2019 NFL Draft: 49ers mock draft option No. 4
Kentucky outside linebacker Josh Allen is the draft prospect most commonly selected by the 49ers in mock drafts in recent weeks, but the edge rusher ranks fourth on our list.
Allen is a favorite of analysts who compile their mock drafts primarily based on team need. The 49ers desperately need an edge rusher, and Allen is widely regarded as the second-best edge rusher available in the draft. If the Cardinals draft Nick Bosa, Allen’s the next guy on the list.
Admittedly, that’s quite an oversimplification of the process, and Allen could end up the better of the two pass rushers, particularly if he continues the development he showed during his 17-sack senior season:
In a recent mock draft, FanSided’s Brad Weiss predicted the 49ers would draft the University of Kentucky edge rusher with the second overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft:
"Quinnen Williams is one of the better prospects of this draft class, but Allen fills more of an immediate need for the 49ers in 2019. Allen is a guy who can play on the outside, or come up and play the edge, and at the NFL level, he could have the kind of impact that Joey Bosa had as a rookie for the Los Angeles Chargers in 2017."
As Weiss pointed out, one positive quality Allen brings to the table is his ability to play SAM linebacker on base downs, which is another area of need for San Francisco in 2019.
Is Allen worthy of the No. 2 overall selection, or is his recent ascension up draft boards a product of groupthink? Allen’s last-minute decision to skip Saturday’s Senior Bowl, which included the rare opportunity to work extensively with the San Francisco 49ers’ coaching staff, didn’t help his case.
Given his recent hype, Allen had more to lose than gain by playing on Saturday, but his absence continues to provide fuel to those who question whether he’s NFL ready, or if his listed measurables are accurate.
NFL teams can’t afford to miss on a top draft pick. As opposed to a “sure thing,” Allen appears to be “the next best thing,” making him a risky proposition for the second overall selection.