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Kyle Shanahan
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Draft Analysis

NFL Draft Needs: 49ers

by Evan Silva
Updated On: April 19, 2019, 2:03 am ET

Evan Silva (@EvanSilva) is Rotoworld's Senior NFL Editor, and Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) is Rotoworld's lead Draft Analyst. Together, they're breaking down every team's biggest needs and offering potential solutions in April’s draft.

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

Notable Pre-Draft Additions: DE Dee Ford, MLB Kwon Alexander, RB Tevin Coleman, CB Jason Verrett, DE Damontre Moore, WR Jordan Matthews.

Starting Offense

QB: Jimmy Garoppolo
RB: Tevin Coleman
FB: Kyle Juszczyk
WR1: Dante Pettis
WR2: Marquise Goodwin
SLWR: Richie James
TE: George Kittle
LT: Joe Staley
LG: Laken Tomlinson
C: Weston Richburg
RG: Mike Person
RT: Mike McGlinchey

Starting Defense

RE: Dee Ford
LE: Arik Armstead
NT: D.J. Jones
3T: DeForest Buckner
MLB: Kwon Alexander
WLB: Fred Warner
SLB: Dekoda Watson
LCB: Richard Sherman
RCB: Jason Verrett
SCB: K’Waun Williams
FS: Adrian Colbert
SS: Jaquiski Tartt

Team Needs

Silva's Analysis

Pass Catcher: Kittle is the 49ers’ lone bankable pass-catching asset. Head coach Kyle Shanahan intends to demote injury-riddled Goodwin to a part-time player. Pettis flashed down the stretch but ultimately finished his rookie year with 27 receptions. Neither James nor Taylor ran away with slot duties. The Niners are in the market for a plus-sized vertical receiver in a year where the draft is chock full of them.

Secondary: As last year’s Niners allowed an NFC-high 35 touchdown passes and caught a league-low two interceptions, backend playmakers are sorely needed. Colbert (ankle) and Tartt (shoulder) both took steps back before suffering debilitating injuries, and Sherman faded as the season progressed. Verrett was a worthwhile one-year flyer but can’t be counted on based on his longstanding lack of durability.

Edge Rusher: San Francisco’s trade for Ford took partial care of what began the offseason as its biggest need, but further reinforcements would be welcomed. Last year’s 49ers managed the NFL’s eighth-fewest sacks (37), 12 via Buckner (32%) and seven in Week 9 alone (19%) against the hapless Raiders. Nick Bosa remains squarely in play at the No. 2 overall pick despite Ford’s addition. Right guard and linebacker are other positions Shanahan and GM John Lynch could conceivably address.


49ers 2019 Draft Picks

Norris' Options

1 (2). EDGE Nick Bosa, Ohio State - I’m sure 49ers fans are sick of their team selecting front 4 or 5 players. Arik Armstead, DeForest Buckner, Solomon Thomas. All of those players rush the passer best from interior alignments, not on the edge. The trade for Dee Ford helps, but imagine adding Nick Bosa, who wins just like his brother Joey, to that front. Now you have multiple players who have potential to win their individual matchups in pass rushing situations. Plus, you factor in depth with Jullian Taylor, D.J. Jones and Ronald Blair.

2 (36). WR N’Keal Harry, Arizona State - I could talk myself into five or more receivers with this pick. A.J. Brown if available, Hakeem Butler, Deebo Samuel, maybe Jalen Hurd a round or two later. The 49ers brought in Harry for a visit and possibly view him as an outside to inside type. After the 49ers drafted Pettis, they glowed about his ability to play multiple spots. Harry can do the same, albeit in a different way. To me, he is at his best when comfortable in contact and created most of his big plays out of the slot.

3 (67). CB Isaiah Johnson, Houston - We’ve seen the 49ers select corners in the past based on traits and measurements, with mixed results. Johnson fits in that vein, with a 94th percentile athletic profile and 33-inch arms. The upside is a starting caliber NFL corner with great size and athleticism. The downside is another outside corner that might not be able to turn traits into talent.

4 (104). S Jaquan Johnson, Miami - Possible interchangeable safety who shows enough anticipation and athleticism to cover ground in the deeper portions of the field, and aggression and angles to attack forward towards the line of scrimmage.

6 (176). WR Terry Godwin, Georgia - There are a number of Day 3 slot receivers who are really exciting. Godwin, KeeSean Johnson, Greg Dortch, Jon’Vea Johnson. Godwin is explosive to create separation, can get vertical and shows acrobatics in the red zone.

6 (212). iOL Brandon Knight, Indiana - Plenty of right tackle experience, but is projected to move inside in the NFL.

Evan Silva
Evan Silva is a senior football editor for Rotoworld.com. He can be found on Twitter .