The 2016 NFL Draft is just hours away and the rumor mill is gathering momentum in regards to what the San Francisco 49ers will do with their picks, here is the latest speculation.
With so many needs to fill, nobody really has any idea what direction the San Francisco 49ers will go in with the No. 7 overall pick when the draft kicks off in a matter of hours.
San Francisco has holes across the board and could serve to upgrade almost every position on the roster, and therefore it is difficult to know what general manager Trent Baalke will see as the priority with the 49ers’ first pick.
But the rumor mill is gathering pace ahead of the Commissioner’s walk to the podium, and here is some of the latest speculation around what the 49ers are going to do in the opening round and beyond.
Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller — 49ers to trade up for Ramsey if Cowboys take Elliot
Many believe Florida State defensive back Jalen Ramsey to be the best player in the draft and he has reportedly long been coveted by the Dallas Cowboys, who own the No. 4 pick in the draft.
NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reported the Cowboys are deciding between Ramsey and Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliot.
And Bleacher Report’s draft expert Matt Miller says if the Cowboys settle on Elliot, then Baalke will move quickly to try to trade with the Jacksonville Jaguars to take Ramsey at No. 5.
According to Drafttek’s trade value chart, the 49ers would need to give the Jaguars their first- and third-round picks to make such a trade fair and, given Ramsey’s versatility to be able to play man coverage on the outside and operate as both a deep and box safety and a pass-rusher off the edge, a deal to go up and get him could have a transformational impact on San Francisco defense.
Connor Cook thinks 49ers like him
Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook is unlikely to be the 49ers’ pick at No. 7 but could be in play on day two.
The former Spartan, who had a visit with the Niners, believes the 49ers are big fans of him going into the draft.
Cook, per David Fucillo of Niners Nation, told The Dan Patrick Show that he thinks the 49ers like him, while also expressing his fondness for the San Francisco coaching staff.
“You know I think, as of right now, I think the Niners like me,” Cook said. “I’ve heard the Denver Broncos like me, and the Dallas Cowboys. You know, I feel like every place I visited, the people liked me. Obviously the coaching staff at San Francisco was super cool. I liked those guys a lot.”
Opinion has been somewhat split on Cook in this process but he does have the advantage of playing more under center than some of the other quarterbacks in the draft. It will be interesting to see if the fondness Cook and the Niners seem to have for each other results in his name being called when San Francisco picks in the second round.
CBS Sports’ Benjamin Allbright – You’d need to get ahead of No.7 to take Paxton Lynch
Once considered to be on a par with Jared Goff and Carson Wentz, Paxton Lynch’s stock has gradually slipped during the pre-draft process, but CBS Sports’ Benjamin Allbright received information from a league source that hints the Niners could gamble on him at No. 7.
The New York Jets have been talked about as a team that could trade up for Lynch’s services and it could well be that the 49ers are putting this information out there to stir up interest in the No. 7 pick.
It could also be a smokescreen to try to prevent another team from jumping ahead of the 49ers to get the guy Baalke has at the top of his board. However, if Allbright’s information turns out to be genuine, we could be in for a shocker at No. 7.
Plenty of buzz around Buckner
Taking Lynch would be a huge shock, however, the 49ers picking Oregon defensive lineman DeForest Buckner at No. 7 would be no surprise.
With his mammoth 6’7″ and 291-pound frame, arms of 34 3/8 inches and hands of 11 3/4 inches, Buckner has the size Baalke looks for in draft prospects and excelled at pushing the pocket at Oregon.
Drafting Buckner would reunite him with head coach Chip Kelly and fellow defensive lineman Arik Armstead, whom the 49ers drafted out of Oregon last year.
There is plenty of late buzz that suggests the 49ers will take Buckner if he is still on the board. Tony Pauline reported they “desperately covet” Buckner, while NFL draft guru Mike Mayock projected him landing with San Francisco in his only mock.
If Buckner does end up a 49er and rejoins his old teammate Armstead, then San Francisco fans can afford to get excited about the defensive line.