The 49ers get their final pick in the 2019 NFL Draft off a compensatory selection (linebacker Aaron Lynch), and they use it simply to reinforce a position that suffered a ton of attrition last year: safety.
Yes, San Francisco already grabbed Nasir Adderley in this mock. But considering the Niners used seven different safeties over the course of last season, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to have more help on the back end.
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LSU has a long history of producing top-quality defensive backs. And while he’s nowhere near the caliber of players the Tigers are sending out earlier in this year’s draft, defensive back John Battle would be a nice addition to round out the 49ers picks.
Battle, at 6-foot-0 and 200 pounds, managed to be a three-year starter and finished on a high note his senior year, logging three interceptions and two passes broken up. Plus, LSU used a lot of the single-high safety scheme the 49ers employ with their free safety. It wouldn’t be too much of an adjustment for Battle, who appeared to handle the role well.
While Battle does have some questionable reaction skills, his speed does show up on film. That’s important in that single-high system.
Plus, if the Niners are merely looking to add depth, Battle would be a wise choice to help out in such a role.
The 2019 NFL Draft kicks off on Thursday, April 25 from Nashville, Tennessee.