ran a 4.47-second 40-time on his pro day while posting a 34.5" vertical leap and a 10'1" broad jump.

In 2023, McKinstry finished with an 88 PFF grade. He played 753 snaps and 28 total tackles, with ten stops. McKinstry was targeted 36 times and allowed 16 receptions for 169 yards with three pass breakups.

Kool-Aid McKinstry would be an A+ addition to the cornerback room, allowing the 49ers to kick Deommodore into the slot and have Ward and McKinstry as the outside corners.

Round 2, Pick 63
G, Christian Haynes, UConn

Christian Haynes is a mean, powerful guard who moves off the ball quickly. In five seasons with the Huskies, he's only allowed 48 pressures, eight of which were sacks.

Haynes would be a day-one starter on the 49ers' offensive line. His only downside is his size, standing at 6'2", but his size shouldn't affect how he plays in the pros.

Per PFF, Haynes finished 2023 with an 80.2 overall grade (80.1 run blocking + 82.5 pass blocking).

If the 49ers draft Haynes, expect competition at right guard between him, Spencer Burford, and Jon Feliciano on day one.

Round 3, Pick 94
WR, Javon Baker, University of Central Florida

Javon Baker has the perfect size to play wide receiver in the NFL. He is 6'1", 202 lbs, with a 32 1/4" arm and 9 5/8" hands. At the NFL Combine, Baker ran a 4.54-second 40-yard dash with a 1.58-second ten-yard split.

Baker's route running is one of the best in the draft. He makes contested catches and has a high catch radius. In 2023, Baker's stats included 71 targets, 43 receptions, 966 yards, 22.5 yards per reception, and six touchdowns. His overall grade was 79.7, with a 62.4 run-blocking grade.

Baker would be a nice addition to the 49ers' wide receiver corps. He has natural instincts on the football field and an unreal ability to make difficult catches.

Round 4, Pick 124
T Christian Jones Texas

Since the 49ers extended tackle Colton McKivitz, the team may not feel pressed to draft a tackle early, especially if one of their prospects is taken at 31. The team can draft an experienced tackle, Christian Jones, out of Texas.

Jones played right tackle for five seasons with the Longhorns. In 2023, He played 755 snaps and allowed seven pressures (one hit and six hurries). He finished the season with a 77.2 PFF grade (76 run blocking + 82.1 pass blocking).

Christian Jones is 6'5", 305 lbs, with 34 1/2" arms and 10 5/8" hands. Jones has the ideal measurables to become a starter in the NFL. If the 49ers draft Jones, they will get a great run/pass-blocking tackle with the potential to become a starter on the offensive line.

Round 4, Pick 132
LB, Cedric Gray, University of North Carolina

Cedric Gray is known for his ability to play all over the football field. His biggest concern is his missed tackles. Over the last three seasons, he recorded 57 missed tackles because he pursued at times in space. The best thing about Gray is his speed and athleticism. Although Gray had a 4.64-second 40-time at the NFL Combine with a 1.59 ten-yard, his speed on film says otherwise.

In 2023, Gray finished the season with 21 pressures (five sacks, seven hits, and nine hurries), 121 total tackles (80 solo), and 54 stops.

Gray was targeted 49 times in coverage and allowed 34 receptions for 245 yards. He also intercepted a pass and recorded three pass breakups.

I'm not sure how or why Gray was available in the fourth round, but he would be a steal if the 49ers could grab him with one of their fourth-round picks.

Round 4, Pick 135
RB Isaac Guerendo, Louisville

I understand no one wants Kyle Shanahan to draft a running back. His track record in drafting running backs is slim to none, with Elijah Mitchell possibly heading to the trade block. The 49ers could add a speed element to their running back room by selecting Isaac Guerendo out of Louisville.

Guerendo is the fastest running back in the NFL Draft. He ran a 4.33-second 40-time with a 1.55-second 10-yard split. Guerendo's three-cone drill was 6.94 seconds, and he ran the 20-yard shuttle in 4.15 seconds.

