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Draft Analysis

NFL Draft Needs: NFC West

by NBC Sports EDGE Staff
Updated On: April 18, 2020, 2:42 pm ET

The Rotoworld Football crew’s Ian HartitzNick MensioJohn Daigle and Hayden Winks are breaking down every team's biggest needs, division by division, and Josh Norris offers potential solutions in this month's NFL Draft.

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

San Francisco 49ers

Notable Offseason Additions: OG Tom Compton, DE Kerry Hyder, LB Joe Walker, WR Travis Benjamin

Starting Offense

QB: Jimmy Garoppolo
RB: Raheem Mostert
WR1: Deebo Samuel
WR2: Kendrick Bourne
WR3: Jalen Hurd
TE: George Kittle
LT: Joe Staley
LG: Laken Tomlinson
C: Weston Richburg
RG: Tom Compton
RT: Mike McGlinchey

Starting Defense

DE: Nick Bosa
DE: Arik Armstead
DT: D.J. Jones
DT Solomon Thomas
WLB: Dre Greenlaw
MLB: Fred Warner
SLB: Kwon Alexander
CB: Richard Sherman
CB: Ahkello Witherspoon
SCB: Emmanuel Moseley
S: Jimmie Ward
S: Jaquiski Tartt

 

Team Needs

Hartitz’s Analysis

Offensive line: Jimmy Garoppolo was pressured at a bottom-10 rate in 2019, but his QB rating when under fire ranked just 14th among 38 qualified signal callers. The financial commitment to Jimmy G makes it unlikely the team will invest too many resources to address the QB position, so the best thing this offense can do is to reinforce the talent level at the line of scrimmage. Jimmy G struggles when forced to operate off script; the best way to help is to enhance his protection as much as possible.

Cornerback: Richard Sherman was PFF's No. 1 CB during the regular season and proved that he still has plenty of good days ahead of him despite a meh Super Bowl performance. Still, the 49ers don't move their corners with individual receivers, so offenses can generally avoid Sherman whenever they please. The CB position isn't as vital when you have the league's best pass rush, but additional options at the position can't hurt.

Wide receiver: TE George Kittle is an absolute monster, but he stays in to block on a good portion of snaps. The mid-season acquisition of Emmanuel Sanders, combined with spending a second- and third-round pick on Deebo Samuel and Jalen Hurd in 2019, indicates coach Kyle Shanahan isn't satisfied with the team's WR options at this point. This is particularly true with Sanders now in New Orleans.

 

49ers' 2020 Draft Picks

Norris’ Options

1 (13). WR Henry Ruggs, Alabama - It would not be shocking if Ruggs is the first receiver off the board next week. Why? Speed. It is coveted now more than ever. Ruggs gives off rookie year Tyreek Hill vibes - pure electricity with the ball in his hands. Alabama understood this and manufactured touches for the speed demon, and Ruggs responded by averaging over 10 yards after the catch. That’s not to say Ruggs is a limited player, he already shows real route chops and has practically perfect hands: just one drop last season. Connecting him to a spacing mastermind like Kyle Shanahan is cheating.

1 (31). This will certainly be a trade back with zero picks until the fifth round. So let’s talk through that scenario. The goal would be for Jordan Love to still be on the board, hoping the Combine buzz has slowed down to just a few suitors. With two second-round picks and a long-term need at the position, the Colts might be the perfect team to trade back into round one. Dropping back to pick No. 34 and adding a third-round pick would be a nice start for the 49ers.

WATCH NOW: Check out who our experts thought the 49ers would select at No. 13 and No. 31 in our First Round Mock Draft Show!

5 (156). CB Lamar Jackson, Nebraska - The 49ers’ outside corners must possess length. This class holds around 10 or so corners with 32-plus inch arms, so the group is smaller for them than other teams. But, theoretically, that helps improve evaluation - focus on the just the players that fit your thresholds.

5 (176). G Michael Onwenu, Michigan - Onwenu is a massive human but carries 344 pounds very well. He took 924 snaps at right guard last season, allowing just six quarterback hurries per PFF.

6 (210). TE Josiah Deguara, Cincinnati - George Kittle is a pillar piece of the 49ers’ offense. He cannot be replaced, but there is no real depth behind him.

7 (217). iDL Garrett Marino, UAB - It’s impossible to seamlessly replace DeForest Buckner. The team has plenty of depth that should step up in 2020, but adding another piece like Marino could help. He’s active, and constantly works to get into the backfield.

7 (245). EDGE Bryce Huff, Memphis - 9.5 sacks in 2018, 6.5 in 2019. This is hoping that production equals sufficient talent to stick on a roster.

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