No. 1: Deandre Baker, Cornerback, Georgia
There’s really a lot to like about the fit of Georgia cornerback Deandre Baker to the 49ers, and if the team trades up (or down) to the late teens or so, I would not be shocked to see him targeted heavily.
The 49ers run a defensive scheme where the secondary needs to learn how to play in zone coverage. Baker is an expert in zone coverage, having played it as a star of the Georgia defense.
But it doesn’t stop there, Baker can play in pretty much any defensive scheme. He has good length and decent size, plays well against the run and can even play as a nickel corner. He has solid versatility, and great potential in the 49ers scheme.
He does have some flags, however, in his play, which is why he probably won’t be picked in the top 10. He isn’t an exceptional athlete, and has been beaten by sheer speed before. This shouldn’t be so bad with good safety help over the top, however, as well as being asked to play more zone as opposed to man coverage.
The Niners could very well make multiple selections on both the defensive line and the secondary, depending on how free agency goes. But due to the various potential signings for the front four in the free agency pool, I would consider it more likely the 49ers make a splash there and address the secondary in the draft.
There’s a lot of possibilities for the 49ers if they choose to trade up. It goes against what people will expect, but the team has demonstrated they will make choices and selections that nobody sees coming.
There’s definitely some intriguing prospects to be had in the back of the first round, and it should not be ruled out that the 49ers feel the same.