The 49ers’ 2018 NFL season is barely one day old, and it’s already time to talk about the 2019 draft.
Since they finished 4-12, the 49ers will own the No. 2 overall pick, and their needs are apparent. They must improve a defense that set an NFL record for the fewest takeaways with just seven, and allowed the fifth-most points in the league at 27.2 per game.
Those stats indicate a lack of a pass rush, and luckily for the 49ers, this year’s draft class isn’t short on talented edge rushers who can get to the quarterback and disrupt running lanes.
Here’s a selection from various NFL mock drafts highlighting players the 49ers might/should/could take, come April:
Bleacher Report: Josh Allen, OLB/DE, Kentucky
What they’re saying: “Kentucky's Josh Allen dominated the SEC this season with 18.5 tackles for a loss and 14 sacks while showing the length, burst and power on a 6'5", 260-pound frame that will get scouts excited. Barring a wild trade scenario to land Bosa, this is the next best move for a team desperate to add a pass rush.”
Newsday: Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama
What they’re saying: “Quinnen Williams is the latest Crimson Tide defensive lineman to get early-round draft attention. The redshirt sophomore dominated against top offensive linemen and has the power and instincts to impact both the run and pass.”
NFLDraftScout.com: Nick Bosa, OLB/DE, Ohio State
What’s they saying: “Bosa is the spittin' image of his older brother, Joey, which is to say that he's a future Pro Bowl edge rusher. He's all the more likely to live up to his talent playing opposite a rising star in DeForest Buckner.”
SB Nation: Josh Allen, OLB/DE, Kentucky
What’s they’re saying: “Allen going this high will be dependent on him having a great showing at the NFL Scouting Combine in a couple months. If his timing numbers are off, the 49ers will have a tough decision to make. Would they really Alabama’s Quinnen Williams after taking DeForest Buckner and Arik Armstead recently?”