Niner Noise Big Board: Nos. 26 to 21
No. 26: Dexter Lawrence, Defensive Tackle, Clemson
I won’t lie, I was a lot higher on Dexter Lawrence than most. I actually considered him as high as the fifth- (yes, fifth) best prospect in the 2019 NFL Draft class.
Unfortunately, a positive test for the banned supplement Ostarine knocked him out of the Cotton Bowl and the National Championship versus Alabama.
Lawrence can still be a first-round pick, but it’s unlikely he’s picked highly.
No. 25: Dwayne Haskins, Quarterback, Ohio State
Dwayne Haskins is a love-or-hate sort of prospect. I, personally, am in the former category.
If a team likes him, the 49ers could be the beneficiary of a desperate trade-up partner.
San Francisco 49ers
No. 24: Jerry Tillery, Defensive Tackle, Notre Dame
Jerry Tillery perhaps didn’t have the great college career at Notre Dame that someone of his potential should have had, but he finished strong in his senior season to put his NFL Draft stock on the first round map.
He has to be coached up on technique, but Tillery is an effective pass-rusher who can use his length to great effect at the pro level.
No. 23: Jachai Polite, Defensive End, Florida
Jachai Polite is a player I’ve seen 49er fans list as a possible trade-down candidate, and it’s easy to see why.
Polite is freakishly gifted when it comes to rushing the passer. And even though he isn’t as strong at defending the run, it isn’t that attribute that could see him picked even higher than No. 23.
Polite needs to bulk up at the pro level against better offensive line opposition, but it’ll be fun to see if Polite can improve up the big board.
No. 22: Albert Okwuegbunam, Tight End, Missouri
Albert Okwuegbunam is someone you could see in a lot of different places in mock drafts and big boards, to me he’s one of the most intriguing players in the draft.
Okwuegbunam was a good target for Lock, and has an amazing physical skill set with strong hands and good speed.
He’s not perfect, especially in route running, but a good coach can iron that out easily. Okwuegbunam and Fant are fighting to be first off the board.
No. 21: Dre’Mont Jones, Defensive Tackle, Ohio State
In a 2019 NFL Draft class, where defensive tackle is easily the best positional group of the bunch, Dre’Mont Jones does not get the attention he perhaps should leading up to day one.
A similar player to Polite (but inside rather than outside on the defensive line), Jones is much better in passing downs, recording 8.5 sacks for Ohio State and having a very polished pass-rush move set.
He has some weaknesses in the run game and also when it comes to pad levels, but a team that just needs someone to line up the quarterback will see this as a good pick.