It seems pretty likely the 49ers will grab an EDGE with the No. 2 overall pick in the draft, which would make a second-round prospect, such as TCU’s Ben Banogu, seem a bit redundant.
But watching Banogu has its merits.
There’s not a lot to link the Niners to Banogu out there, although Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller suggested San Francisco could feasibly target the TCU product in Round 2, if it sees fit.
The 6-foot-4, 249-pound edge rusher had 8.5 sacks in each of the last two seasons at TCU. And while he’s not quite as highly profiled as, let’s say, Ohio State’s Nick Bosa or Clemson’s Clelin Ferrell, there’s a strong reason why the 49ers might be enticed to consider him in the second round.
The Niners could use their first pick on an interior defender. One name commonly mentioned is Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams, who is widely viewed the second best prospect in this year’s class behind Bosa. Such a move would beef up an already good defensive line, but it would leave the edge-rushing spot open for improvement.
That’s where Banoga would come into play.
Banoga needs some polish. He doesn’t have the most varied pass-rushing moves and can often get pushed behind the pocket — something the 49ers suffered with former outside linebacker Corey Lemonier quite often.
But if Banoga tests well at the combine, he should at least give John Lynch some additional options if a true EDGE doesn’t wind up being his first choice on draft day.