2019 NFL Draft: San Francisco 49ers have chance to add impact talent

NFL Draft 2019, San Francisco 49ers

The Niners have a real chance to add another impact talent in hopes of a rebound year in 2019—as long as Jimmy Garoppolo‘s health cooperates.

The San Francisco 49ers are still rebuilding and the front office bought themselves some time with the loss of Jimmy Garoppolo to injury so early in the 2018 season.

With another offseason to retool and add more impact talent in the draft, John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan need real results on the field. Who will they add at No. 2 overall? The questions for San Fran begin there.

State Of The Team

The 49ers aren’t quite in a position where they’d be viewed as legitimate playoff contenders, although a healthy Jimmy Garoppolo could change that. San Francisco’s offense remained in the middle of the road in many a category last year, despite getting only three games from Jimmy G before his ACL tear. That said, the majority of issues remain on defense, and the Niners’ offseason plans seem to be focusing heavily on addressing this. Even if a number of defensive rookies and offseason pickups stand out in 2019, the Niners are still likely a year away from truly contending.

Total Draft Picks

The 49ers might have fewer picks than most with only six, but they have the second overall pick in the draft.

  • Round 1 (No. 2 overall)
  • Round 2 (No. 36 overall)
  • Round 3 (No. 67 overall)
  • Round 4 (No. 104 overall)
  • Round 6 (No. 176 overall)
  • Round 6 (No. 212 overall)

Top 3 Draft Needs

Edge Rusher: The 49ers just traded for EDGE Dee Ford, but adding another outside pass-rusher would help improve a defense that registered just 37 sacks a year ago. Good thing the Niners have the second overall pick in a deep pass-rushing class.

Safety: Perennial Pro Bowler Earl Thomas was a favorite free-agent target among 49ers fans, but he’s with the Baltimore Ravens now. Last year’s starting free safety Adrian Colbert regressed after an impressive rookie year. And with seven different starters at safety in 2018, the Niners need some serious back-end help.

Wide Receiver: No 49ers wideout crested 500 receiving yards in 2018, and the team elected to part ways with veteran pass catcher Pierre Garcon this offseason. There’s hope second-year pro Dante Pettis can develop into a top target but he’ll need some help, which pushes this positional need towards the top of the Niners’ offseason wish list.

Top 3 Draft Targets

Nick Bosa

DL, Ohio State

There’s an excellent chance the 49ers will have their shot at Bosa, whom many consider the top prospect in this year’s NFL Draft. San Francisco has developed a solid interior rush with first-time Pro Bowler DeForest Buckner. Adding Dee Ford through a trade helps off the edge, too. Yet Bosa, who is the perfect defensive bookend in a 4-3 scheme, would round out what could be one of the more dominant defensive lines in football for the foreseeable future.

Nasir. Adderley

Safety, Delaware

With the 49ers missing out on Earl Thomas, paired with the 2018 underachievement and attrition at the position, it wouldn’t be shocking at all to see the Niners use their second NFL Draft pick on Adderley. More than a handful of pundits have compared the small-school defensive back to Thomas, and Adderley’s ranginess in a single-high safety scheme would fit perfectly into what the 49ers do. If Adderley slips into the early phases of Round 2, he wouldn’t be a surprise selection at No. 36 at all.

Riley Ridley

WR, Georgia

Ridley’s collegiate stats don’t suggest much, but one has to note how run-heavy the Bulldogs’ offense is, which cut into his numbers. What matters are the intangibles, and The Draft Network even compared how Ridley could be the NFL’s next version of the Saints’ Michael Thomas. With no Niners wideout reaching 500 receiving yards last year, Ridley would be a steal of a pick and addresses a huge need.

Decision Maker (Or Who To Blame If Things Go Wrong)

The honeymoon period surrounding general manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan has long been over. And for a short while now, the fanbase seems to have developed some frustration surrounding Lynch’s pickups (or lack thereof) the past two years. 2018, with all the 49ers’ injuries, grants something of a pass. But now in year three of the new regime, the pressure is on Lynch to get some home-run selections in this year’s NFL Draft, which translates over to Shanahan making a wholesale effort to get the team above the .500 mark for the first time since 2013.

Best/Worst Pick In Current Draft Slot

Historically, who was the best pick and the worst pick based on where the team is currently picking. 

Best Pick: Earl Morrall, quarterback, No. 2 overall in 1976 NFL Draft

The Niners best-ever pick at No. 2 overall actually never did a single thing for the franchise. San Fran traded Morrall after his rookie season, but the quarterback would go on to win an NFL MVP, three Super Bowl rings, and play 21 total seasons in the league.

Worst Pick: Ken Willard, running back, No. 2 overall in 1965 NFL Draft

It’s hard to call Willard the worst ever No. 2 pick for the Niners, but he and Morrall are the only choices. Willard didn’t live up to Morrall’s overall resume, but he was a four-time Pro Bowler who scored 45 rushing touchdowns for the Niners from 1965-73.

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