The San Francisco 49ers only need to go one of a handful of different ways in the 2019 NFL Draft, assuming they stay put. If they trade down, it won’t be for these five players.
OK, so none of us have any clue what the San Francisco 49ers‘ big board for the 2019 NFL Draft looks like.
And if we did, we wouldn’t tell you.
Holding the No. 2 overall pick in April’s draft, general manager John Lynch likely goes one of three directions. He either grabs Ohio State EDGE Nick Bosa if he falls past the Arizona Cardinals at No. 1 overall, takes Kentucky EDGE/SAM linebacker Josh Allen, if Bosa isn’t there, or trades out of the second spot to one of the many teams in need of a quarterback this offseason.
The Niners don’t need a quarterback, of course, meaning any signal-caller within the first five or six rounds is all but off the team’s big board.
We’re not talking about quarterbacks, however. Instead, let’s break down five players San Francisco won’t need to list on its Round 1 priority sheet. Besides, a 49ers first-round big board for the NFL Draft only makes sense if the team trades down from No. 2 overall.
Or, as Niner Noise’s Jeremy Wohlfart suggested, trades back into the late stages of Round 1.
Either way, the 49ers don’t need to target these five prospects on day one of the draft.
Just because a prospect is on this list doesn’t mean he’s a bad player. And in the case of Georgia cornerback Deandre Baker, he’s actually a good player. Probably very good, in fact.
The thing, though, is Baker fills a unique position the Niners don’t necessarily need to address. True, San Francisco’s secondary was problematic in 2018. Yet those issues weren’t experienced at the nickel corner spot. At least nowhere close to the issues at right cornerback and at safety.
The 5-foot-11, 185-pound Baker is best suited for slot duties, preferably in press-man coverage. He doesn’t possess the best recovery speed, which could be problematic in an NFC West division that boasts slot receivers, such as the Los Angeles Rams’ Cooper Kupp and Arizona Cardinals’ Larry Fitzgerald.
It wouldn’t be a total shock to see San Francisco use its first NFL Draft pick on a cornerback.
Just don’t use it on a nickel corner, therefore it crosses a player like Baker off the big-board list.