No. 4: Austin Bryant, EDGE, Clemson
Why the 49ers should be interested
Clemson has an absolutely stunning defensive line, full of first-round talent. So it says a lot that Austin Bryant is the worst player on that line that he could still easily be taken on day two of the NFL Draft.
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If the Niners go best player available, as I believe they should, and go with Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams (more on that later), Bryant could be an intriguing prospect to consider placing on the end of the defensive line.
Bryant isn’t as athletically gifted as his fellow Clemson EDGE, Clelin Ferrell, but Bryant has recorded consecutive seasons of 8.5 sacks and double-digit tackles for loss. He’s a good tackler, and can even be moved to linebacker if the 49ers wanted, so he wouldn’t necessarily be out of the question if the San Francisco did take an EDGE in the first round.
Bryant does tend to be overshadowed by his more-hyped teammates, and Clemson tends to use him on mop-up duty to take advantage of the chaos the others wreak on opposing offenses. It should be said, however, Bryant generally makes these plays, and the Niners have defensive tackle DeForest Buckner and a presumed high draft pick on another lineman, be it EDGE or defensive tackle, to do a similar job.
Bryant has a wild draft range, but he could end up being worthy of a high second-round pick at the top of his stock. Alternatively, he could fall as low as the fourth if it all goes wrong for him (which would be highly unlikely, but possible).
Pros: Productive, versatile, great tackler
Cons: Not athletically gifted, overshadowed at Clemson, questions on if he can be a stand alone player at pro level
49ers could select him in: Rounds 2 through 4