Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


5 Teams Who Can Make or Break the 49ers’ First Round Picks

Apr 23, 2020 at 7:30 AM


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It's finally here! The day San Francisco 49ers fans have been looking forward to since February 3rd, the first round of the NFL Draft.

Barring any draft day trades, the 49ers are slated to make the 13th and 31st overall selections this evening. General manager John Lynch is widely expected to address two of the following four positions with the picks: wide receiver, cornerback, defensive tackle, and offensive tackle. For San Francisco to get "its guy" in the first round, a handful of dominoes have to fall in place, and the following teams can make or break the 49ers' night.

Las Vegas Raiders


In the last couple of years, the Raiders and 49ers have been tied at the hip when it comes to the NFL Draft. In 2018, both teams were targeting Mike McGlinchey, and in 2019, Nick Bosa was both clubs' top target. San Francisco had the upper hand in those situations by picking ahead of its Bay Area rival...well, former Bay Area rival now.

This year is different, however, as its Las Vegas' turn to select first. Once again, the organizations will have similar big boards as their top needs are the same, wide receiver and cornerback. The Red and Gold are at the mercy of the Silver and Black, and the latter's decision will significantly impact the former's, good or bad.

Jacksonville Jaguars


Jacksonville released wide receiver Marqise Lee on Monday, which isn't a good sign for San Francisco. Given the timing, that likely means the Jaguars are targeting a wideout with the ninth overall pick. Sure, last season's breakout star D.J. Chark is still on the roster, but the rest of the position group is rather lackluster, and Jerry Jeudy would be a great complement to Chark in the slot. Also, if the organization is truly committed to quarterback Gardner Minshew adding another weapon would make a lot of sense.

Beyond the beginning of the round, whomever the Jags decide to select with 20th overall pick will impact the 49ers as well. Jacksonville and San Francisco share needs at cornerback and defensive tackle, so obviously, the former's decision will impact the latter's options at the end of the night.

New York Jets


It will be interesting to see what the Jets decided to do with the 11th overall selection. The team could use a wide receiver and an offensive tackle, and it should have plenty of options that early in the draft. As mentioned above, the 49ers are also expected to be in the market for those positions.

The best-case scenario for San Francisco is if New York prioritizes an offensive lineman. While finding Joe Staley's replacement needs to be at the forefront of Lynch's mind, adding a playmaker on the outside is the more pressing need. Working in the Red and Gold's favor is the offensive tackle class is rather top-heavy. Conversely, the wide receiver class is extremely deep, so it would make more sense for the Jets to add a big man first. Otherwise, the 49ers will likely be knocked out of the CeeDee Lamb and Jerry Jeudy sweepstakes.

Denver Broncos


While Denver is currently slated to pick after San Francisco, Woody Paige of the Colorado Springs Gazette reported last week that the Broncos are looking to trade up to get the aforementioned Jeudy. Paige specifically called out the eighth and 10th spots in the draft, which means John Elway is trying to leapfrog the Jets, Raiders, 49ers, and potentially the Jaguars.

Much like with Jacksonville and Minshew, it would make a lot of sense for Denver to give young quarterback Drew Lock another weapon, even if that means sacrificing other assets. Hopefully, the price is too steep for the Mile High City, so the Red and Gold still have a chance at the Alabama product.

Miami Dolphins


Unlike the other teams on this list, the Dolphins and 49ers don't have a lot of needs in common. Both clubs could use an offensive tackle, but other than that, the organizations will likely be going in different directions this weekend. However, Miami can still impact San Francisco tonight.

Yesterday, NFL Network reported that the Phins are looking to trade up but, to the surprise of many, for a tackle and not a quarterback. It's not that the trade is an issue for the Red and Gold, but rather that South Beach's priority seems to be protecting the passer rather than finding one. An early run on QBs will give the 49ers more options with the 13th pick and, thus, a better chance at getting "their guy."

The spin zone for this situation is if Miami does opt for a lineman and either - or both - Justin Herbert and Tua Tagovailoa slide down the board, Lynch could add more draft capital by sending his first selection to a quarterback-needy team. Either way, what the Dolphins decide to do with the fifth pick of the draft can have a trickle-down effect for San Francisco.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


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