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49ers trade back, select elite CB in Zierlein's mock draft

/ by Alex Didion
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The 49ers have shelled out plenty of money already in free agency to retain some key players, agreeing to new deals with Trent Williams, Kyle Juszczyk and Jason Verrett.

Several positions of need remain, with cornerback the most glaring. Verrett returns, but Richard Sherman is all but guaranteed to sign elsewhere and K'Waun Williams still is on the market. 

NFL Media's Lance Zierlein released his Mock Draft 2.0 on Friday, projecting the 49ers will trade back with the Minnesota Vikings to the 14th overall pick and still address that most outstanding need by selecting Virginia Tech's Caleb Farley.

Farley has been linked to the 49ers by several different draft experts throughout the past few months, and would be an instant impact player in the secondary.

A former star high school quarterback, Farley put together a very strong 2019 season, with four interceptions and 12 pass deflections over 10 games. He opted out of the 2020 season and has spent the past year preparing for the draft.

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Farley has an injury history, tearing his ACL early in college and dealing with back spasms in his last season at Virginia Tech. His tackling will also need to improve at the next level, but Farley has the tools to be an elite defensive back for new defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans.

 

He doesn't have the same SEC pedigree as fellow first-round talents Patrick Surtain and Jaycee Horn, but Farley still played plenty of good competition in the ACC.

Picking Farley would definitely be a win for general manager John Lynch and the 49ers' front office, especially if they can add some draft capital trading back for a corner who could play right away.

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