The NFC West and top seed in the playoffs are on the line for the 49ers come Sunday. All eyes will be on their showdown in Seattle against the Seahawks.
Prior to that, though, football fans will turn their attention to the College Football Playoff. It all starts in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Stadium with the No. 1-ranked LSU Tigers playing the No. 4-ranked Oklahoma Sooners.
There will be talent all over the field, starting with LSU quarterback Joe Burrow, who took home the Heisman Trophy and likely is headed to the Cincinnati Bengals with the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. While the 49ers will be picking near the end of the first round and plenty of talent from this game already will be called, general manager John Lynch should be locked in on this semifinal game.
Here are four players from the 2019 Peach Bowl who the 49ers should be watching.
Grant Delpit, S, LSU
Delpit's draft stock has fallen after a sensational sophomore season, which should be a positive to 49ers fans. If Delpit falls to the end of the first round, he could wind up being the steal of the draft.
Much of Delpit's less impressive stats come from him playing through multiple injuries as a junior. When healthy, the 6-foot-3, 203-pounder can play like Chargers star Derwin James.
Entering the Peach Bowl, Delpit has 190 tackles -- 16 for loss -- in his three-year career with six sacks, eight interceptions and 23 passes defensed. He has struggled this season with missed tackles, but Delpit is a do-it-all safety who can be a star at the next level.
LSU safety Grant Delpit enters the season as a top-5 player on the latest @DraftNetworkLLC consensus 2020 NFL Draft big board— Jordan Reid (@JReidNFL) August 22, 2019
We’ve already began to release scouting reports on over 250+ prospects & access to build your own big board
Scouting Reports➡️: https://t.co/iwifHzt9ca pic.twitter.com/lPYcvwUyEL
Jimmie Ward will be a free agent after this season, and the 49ers need to make an upgrade at safety. Defensive coordinator Robert Saleh would have a lot of fun with Delpit if the Jim Thorpe Award winner falls to San Francisco.
Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU
Fulton will get a hell of a test in the Peach Bowl when he lines up against Sooners star receiver CeeDee Lamb. The senior cornerback is elite in coverage and can run with the best of them, though.
Fulton has one interception and 12 passes defensed this season. The stats don't tell the whole story when it comes to this Tiger. Opposing quarterbacks simply don't look his way, and for good reason.
LSU CB Kristian Fulton (@Kriss1_) Highlights— JustBombsProductions (@JBP_Official) December 18, 2019
This video took a while to make because QBs just don't target Fulton. It's a testament to the kind of player he is. The stats don't tell the whole story, but the film does 🔒⬇️ #GeauxTigers
Full Video 🎥: https://t.co/adkipy1p8m pic.twitter.com/M62PRdhGze
Richard Sherman still is elite when healthy, but the 49ers should be eyeing the top cornerbacks in the draft. Ahkello Witherspoon only has been healthy for nine games this season and San Francisco needs a top corner opposite of Sherman.
Fulton, 6-0, 200 pounds, doesn't fit the long body that Saleh usually looks for. That shouldn't be a red flag, though. He can be a top corner at the next level and should get a long look if he somehow is there when the 49ers are on the clock.
Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
It's no surprise the 49ers need to be looking at receivers in the draft. Deebo Samuel could turn into a star, Emmanuel Sanders will be a free agent and Kendrick Bourne is a solid role player. Outside of that, it's nothing more than a shoulder shrug.
That can change when Jalen Hurd and Trent Taylor are healthy, but that won't stop the 49ers from scouting this deep draft class.
Jefferson broke out this season while Burrow turned into a superstar. The 6-3 target went from the outside to the inside and the change brought huge numbers. The junior enters Saturday with 88 receptions for 1,207 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Justin Jefferson just took some ankles pic.twitter.com/l1ezQPY8sd— MB (@babyitsmb) December 7, 2019
This is a Justin Jefferson (@jjetsjeff9) fan account. pic.twitter.com/pQ8zJkr2am— Austin Gayle (@PFF_AustinGayle) June 8, 2019
Coach Kyle Shanahan has had success in the past with big slot receivers like Mohamed Sanu, and Jefferson has experience on the inside and outside. He certainly should be available for the 49ers in the first round and even if San Francisco decides to trade back into Round 2.
The 49ers will have their eyes on a wide array of receivers and Jefferson is just one of them.
Creed Humphrey, OL, Oklahoma
For a team that doesn't have too many holes, Humphrey could make a lot of sense at the end of the first round or if the 49ers trade back.
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Humphrey isn't the most athletic lineman, though he could be a versatile one. He lines up as the Sooners' center and should be able to transition to guard. The 49ers are locked on the outside at tackle but need help on the interior.
Humphrey is a redshirt sophomore who has been the anchor for dominant offenses the last two seasons. He can move along the inside of the line and gets nasty in the trenches to make up for not having elite athleticism.