49ers grab a safety in NFL Mock’s latest mock draft for 2019

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announces a draft pick by the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announces a draft pick by the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

The folks over at NFL Mocks just released another too-early mock draft for 2019, and the San Francisco 49ers grab a promising safety out of a small-school program, Chris Johnson of North Alabama.

NFL Draft season is turning into a year-round spectacle, meaning it’s never too early to start thinking about mock drafts. Even if the latest actual draft took place three months ago.

At any rate, NFL Mocks’ Erik Lambert just put together his latest Round 1 mock for the 2019 NFL Draft, and he has the San Francisco 49ers making a notable first-round move.

First of all, Lambert has the Niners owning the No. 9 overall pick, which would suggest a pretty disappointing year in 2018. Not caring too much about draft order, though, general manager John Lynch strikes a deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars, sending off his own first-round pick in exchange for the Jags’ first rounder, No. 21 overall, and an undetermined amount of additional compensation.

In return, Jacksonville grabs Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham — a likely move to replace the incumbent, Blake Bortles, at some point in the near future.

At No. 21, the 49ers then select North Alabama safety Chris Johnson.

Here’s what Lambert had to say about the Niners’ selection of Johnson:

"North Alabama isn’t typically a place that produces high-caliber talent but the buzz is already picking up on Chris Johnson. The kid stands 6-foot-2 and demonstrates serious athletic potential with speed and fluidity in coverage. This would explain why he’s so proficient at snagging interceptions. Quarterbacks try to avoid him at every opportunity but it’s almost impossible with his range and instincts. The San Francisco 49ers are currently in the process of seeking out defenders who can provide more turnovers so as to feed that Kyle Shanahan offense. Johnson is just the sort of guy for them, regardless of his humble background."

And here’s a further breakdown of Johnson from NFL Draft Diamonds’ Damond Talbot:

"Physical DB that can navigate through  traffic making the tough tackle or stopping a play from developing. Good eye & awareness sees the field can recognize plays make the important adjustments. Aggressive t ackler that really attacks and plays through the whistle.He can be used in a variety of different ways in the NFL can play either safety position, be used in the slot plus his speed along with his ability to track down ball  carriers or Offensive weapons can make him a top tier player on ST. All around aset with his size, speed & power his SR year could put him on the map for the road to the Pro’s."

More from SF 49ers Draft

While safety depth is a concern for San Francisco this season, it’s hard to envision the Niners using a first-round pick here. Sure, player talent matters most above all else. Yet the 49ers already have a promising up-and-coming free safety in Adrian Colbert, as well as strong safety Jaquiski Tartt, who signed a two-year extension this offseason.

Three-safety sets are becoming increasingly popular in today’s NFL, although it doesn’t appear this would be an investment the Niners would make so early.

Especially considering how deep this upcoming draft is supposed to be for pass-rushers — arguably the team’s most pressing need in 2019.

Next: 49ers 2019 draft needs: Scouting Clemson's D-line

It’s all fun speculation, though, but one might bank on San Francisco looking for a quality EDGE with its first pick instead of a defensive back.