Why Kiper has 49ers drafting Campbell in second round

/ by Josh Schrock
Presented By Big O Tires
Tyson Campbell

All eyes are focused on who the 49ers will select with the No. 3 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. While most believe that will be Alabama quarterback Mac Jones, Ohio State's Justin Fields and North Dakota State's Trey Lance still have an outside shot.

The No. 3 pick gets all the headlines, and rightfully so, but the 49ers also have another pick in the top 45 with which they should be able to find another high-level player.

ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. believes that player will be Georgia cornerback Tyson Campbell, who he has the 49ers taking with the No. 43 overall pick in the second round.

"Before the 49ers made the trade up to No. 3, I thought corner was the most likely position to target at No. 12. And they can still get a good one in Round 2. Campbell played a lot of press coverage for the Bulldogs, and he was inconsistent, but I'd bet on his upside. San Francisco let both Ahkello Witherspoon and Richard Sherman walk in free agency," Kiper wrote in his latest two-round mock draft.

Cornerback makes a lot of sense for the 49ers in Round 2. While they re-signed Emmanuel Moseley, Jason Verrett and K'Waun Williams, they still need depth at the position in 2021 and long-term solutions as Verrett and Williams both will be free agents again next offseason.

RELATED: Schrock's seven-round mock draft

In my first seven-round mock draft, I had the 49ers selecting Oregon safety Jevon Holland, as he's a versatile defensive back who can play both safety spots and nickelback, which would give defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans some options this season and allow Holland to either take over for Williams at slot corner in 2022 or pair with Jimmie Ward in the back end.


The 49ers also have a need at edge rusher, interior offensive line and slot receiver. Whoever they select at No. 3 overall will need to have a reliable target in the slot, so it wouldn't be surprising if the 49ers targeted Clemson's Amari Rodgers, USC's Amon-Ra St. Brown or Purdue's Rondale Moore in Round 2.

The 49ers face an important draft in two weeks. We know they'll select a QB at No. 3 overall, but what they do with their remaining eight picks also will have a big impact on the future of their roster.

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