2019 NFL Draft: Ranking the San Francisco 49ers’ top 5 NFL mock drafts

Quinnen Williams #92 of the Alabama Crimson Tide (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Quinnen Williams #92 of the Alabama Crimson Tide (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
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2019 NFL Draft: Top 5 49ers mock drafts
Rashan Gary #3 of the Michigan Wolverines (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

2019 NFL Draft: 49ers mock draft option No. 5

EDGE. Michigan. Rashan Gary. 5. player. 42.

The nation’s top recruit when he entered college, Michigan defensive lineman Rashan Gary is projected to be a first-round selection in the 2019 NFL Draft, and some mock drafts have him going as high as the second overall pick.

Gary, who played defensive tackle and defensive end in college, doesn’t appear to be the best fit for the San Francisco 49ers, who already have a plethora of similar “tweener” defensive linemen on their roster. However, some analysts think otherwise, including NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah, who slotted Gary in the No. 2 spot in his first mock draft of 2019 last week.

While Gary has an extremely high ceiling, there are two general reasons why the defensive lineman ranks last in our list of 49ers mock draft options. The first reason San Francisco should shy away from the versatile defender is the risk associated with Gary’s lack of production at the college level:

Rashan Gary – College Statistics
Tackles Def Int Fumbles
Year School Conf Class Pos G Solo Ast Tot Loss Sk Int Yds Avg TD PD FR Yds TD FF
*2016 Michigan Big Ten FR DE 12 12 11 23 5.0 0.5 0 0 0 0 0 0
*2017 Michigan Big Ten SO DL 13 25 33 58 11.5 5.5 0 0 0 0 0 1
*2018 Michigan Big Ten JR DL 9 20 18 38 6.5 3.5 0 0 0 0 0 0
Career Michigan         57 62 119 23.0 9.5 0 0   0 0 0     1

Provided by CFB at Sports Reference: View Original Table

The 49ers need a pass rushing specialist who can provide the team with double-digit sacks each season. Gary was unable to total 10 sacks over his entire college career.

The second reason Gary would be a poor fit for San Francisco is the lineman isn’t a pure edge rusher, which Jeremiah highlights in his article:

"Gary has the size of a defensive tackle but the skill set to play on the edge. He’ll give the 49ers one of the best young D-lines in the NFL."

The 49ers’ roster is full of first-round defensive tackles who have yet to transition to the outside with success — and you can’t play them all at one time, although you still have to pay each of them around $8 million a year.