The 49ers have already added some big pieces to their defense this offseason in Dee Ford and Kwon Alexander, and at No. 2 overall they are in the perfect spot to grab another (barring a trade back). A defensive line featuring Ford, DeForest Buckner and either Nick Bosa or Quinnen Williams should turn the unit into a big strength.
Below, you can check out which picks the 49ers currently have, along with our projection of their top positional needs. I'll then build a war-room big board based upon players I think have some kind of chance of making it to their first pick before sharing multiple draft classes that make sense for the team from myself, Ryan Wilson and Chris Trapasso.
As for the actual draft, you'll be able to stream our live coverage right here on CBS Sports HQ (or download the CBS Sports app for free on any mobile or connected TV device) breaking down all the picks and everything you need to know during draft weekend.
Current draft picks
The CBS Sports NFL writing staffto identify needs for each team heading into the draft. A helpful guide: any position group that had an average ranking worse than 16.0 (on a scale of 1 to 32) was considered a "need," while any that ranked worse than 23.0 (bottom-third of the league) was considered a "pressing need."
Needs: QB, RB, WR/TE, INTL DL, DB
San Francisco is basically just the definition of an average-ish team across the board right now, and our rankings reflect that. They have a chance to add elite talent with the No. 2 overall pick in the draft, where we have them getting Nick Bosa in every mock right now. That would spike their edge rush ranking and would allow for Solomon Thomas to play along the interior more often, helping them there as well. The 49ers were expected to be a major suitor for Earl Thomas in free agency but that never came to fruition, so safety is a spot to look for as well. And they could still use to give Jimmy Garoppolo some more weapons alongside George Kittle. The Marquise Goodwin-Dante Pettis-Trent Taylor group isn't scaring anybody.
War room big board
Which front-four defender will the 49ers wind up with at No. 2? Here's how I'd project the 49ers' draft board for their first pick, considering only players I feel have some chance of making it in range:
- EDGE Nick Bosa, Ohio State
- DL Quinnen Williams, Alabama
Seven-round mock drafts
|1||2||DE Nick Bosa, Ohio State|| |
|2||36||WR Deebo Samuel, South Carolina|| |
|3||67||CB Trayvon Mullen, Clemson|| |
|4||104||WR Mecole Hardman, Georgia|| |
|4||134||LB Tre Watson, Maryland||from NE*|
|6||176||DT Chris Slayton, Syracuse|| |
|6||212||G Nate Herbig, Stanford|| |
|7||252||P Mitch Wishnowsky, Utah||from NE*|
| || ||FS Reshad Jones (from Miami)|| |
The 49ers might have traded for Dee Ford this offseason, but that's no reason to pass on Bosa, the best player in this draft. The two will make for an impact tandem the likes of which San Francisco has been trying to build for years. Speaking of, the Bosa-Ford-DeForest Buckner core allows the team to trade a few of their former first-rounders on the defensive line. First they ship Solomon Thomas to the Dolphins for Reshad Jones, a talented free safety who doesn't fit the Dolphins' rebuild at his huge cap number, which San Francisco has no trouble absorbing. Then they ship Arik Armstead, who's playing on the fifth-year option, to New England in their annual trade hookup for fourth- and seventh-round picks.
With that out of the way, the 49ers snag an impact receiver at No. 36 in a class loaded with late-first/early-second talents in the draft. Samuel will help take the load off Marquise Goodwin, who has played 16 games just once in his career. Mullen is a talented boundary corner who is good insurance if Jason Verrett can't get healthy, and he could develop into the team's No. 1 corner in a few years.
If other options at the position cause Mecole Hardman to slip to Round 4, the 49ers would be wise to double-up on the position and grab him as a field-stretching option to add to the offense. Having a young receiving corps of Dante Pettis, Samuel, Hardman and Trent Taylor (and of course George Kittle at tight end) would be excellent for Jimmy Garoppolo. Watson gives the team depth at inside linebacker in case Kwon Alexander isn't the same after tearing his ACL. Slayton and Herbig provide more depth on the interior of their respective lines, while Wishnowsky can compete for the punter role.
More seven-round mocks:
(*) indicates pick acquired via trade
Check out more first-round mocks from CBS Sports.