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49ers address ‘sneaky need’ in latest 7-round mock draft

Apr 22, 2024 at 8:56 AM

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As draft week unfolds, analysts are unveiling their final mock drafts heading into the annual event. The 2024 NFL Draft kicks off on Thursday, and ESPN's Jordan Reid released a behemoth of a mock draft, projecting all 257 selections across all seven rounds.

The ESPN analyst has the Washington Commanders leaping in front of the San Francisco 49ers in the first round to select one of the top offensive tackle prospects, leaving John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan's squad to take a different approach.

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Reid has San Francisco selecting former Alabama cornerback Kool-Aid McKinstry with the No. 31 overall pick.

"Finding a right tackle is high on the 49ers' to-do list, but the 'best player available' approach fits here, too," Reid remarked. "Charvarius Ward and Deommodore Lenoir are both set to become free agents in 2025, so cornerback is a sneaky need in San Francisco. A severely underrated player throughout the pre-draft process, McKinstry has pro-ready technique. He allowed only nine receptions on throws into his coverage last season. McKinstry had surgery for a Jones fracture in his right foot this offseason, but he's expected to be ready for training camp."

The 49ers using their first selection on a defensive player wouldn't be a shock. The team has been trying to solidify their secondary for years, and adding a top prospect into the mix would make a lot of sense. The team might also further bolster its defensive line with another pass rusher or an interior force.

Reid has the 49ers addressing the offensive line in the second round, projecting former Washington offensive tackle Roger Rosengarten to the team with the No. 63 overall pick.

Reid explains, "Kyle Shanahan's scheme requires mobile blockers, and the balance and quick feet of Rosengarten make him an ideal fit. Rosengarten could immediately compete with Colton McKivitz to start at right tackle."

The right side of the offensive line was a weakness for San Francisco last season, with McKivitz allowing nine sacks, the fourth-most in the league. According to Pro Football Focus, Rosengarten didn't allow a sack during his collegiate career with the Huskies.

San Francisco adds to the defensive line in the third round, with Reid sending former Miami defensive tackle Leonard Taylor III to the team at pick No. 94.

"Taylor is the type of upfield penetrator who would fit well in the 49ers' deep rotation," Reid wrote. "He had 27 tackles for loss over three seasons."

Taylor's Pro Football Focus 74.8 pass-rushing grade ranked 18th among all collegiate interior defensive linemen last season, making the 6-foot-3, 305-pound defensive tackle an intriguing Day 2 prospect.

Below are all of Reid's selections for the 49ers.

  • Round 1, Pick 31: Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB, Alabama
  • Round 2, Pick 63: Roger Rosengarten, OT, Washington
  • Round 3, Pick 94: Leonard Taylor III, DT, Miami
  • Round 4, Pick 124: Tanor Bortolini, C, Wisconsin
  • Round 4, Pick 132: Malik Washington, WR, Virginia
  • Round 4, Pick 135: Jarvis Brownlee Jr., CB, Louisville
  • Round 5, Pick 176: Isaac Guerendo, RB Louisville
  • Round 6, Pick 211: Luke McCaffrey, WR, Rice
  • Round 6, Pick 215: Giovanni Manu, OT, British Columbia
  • Round 7, Pick 251: Zion Tupuola-Fetui, EDGE, Washington

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