The 49ers had a glaring need to upgrade their secondary in the 2019 NFL Draft, and yet they waited until the sixth round to select a defensive back.
Cornerback Tim Harris, who spent six seasons in college and used two medical redshirts, is the lone addition from the rookie class to a secondary that only had two interceptions last season. When looking at the 2020 NFL Draft class, ESPN's Todd McShay is making sure the 49ers don't wait to find a ballhawk.
This year's draft is one week old, so naturally, it's time to move on to 2020. McShay released his first mock draft on Thursday and have the 49ers taking Florida cornerback CJ Henderson with the No. 11 overall pick. Draft order is generated by Football Outsiders' model for early projected records for the 2019 season.
"Henderson has six interceptions in two seasons with the Gators. And the Niners need options at defensive back," McShay wrote.
Henderson, 6-foot-1 and 191 pounds, also has nine passes defensed and 60 tackles (five for loss) in his college career. He even recorded three sacks and two forced fumbles last season.
In high school, he was also a star running back and ESPN ranked him the No. 10 athlete in the class of 2017. They also have him timed as running a blazing 4.35 40-yard dash. Here he is catching 49ers second-round draft pick Deebo Samuel from behind.
CJ Henderson’s stock is skyrocketing. This just shows the kind of speed he has. You don’t even get to see his ability to track and find the ball here. 📈📈📈pic.twitter.com/lsWRSMM139— Mello (@mello) May 1, 2019
The 49ers have to create more turnovers on defense, and Henderson looks like he could be a top target in next year's draft.