2016 NFL Draft: Way Too Early Mock for San Francisco 49ers, Version 1.0A

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Round 4: Own Pick

Selection: OLB Kyler Fackrel, Utah State


Another tackling machine (noticing a trend here?) is Utah State outside linebacker Kyler Fackrel.

Fackrel assumed a number of roles in Utah State’s hybrid 3-4 defense and was asked to provide coverage while also rushing the passer.

While not necessarily known as a sack specialist, Fackrel did rack up 13 sacks over his four collegiate seasons so far and also registered 247 total tackles with 34.5 of those coming for a loss during that stretch.

Tackling has been a fundamental weakness of the 49ers defense this season. And the outside linebacker position, minus Aaron Lynch has plenty of question marks. Veteran linebacker Ahmad Brooks (31 years old) has seen his production decline, third-year pro linebacker Corey Lemonier has been a disappointment and the book is still out on rookie Eli Harold.

Fackrel has some injury concerns, but he is about as fundamentally sound as it gets. And the 49ers are in need of fundamentals this offseason.

Nov 7, 2015; Louisville, KY, USA; Louisville Cardinals linebacker Devonte Fields (92) tackles Syracuse Orange quarterback Eric Dungey (2) during the second half at Papa John

Round 4: Compensatory Pick (Mike Iupati)

Selection: DE Devonte Fields, Louisville


The 49ers are going to need some pass-rushing help this offseason and, given some of the pressing needs elsewhere, may not be able to get it until the middle rounds of the draft.

Fortunately, general manager Trent Baalke may have the opportunity to jump after Louisville defensive end Devonte Fields in Round 4 with a compensatory pick.

Fields has some red flags for off-the-field incidents per Dane Brugler of CBS Sports. But Brugler also notes how Fields is one of the best pass-rushers in college football:

"He has the flexible body type to dip around the edge and contort his body to win the corner and cause holding calls. He beats blocks with his natural athleticism as the game comes easy to him. When he’s playing up to his ability, Fields is one of the top pass rush prospects in the country. A TCU transfer, Fields has some baggage, and teams will be forced to do a lot of homework on him."

Fields had 10 sacks his freshman year at TCU back in 2012. And he also posted 7.5 at Louisville in 2015 with an additional 19 tackles for a loss.

Next: Round 5