No. 1: EDGE Montez Sweat, Mississippi State (South)
It’s not hard to find mock drafts out there linking Kentucky EDGE/linebacker Josh Allen to the 49ers at No. 2 overall. But with Allen sitting out the Senior Bowl, Kyle Shanahan and his staff might look a bit closer at another budding pass-rusher, Mississippi State’s Montez Sweat.
Some character concerns have pushed Sweat a bit further down many analysts’ big boards, possibly going as late as Round 2.
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But it appears as if all that could change soon, especially after reps like this one.
The 6-foot-6, 252-pound Sweat racked up 12.0 sacks his senior year and also picked up 14.5 tackles for a loss. He won’t crack into the top 10 of the 2019 NFL Draft, most likely. But an increase in his draft stock could give San Francisco some intriguing options.
The Niners were tied at 22nd in 2018 with a mere 37 sacks. Quality outside pass-rushers are hard to find, and one could argue they’re at the top of the 49ers’ offseason needs.
Yet there are only a handful of starting-caliber quarterback prospects in this year’s draft, as well as plenty of teams looking to draft one early. Should San Francisco trade down from No. 2 overall, looking at a player like Sweat to grab later in Round 1 becomes a real possibility.
Especially if he winds up having an impressive Senior Bowl week in the process.
The 2019 Senior Bowl kicks off on Saturday, Jan. 26 at 2:30 p.m. ET from Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama.