2016 NFL Draft: Complete 49ers Mock for All Rounds
Round 1 – Pick No. 7
The Pick: DE DeForest Buckner, Oregon
While the Rams’ move up to the first overall pick may have taken the 49ers out of the market for Jared Goff and Carson Wentz, it has raised the chances of one of the other top-five talents falling into their grasp.
And a player San Francisco would be delighted to take at No. 7 is Oregon defensive end DeForest Buckner.
Drafting Buckner would reunite him with fellow former Duck Arik Armstead – who the 49ers selected with their first-round pick last year – and give San Francisco an extremely promising pairing of interior pass rushers.
Regarded as a better overall prospect than Armstead, Buckner is a mountain of a man at 6’7″ and 291 pounds and has massive 34 3/8-inch arms and 11 3/4-inch hands. Those measurables should have Baalke, known as a GM who covets size, salivating.
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Buckner uses his huge frame to great effect, he has no problem dominating opposing offensive linemen and generating push with his strong hands. Because of his size Buckner consistently draws double teams – opening up holes for other pass-rushers as a result – and has the scheme versatility and athleticism to wreak havoc from any position on the D-line.
While he spent most of his time with Oregon as a defensive end in their 3-4 system, Buckner has also operated over center as a nose tackle and even as a stand-up pass-rusher off the edge and made a substantial impact in his last two seasons in Eugene, which saw him rack up 30 tackles for loss and 14.5 sacks.
An elite run defender, Buckner uses his long arms superbly to stack and shed blockers to make plays in the run game.
Buckner has a consistent motor and rarely gives up on any play and, with his ability to two-gap and create pressure from the 3-4 end spot, is the replacement for Justin Smith the 49ers need. With Buckner and Armstead up front, the 49ers’ D-line would soon become a force to be reckoned with in the NFL.
Next: Round 2