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Schrager mock draft has 49ers adding ‘universally liked and respected’ receiver

Apr 16, 2024 at 8:33 AM

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With only nine days remaining until the start of the 2024 NFL Draft, Good Morning Football's Peter Schrager revealed his first mock draft of the year. While most might expect the San Francisco 49ers to target an offensive lineman, Schrager has the team bolstering its wide receiver corps with an SEC talent.

Schrager has the 49ers using the No. 31 overall pick to select former Georgia wide receiver Ladd McConkey, whose 2023 campaign with the Bulldogs was limited by back and ankle injuries.

"McConkey in the first round? Yes," Schrager wrote. "Above guys like Troy Franklin and Keon Coleman? Perhaps. I've spoken to a lot of people over the past few months, and I'm not sure there is a single prospect who's as universally liked and respected as Ladd. Tough, smart, selfless. San Francisco seems like a perfect home."

McConkey registered 30 receptions for 478 yards and two touchdowns through nine game appearances as a senior in 2023, per Sports Reference. Throughout his collegiate career, he caught 119 passes for 1,687 yards with 14 touchdowns over four seasons.

The receiver also rushed 13 times for 216 yards and four touchdowns over the past three seasons with the Bulldogs.

Dane Brugler of The Athletic calls McConkey a tough player to cover one-on-one with short-area quickness, adding, "Although his lack of length and smaller hands hurt his catch radius, he plays with competitive ball skills and doesn't force the quarterback to be perfect with placement. Overall, McConkey's size and vulnerability to injuries aren't ideal, but he is a sudden, skilled route runner and uses synchronized shake to tie defensive backs in knots. He is a quarterback-friendly target with the inside-outside versatility to be a quality No. 2 option for an NFL offense."

At the NFL Scouting Combine, the 5' 11 5/8" and 186-pound McConkey posted a 40-yard dash time of 4.39 seconds, a vertical jump of 36 inches, a broad jump of 10 feet, 4 inches, and 13 reps on the bench press.

The 49ers are currently in contract extension talks with wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk. Deebo Samuel is signed through the 2025 season, while Jauan Jennings is slated to hit free agency next year. San Francisco is widely expected to bolster the wide receiver room with a rookie.

Pro Football Focus analyst Brad Spielberger also recently had McConkey going to the 49ers in a mock draft.

"McConkey should not be typecast as a shifty slot-only receiver with limited athleticism that's made up for with moxie and grit," Spielberger wrote. "McConkey can win vertically, has great hands in traffic and will cause some defensive backs to trip over their own feet with his sharp cuts and very little wasted movement.

"We're not going to say McConkey is a Brandon Aiyuk replacement, or Deebo Samuel, for that matter, but if either does ultimately get traded before the 2024 season kicks off, it would make sense for San Francisco to look for another pass-catching option immediately."

The 2024 NFL Draft will take place in Detroit, Michigan, from Thursday, April 25, through Saturday, April 27.

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