By: Zach Hernandez (@Zachhernan)
The 49ers are able to trade down from the number 2 overall pick. Since Myles Garrett is gone, they feel like they can still get a quality starter with superstar potential later in the top of the 1st round. Also, they are able to acquire a 2018 1st Round pick from CINN Derek Barnett put up gaudy-like numbers during his reign at Tennessee. He broke the legend that is Reggie White’s sack record. Barnett’s numbers rivaled Myles Garrett’s, even surpassed in some areas. Shanahan & Lynch will hope for Derek to come in and produce the same way in the Bay Area. As the 49ers have been baked dry when it comes to production at the DE/OLB position since Aldon Smith was released.
Davis is one of the top linebackers in this draft. He’s been in Foster’s shadow which was bad for his stock, but good for the 49ers. They’re able to find a stud linebacker that will be able to line up next to NaVorro Bowman for the next half decade or even longer. Davis brings leadership at the position that has been desperately needed since #52 & #53 were patrolling the middle of the field. After being exposed at the position, the 49ers target an ILB early in the draft.
RD:2 Pick 9 – ALVIN KAMARA RB TENNESSEE:
Kamara is the perfect RB to spell Carlos Hyde and even possibly take over for him if the 49ers feel they are better without him. Kamara is a freakish athlete with amazing skills receiving out of the backfield. Shanahan loves his RBs and I think they target one early in the draft due to Hydes inability to stay healthy & finish a season. Kamara has NFL size and speed and provide the perfect ying to Hydes yang. The production Kamara had at Tennessee (23 TDs) can only hoped to be duplicated in SF. He is also known for his leadership skills, which is strongly desired when trying to build up a young roster.
RD:3 Pick 2 – MALACHI DUPRE WR LOUISIANA STATE:
While his numbers don’t jump off of the page at you, Dupre quietly had a standout season. His low stats were due to the Tigers inconsistent play at the quarterback position. Just ask Torrey Smith – you can only do so much if the quarterback can’t get you the ball. Coming out of high school, Malachi was a 5-Star Recruit and a state champion at triple, long, & high jump. He ran a 4.52 40 at the NFL combine – which may not be the fastest, but still is ideal speed for a WR. He is more productive than his numbers give him credit for. He excels at the deep ball and has great hands. Could come in and produce instantly in San Francisco. He has some character concerns with his history with the law, but if he can get that straightened out, he has real potential.
The defensive front needs some tightening up on the loose ends. Bringing in a guy like Godchaux could help. He fits in the 4-3 DT fit that the 49ers are switching to. In 2016, Godchaux was responsible for 5.5 sacks & 7.5 tackles for loss. He ran a 5.27 40 at the NFL combine, showing great explosion. Great feel for when double-teams are coming his way and addresses them properly. At 6’3″ 310lbs., Davon is a little bit smaller than coaches would probably like to see. He also needs some work on his disengage skills.
History has shown the 49ers prefer TEs that can block exceptionally welll. Even though the 49ers extended TEs Vance McDonald & Garett Celek, Sprinkle might be the next one in red & gold. He’s a true “Y” tight end that’s also great at pass-blocking. He can play all 3 downs and looks to be a quality NFL starter. He may not excel at any one area, but Sprinkle is above average in most areas. Aside from the small spark McDonald was able to provide with Gabbert last year, production at the TE position has been low since Vernon Davis was in his prime. Long strides help Sprinkle easily gain separation on defenders. He needs a bit of bulking up, but he could become a sleeper TE out in San Francisco if all pans out well.
RD:5 Pick 2 – JEROD EVANS QB VIGINIA TECH:
The 49ers roll the dice on a developmental quarterback with Jerod Evans from Virginia Tech. His 2016 stats look exceptional – 268 completed passes, 63.5 completion %, 3,552 passing yards, 9.4 yards per attempt, 29TDs/8 INTs, & 12 rushing TDs. He has a strong arm and has near perfect placement on his deep ball. With that being said, don’t expect Evans to present a challenge to the starter for at least two years.
With Magnuson, the 49ers get a 6’6″ 304lbs. OT who earned First-team All-Big Ten Conference selection as a 5th year senior in 2016 and a third-team All-Big Ten Conference selection in 2015. The 49ers offensive line has been somewhat atrocious since the departures of Mike Iupati, Anthony Davis, & Alex Boone just to name a few. Magnuson is one of the better right tackles in the nation and would be a steal for the 49ers in the middle of the 5th round. He has starting experience at both guard and tackle positions. Exceptional footwork and changes direction smoothly. Needs work maintaining his blocks. If he gets beaten, very hard for him to recover. All in all, solid value player & possible starter for the 49ers.
RD:6 Pick 14 – KD CANNON WR BAYLOR:
Cannon is 5’11”, 182 lbs., 30 & 3/4″ arm length, 8 & 7/8″ hand length. He ran a blazing 4.41 40 at the NFL Combine. While that he may not be the absolute fastest man in this class with John Ross, Cannon is still a superb athlete. He has jumped over numerous low tackles. KD Excels at the long ball and with his speed, it’s very hard for quarterbacks to overthrow him. He catches the ball over the shoulder extremely well. Cannon very well could evolve into a true deep threat the 49ers have lacked badly for years. The 49ers do not currently have a WR that can stretch the field and stop the defense from stacking the box the way Cannon can. He does have some issues creating separation consistently. Also needs to put on some weight, he is smaller than an ideal WR.
RD:6 Pick 18 – CHARLES WALKER DT OKLAHOMA:
The 49ers get a 6’2″ 310lbs. defensive tackle. He left the Sooners in a very controversial way. After suffering his 3rd concussion against TCU, Walker spent one month trying to recover all while dodging allegations that he was trying to leave the program. He then decided to leave Oklahoma to focus on the NFL Draft. Although he did not create one sack in the four games he played before leaving Oklahoma in 2016, he did have 7 tackles & 2.5 tackles for loss. In 2015, Walker had 6.0 sacks & 36 tackles in 12 games. The 2015 tape proved him to be extremely disruptive and productive. He is explosive off the snap. He is quick on his feet. The concussions are a concern, but if Walker can stay healthy he might be one of the late-round gems of this draft looking back years from now. If all pans out well, Walker could very well be starting on the 49ers defensive line in a year or so time.
RD:7 Pick 1 – JEREMY CUTRER CB MIDDLE TENNESSE:
Cutrer is a 6’2″ 178lbs. CB. He is an exceptional tackler. Cutrer is tall and fast enough to stay stride for stride with most WRs. He is smart enough to read and react, great at diagnosing the play. He seems to have a nose for the ball. He moves like a normal CB, but plays and looks like a S. Great ball-hawk skills and plays aggressively. He might even be moved to the S position – if he can put on some weight. He is a talented player with one hell of a personality. I’ve read teams are falling in love with this guy and the way he carries himself. His versatility can land him a roster spot.