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Are these the 49ers’ ideal top 2 draft picks?

Apr 12, 2024 at 11:20 AM


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With the 2024 NFL Draft less than two weeks away, NFL Media draft analyst Chad Reuter recently identified the ideal top two draft picks for each team. The San Francisco 49ers have 10 selections in the upcoming draft, with their first two picks at No. 31 overall and No. 63.

Reuter noted, "I kept some semblance of realism in this process, however, assigning each player only once and making reasonable projections of where prospects may be selected."

Who are the standout picks for the 49ers? Reuter envisions the team addressing both offense and defense with their initial selections. It's widely anticipated that San Francisco will bolster its offensive line with their first-round pick, a position largely ignored in free agency.

Reuter has singled out former Houston offensive tackle Patrick Paul as an excellent choice at No. 31 overall, providing competition at the right tackle position.

"Paul is a key selection for the Niners because star left tackle Trent Williams, who'll turn 36 years old this summer, misses a couple of contests each year, and Colton McKivitz could use some competition at right tackle," Reuter notes. "His length (36 1/4-inch arms), strength (30 bench reps) and agility (7.65 three-cone) are intriguing at 6-7 1/2 and 331 pounds."

Paul's stellar performance in the 2023 season earned him career-high overall (81.1) and pass-blocking (91.5) grades from Pro Football Focus. Throughout his collegiate career, he exclusively played at left tackle and allowed just nine pressures and one sack in 496 pass-blocking snaps last season.

Moving on to pick No. 63, Reuter sees former Rutgers cornerback Max Melton as an ideal fit for the 49ers.

"Melton's athletic combine display (4.39 40, 40.5-inch vertical, 11-foot-4 broad) put him on the map for the first two rounds, but teams like San Francisco needing depth at cornerback should also appreciate his eight career interceptions at Rutgers," Reuter wrote.

Three of those interceptions came during his senior 2023 campaign with the Scarlet Knights when the 6-foot Melton added 32 tackles, including four for a loss, a sack, and six passes defensed to his collegiate resume.

While he conceded 12 touchdowns over his career, Melton limited opposing quarterbacks to a 65.7 passer rating when targeted during the 2023 season.

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