No. 1: Kendall Joseph
Kendall Joseph out of Clemson comes in at 6-feet tall and 225 pounds. While he is also on the smaller side, Joseph is a tackling machine with good production throughout his career at Clemson. With his quickness and high football IQ, he is able to make decisions quickly and take advantage of each situation.
Joseph finished the 2018 season with 79 combined tackles, including 5.5 for a loss. He also had 3.5 sacks and one pass deflection.
The Draft Network reported:
"My favorite thing about Joseph is how sharp his mental processing skills are. He illustrates strong read-and-react skills and rarely takes the cheese for false keys. He plays with obvious preparation and has a strong feel for dissecting misdirection and counter plays. His football IQ shows up in pass defense where his feel for coverage spacing and zone awareness is excellent."
The 49ers may find more short-term value in free agency, given the ability to acquire a veteran linebacker who is already up to NFL standards and ready to be plugged into the Niners’ defense. However, drafting a developmental linebacker in the 2019 NFL Draft would be a smart move for the San Francisco 49ers as the team’s defense continues to evolve and flourish.