San Francisco doesn’t own a Round 5 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft (traded off to the Detroit Lions in exchange for offensive guard Laken Tomlinson back in 2017). So here we are in Round 6, No. 187 overall.
The 49ers are pretty stacked at linebacker, but there are some question marks about the strong-side (SAM) spot, currently held down by fourth-year pro Eli Harold.
Harold hasn’t offered much of anything in the pass-rush department, and his pass-coverage skills have also been sub par. Sure, the Niners could experiment with other on-roster options. But the majority of players are better suited for either the weak-side (WILL) or middle (MIKE) duties.
Duke’s Joe Giles-Harris is a nice option to replace Harold on the strong side. He’s not a prolific pass-rusher, although his 7.5 sacks the last two seasons suggest he can help in this department. Where Giles-Harris will make his money, however, is as an elite-level run stopper. Last year, according to Pro Football Focus, Giles-Harris registered 52 run stops — second most in college football:
And his 16 tackles for a loss in 2017 sure look nice too.
Giles-Harris is a player perfectly adept at setting the edge and preventing opponents from running the ball to the right side. If you want an idea how, check out the clip seen here.