49ers general manager John Lynch suggested during a video conference with reporters on Monday there are a half-dozen players he and coach Kyle Shanahan have targeted as options to select with the team’s No. 13 overall pick.
“It's kind of boiled down to that process where Kyle and I are really zeroing in and challenging each other,” Lynch said.
"We’re playing out a couple more scenarios in our head, but we'll be prepared come draft day.”
The 49ers seem to be open for business if a team wants to trade up to No. 13.
There might be six players the 49ers are willing to select with their first draft selection on Thursday night, as Lynch suggested, but how many players would prompt the 49ers to brush aside any and all trade requests? Two? Three? Four?
Lynch calls these prospects “foundational players.” But who are they?
Of course, most of them will already be off the board when it is the 49ers’ turn to go on the clock. Here is a list of prospects that could offer the 49ers what they want at No. 13:
DT Derrick Brown, Auburn
The 49ers have a lot of snaps on the interior of their defensive line to replace after sending DeForest Buckner to the Indianapolis Colts in a trade for the No. 13 overall pick.
Brown (6-foot-4 5/8, 326 pounds) is a run-stuffing machine who needs some refinement in his pass-rush skills. He is so big, strong and quick that he is capable of much more than what he showed in college as an interior pass-rusher.
Brown is the only defensive tackle that makes this list of options at No. 13 overall, though we did give serious consideration to Javon Kinlaw of South Carolina, too.
CB Jeff Okudah, Ohio State
Jeff Okudah appears to be a good fit for the 49ers’ three-deep scheme due to his size, physical traits and smarts. This is also a wise selection for the 49ers because they currently have none of their top cornerbacks under contract beyond this season. Okudah, as would be the case with any rookie cornerback added during the draft, would come in and learn from Richard Sherman.
Could there be another cornerback on this list? It’s possible that C.J. Henderson (Florida) or A.J. Terrell (Clemson) could end up as the 49ers’ top pick, too. Terrell would be more likely with a trade-back option.
OT Jedrick Wills, Alabama
Lynch said this week of All-Decade left tackle Joe Staley: “We’ve heard nothing that would lead us to believe that Joe is not going to play.”
Obviously, it does not help the 49ers to completely tip their hand about what they consider their top areas to address during the draft, so Lynch played that one correctly.
That is why we’re going to list the top four offensive tackles in this draft as options for the 49ers at No. 13.
Again, it’s entirely possible that each of these players will be selected within the first dozen picks. Jedrick Willis is a mauling run-blocker with the feet of a basketball player. There’s a good chance he will be the first O-lineman off the board, perhaps as early as No. 4 to the New York Giants.
OT Tristan Wirfs, Iowa
Tristan Wirfs has received high-caliber coaching at Iowa under former NFL offensive line coach Kirk Ferentz. Wirfs is versatile enough to play just about anywhere he is needed. Some teams might consider him a better NFL fit at guard. He would be a huge addition to the 49ers -- wherever he's needed.
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OT Mehki Becton, Louisville
Do not be fooled by his size. At 6-foot-7 3/8, 364 pounds, Mehki Becton is nimble enough to execute the 49ers’ zone-blocking scheme. His time in the 40-yard dash was just .05 slower than Wills, who weighs 52 pounds lighter.
OT Andrew Thomas, Georgia
Andrew Thomas is another top-10 talent at offensive tackle, whom the 49ers must seriously consider if he slides past the Las Vegas Raiders at No. 12 overall.
OK, so there are six players and we did not even mention the position that most believe is the team’s top priority entering this draft . . .
The Wide Receivers
The top three receivers in this draft are generally thought to be CeeDee Lamb (Oklahoma), Jerry Jeudy (Alabama) and Henry Ruggs (Alabama). Throw in Justin Jefferson (LSU), too.
Nobody would be shocked if the 49ers selected any one of those four players at No. 13.
But with the quality depth at wide receiver throughout this draft, the 49ers’ best plan of attack might be to trade down, pick up a second-day pick, and still get a high-quality receiver a little later.