Daniel Jeremiah thinks the 49ers' choice is clear with the No. 13 selection in the 2020 NFL Draft.
The NFL Media analyst said Friday in a conference call with reporters that he thinks the 49ers will draft Alabama wide receiver Henry Ruggs, and Jeremiah can't wait to see Ruggs' versatile skill set in coach Kyle Shanahan's offense.
“Well, for me he's the dreamy fit,” Jeremiah said. “I want to see it. Just as a football fan, I want to see what Kyle Shanahan could do with Ruggs, with his speed, with his toughness with the ball in his hands.
“I just envision the stretch bootleg that they like to run there and having Ruggs running those deep over routes and watching people try and run with that dude. No chance. I think they'll know what that value is, and I would love to see what he can do with him creatively. Man, it would be a lot of fun.”
Ruggs ran a blistering 4.27-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine, the fastest time among wide receivers. Speed isn't his only weapon, though.
The receiver is very physical and rarely drops the ball. Ruggs dropped only one catch last season.
Shanahan knows what a speedster like Ruggs can do for an offense. Kansas City Chiefs receiver Tyreek Hill made a huge impact in Super Bowl LIV, catching nine passes for 105 yards. His performance likely left an indelible impression on the head coach.
“I think Kyle Shanahan got a front-row seat to see what the speed looked like in the Super Bowl with Tyreek Hill on the biggest play of the season,” Jeremiah said of Hill's 44-yard reception in the fourth quarter. “It cost them a Super Bowl ring, and that speed was the difference.”
The 49ers could use another impact receiver to pair with Deebo Samuel.
Marquise Goodwin, arguably one of the fastest players in the league, ended the 2019 season on injured reserve with chronic knee and foot issues. Goodwin had a career year in 2017, catching 56 passes for 962 yards, but the 29-year-old has just 35 catches for 581 yards since then.
The 49ers also had high hopes for 2018 second-round pick Dante Pettis (No. 44 overall). He has recorded a lackluster 38 catches for 576 yards in two NFL seasons.
Jeremiah said Ruggs is the draft's best fit for Shanahan's offense, but the other top receivers are also strong options.
“Don't get me wrong,” Jeremiah said. “Those other top three receivers, and I would throw Justin Jefferson even in there although [No. 13] might be a little bit early, but any of the top four receivers in a Kyle Shanahan offense are going to be extremely productive. They're great players.”
Jeremiah also predicted the 49ers will (at least) trade one of their first-round picks to gather more draft capital that they are missing in earlier rounds. The 49ers, as things stand, have no picks between the first (No. 31 overall) and fifth rounds (No. 156).
“If they pick at both of these spots ... I will be shocked,” Jeremiah said. “I fully expect them to trade back with one of those picks and try and recover some of those mid-round picks they don't possess.”