Guerendo is 6'0", 221 lbs, with 30 3/4" arms and 9 1/4" hands. He is fast and can catch out of the backfield. In 2023, his stats included 639 yards, 105 attempts, 6.1 yards per average, 17 explosive runs, and eight touchdowns. He caught 17 receptions on 19 targets (89.5%) for 122 yards, averaging 11.3 yards per reception.

The 49ers were much better at outside zone running when they had the speed backs. Guerendo could be the element the 49ers are missing on offense.

With 4.3-second speed, Guerendo could also return kicks for the 49ers. He averaged 18.8 yards in 2023 at Louisville. The 49ers may not have to reach for a running back, but if they're looking for a back who could be a difference-maker in the backfield and add to special teams, Guerendo should be the guy.

Round 5, Pick 176 (The Money Round)
DE Jaylen Harrell, Michigan

Jaylen Harrell is a defensive end with one of the quickest first steps in the draft. His gift is his ability to get to the quarterback. Although he struggles against the run, he has the athleticism to cover and defend the pass.

Harrell is 6'4", 250 lbs, with 33 1/4" arms, 9 3/4" hands, and an 81 1/8" wingspan. He ran a 4.55-second 40-time at his pro day and recorded a 37" vertical leap and a 9'10" broad jump at the NFL Combine.

Harrell's 2023 stats included an 88.3 pass-rush grade per PFF (76.6 overall). Harrell had 23 pressures (five sacks, three hits, and 15 hurries), 17 total tackles (six solo), and ten stops, with a forced fumble. He was targeted five times and allowed three receptions for 22 yards.

Harrell could be a situational (Nascar Package) edge rusher if selected by the San Francisco 49ers. He would bring completion to the defensive line group and work his way into the rotation.

Round 6, Pick 211
TE, Erick All, Iowa

Erick All is 6'4", 252 lbs, with 33" arms and 10 1/8" hands. In 2023, All's production was halted due to an injury (ACL). All finished the season with 34 targets, 21 receptions, 299 yards, 14.2 yards per reception, and three touchdowns.

The key to All's game screams versatility. He's a physical blocker in the run game and gets the tough yards after the catch. Although the 49ers drafted two tight ends in 2023, I wouldn't be surprised if they look to add another pass-catching tight end like Erick All.

Round 6, Pick 215
CB Daequan Hardy, Penn State

Daequan Hardy is 5'9", 179 lbs, with 30" arms and 8 1/8". He may not be one of the top defensive backs in the 2024 draft class, but he is one of the top defensive backs in speed and athleticism. Hardy ran a 4.38-second 40-yard dash with a 1.5-second ten-yard split. At the NFL Scouting Combine, he had a 42.5" vertical and 10'6" broad jump.

Hardy screams nickelback with his size and speed combination. He can also play special teams as a kick/punt returner. In 2023, Hardy averaged 14.4 yards on punt returns and 19 yards on kick returns. He played predominantly in the slot with two pressures (one sack and one hurry), 16 total tackles (13 solo), six stops, and five pass breakups. Hardy was targeted 40 times and allowed 20 receptions and one touchdown. He also intercepted two passes in 2023.

Hardy has the ability and versatility to play in the secondary. His speed would be a nice element to the 49ers defense and special teams.

Round 7, Pick 251
LB Edefuan Ulofoshio, Washington

Edefuan Ulofoshio scored an 81 on his athleticism score, ranking him 5th among linebackers at the NFL Scouting Combine. He ran a 4.56-second 40-yard dash with a 1.59-second 10-yard split. He jumped 39.5" in the vertical and 10'8" in the broad jump.

He can take on blocks but sometimes finds himself out of position. In 2023, he recorded 93 tackles and 40 for a loss. He had ten pressures (three sacks, one hit, and six hurries). He was targeted 35 times, allowing 22 receptions (62.9%). Ulofoshio forced a fumble, intercepted a pass, and had three pass breakups in 2023.

Ulofoshio can run sideline to sideline, and his speed could be a bonus to the 49ers linebacking core. He's tough, can tackle, and is excellent in pass coverage.

In conclusion, the 49ers may not select the players mentioned in this mock draft. The team has some areas to address and upgrade. Let me know your thoughts on some positions I targeted for the 49ers in my mock draft 5.0.

I look forward to version 6.0 next week.
  • 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.
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