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Draft Decisions

NFL Draft Needs: 49ers

by Josh Norris
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Evan Silva (@EvanSilva) is the Senior Football Editor for Rotoworld's NFL Page, and Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) leads Rotoworld's college football and NFL draft coverage. Together, they're breaking down every team's biggest needs and offering potential draft-day solutions.

For a breakdown on every team, check out the team-by-team draft preview schedule.


No. 1 Team Need: Quarterback



Silva's Analysis


The 49ers have engaged in serious trade talks involving Colin Kaepernick with the Broncos, suggesting GM Trent Baalke has interest in turning the page on Kap. At the NFL level, new coach Chip Kelly has yet to coach a quarterback with dual-threat skills. After its effectiveness faded in Philadelphia, perhaps Kelly's scheme would have a chance to rebound with a legitimate running quarterback under center.


No. 2 Team Need: Wide Receiver

Silva's Analysis

Behind one-dimensional vertical streaker Torrey Smith, the 49ers have a handful of intriguing-if-unproven wideout options, including second-year rookie redshirt DeAndre Smelter, space player Bruce Ellington and CFL prospect Eric Rogers. Smelter has the highest ceiling of the group. Whether it's Kaepernick or a rookie calling signals, the 49ers won't give their 2016 quarterback a realistic chance to succeed with the supporting cast in place.


No. 3 Team Need: Linebacker

Silva's Analysis

Having deteriorated into a bottom-two roster, the 49ers have a lengthy list of needs. They could also use a starting cornerback, a starting interior offensive lineman, a No. 2 running back, a tight end better than Garrett Celek and Vance McDonald and help on the interior defensive line. I went with linebacker as No. 3 because it encompasses two positions. San Francisco is weak at the inside position next to Navorro Bowman, and another edge rusher is needed to bookend Aaron Lynch.


Norris' Mock Draft

Round 1 (7): WR Corey Coleman, Baylor (TRADE) - With the 49ers’ desired quarterback off the board (likely Goff), the team should look to trade down. The Titans at No. 15 or the Jets at No. 20 seem like obvious fits. The 49ers need a piece on offense who can generate yards, especially after the catch. That is Corey Coleman’s game (and Michael Thomas’, who is an option). Coleman is the best big play threat in this class.


Round 2 (37): LB Deion Jones, LSU - The 49ers might want more of a “hammer” linebacker here, but Jones’ style fits where the NFL is going. Don’t compare him to Lavonte David. In fact, I liked Telvin Smith’s game a little bit more, but Jones could fill that kind of role with whatever team drafts him.


Round 3 (68): QB Kevin Hogan, Stanford - The 49ers will almost certainly draft a quarterback in this class, the only question is how early. I don’t think Hogan’s looping motion will hurt his evaluation in Chip’s timing and tempo offense, and his reported understanding of concepts certainly helps to speed things up. He also has mobility to maximize yards allowed by design.


Round 4 (105): G Rees Odhiambo, Boise State - I know Trent Baalke will absolutely play a part in personnel decision, but Chip prefers athletes along his offensive line. I could not find a full workout for Odhiambo, but he certainly showed movement at his left tackle spot at Boise State, and the ability to move his man in one on one situations.


Round 4 (133): CB James Bradberry, Stamford - Bradberry possesses the length many teams covet on the outside (33-plus inch arms) and is one of the best athletes in the class at the position. On top of that is his solid game tape. He’s a really fun player to watch.


Round 5 (142): LB Jaylon Smith, Notre Dame - Baalke has redshirted numerous players in the past, and there is no better option to do that in this draft than Jaylon Smith.


Round 5 (145): EDGE Alex McCalister, Florida - McCalister might only fill 10 to 20 snaps per game, but his ability to bend and turn the corner could be an asset for a number of teams.


Round 5 (174): WR Chris Moore, Cincinnati - One of the best receivers at making contested catches in this class. Displays plenty of body control to adjust to the ball.


Round 6 (178): TE Temarrick Hemingway, South Carolina State - One of my favorite receiving tight ends in this class. Hemmingway possesses an inline tight end frame, but is notably comfortable in the short and intermediate areas of the field as a pass catcher.


Round 6 (207): DL Quinton Jefferson, Maryland - Size and length and depth up front.


Round 6 (211): RB Keith Marshall, Georgia - So much speed at running back, which the 49ers lack at the position.


Round 6 (213): C/G Jake Brendel, UCLA - One of the top athletes among offensive linemen in this class, and could potentially play both center and guard in a utility role.



49ers Current Offensive Depth Chart


QB: Colin Kaepernick


RB: Carlos Hyde


WR: Torrey Smith


WR: Quinton Patton


TE: Garrett Celek


TE: Vance McDonald


LT: Joe Staley


LG: Zane Beadles


C: Daniel Kilgore


RG: Andrew Tiller


RT: Trent Brown 



49ers Current Defensive Depth Chart


LE: Arik Armstead


RE: Quinton Dial


NT: Ian Williams


ILB: Navorro Bowman


ILB: Michael Wilhoite


OLB: Aaron Lynch


OLB: Ahmad Brooks


LCB: Tramaine Brock


RCB: Kenneth Acker


FS: Eric Reid


SS: Antoine Bethea

Josh Norris
Josh Norris is an NFL Draft Analyst for Rotoworld and contributed to the Rams scouting department during training camp of 2010 and the 2011 NFL Draft. He can be found on Twitter .