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NFL Nation mock draft sees 49ers pivoting after run on tackles

Apr 23, 2024 at 5:40 PM

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ESPN recently conducted a mock draft involving its NFL Nation reporters, where each assumed the general manager role for the team they cover. This unique process benefits from selectors who are intimately aware of each team's needs.

The San Francisco 49ers are expected to address their offensive line with the No. 31 overall pick, marking the team's first first-round selection since 2021. Nick Wagoner, acting as general manager John Lynch, had to adapt his plan based on earlier selections taking several offensive tackles off draft boards.

With those options gone, Wagoner opted for former Missouri pass rusher Darius Robinson.

"The run of offensive tackles leaves the Niners in a spot where they would probably look to either move up to get one or move back for someone like Roger Rosengarten or Kingsley Suamataia in the second round," Wagoner explains. "And while a receiver or cornerback can't be ruled out, history says the Niners are always willing to bolster the defensive line if the fit is right."

Tony Pauline of Sportskeeda recently reported that the 49ers continue to express "some interest" in Robinson following their meeting at the NFL Scouting Combine.

"Robinson has come across incredibly well during interviews, and teams view him as a prospect who will do whatever is necessary to improve his game," Pauline noted.

San Francisco revamped its defensive line in free agency, adding Leonard Floyd and Yetur Gross-Matos after the departure of Chase Young, Clelin Ferrell, and Randy Gregory. Floyd is expected to complement pass-rushing star Nick Bosa on the opposite edge.

It's plausible that the 49ers will further strengthen their defensive edges through the draft. The 6-foot-5, 290-pound Robinson recorded 8.5 sacks and 42 pressures with the Tigers last season, earning a career-high 83.1 overall grade from Pro Football Focus.

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