Niner Noise takes a look around the league to see who the experts are pegging to the San Francisco 49ers in their latest mock NFL Drafts for 2019.
There are only so many ways you can go with the No. 2 overall pick in the NFL Draft, and the San Francisco 49ers won’t have too many choices when their number is called this April.
Especially if the top-drafting Arizona Cardinals wind up following speculation and take Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray at No. 1 overall.
General manager John Lynch could trade down, of course, yet there’s also a good deal of speculation he’ll stay put and grab one of the two best players from this year’s draft class.
A mock draft is always a bit funny before free agency kicks off, as it’s hard to truly gauge a team’s needs before that settles. For San Francisco, however, even free agency won’t likely change what the team does at No. 2.
With that as a backdrop, what are the experts around the league saying about the Niners’ pending actions, and who are they mocking to the team with this heralded pick?
Let’s take a look in this mock draft roundup.
Chad Reuter, NFL.com: EDGE Nick Bosa, Ohio State
"Bosa wasn’t the best athlete at the combine (though he showed real quickness), but he still is the best football player in the class."
Todd McShay, ESPN: EDGE Nick Bosa, Ohio State
"The Niners will be hunting for pass-rushers this offseason, and getting the best overall player in the class at No. 2 would be a fantastic start. Bosa has length, speed and power from the edge, and it’s fathomable that the Buckeye paces San Francisco’s defensive line in sacks as a rookie. He’s that good."
Mel Kiper, ESPN: EDGE Josh Allen, Kentucky
"If the Niners don’t trade down to add more picks, I expect them to take an edge rusher here. And Allen (6-5, 250) is just a step behind Bosa on my board. Two former first-round picks along the defensive line (Arik Armstead and Solomon Thomas) have struggled in San Francisco, but neither has the pure pass-rushing ability of Allen, who had 17 sacks and five forced fumbles last season. Allen would fill a glaring need."
Will Brinson, CBS Sports: EDGE Nick Bosa, Ohio State
"Talk about a DREAM scenario for the 49ers. No one loves all this business about Kyler going No. 1 overall more than San Francisco, which needs edge help and would have it fall in its lap here."
Matt Miller, Bleacher Report: EDGE Nick Bosa, Ohio State
"Nick Bosa is the top overall player on my big board. He’s powerful, explosive, technically sound and productive coming out of Ohio State. Yes, he missed much of this past season with a core muscle injury, but he showed in Indianapolis that he’s back to being the dominant pass-rusher we came to expect."
Steve Palazzolo, Pro Football Focus: Defensive Tackle Quinnen Williams, Alabama
"The best player in the nation in 2018, Williams emerged as a dominant interior presence that can disrupt both the pass and the run games. He had the nation’s No. 2 pass-rush grade to go with the No. 1 mark against the run, and he adds a difference-maker as the 49ers continue to develop their defensive front."
Luke Easterling, The Draft Wire: EDGE Nick Bosa, Ohio State
"Any scenario that leaves Bosa on the board for the 49ers would be a dream scenario for general manager John Lynch and his crew. Getting the top overall prospect in the draft any later than the No. 1 overall pick is a steal, and it just happens to fill San Francisco’s biggest need."
Brad Weiss, FanSided: EDGE Nick Bosa, Ohio State
"If they do stay at No. 2 overall, they have to do something to address the pass rush, and Nick Bosa from Ohio State is considered the best of the bunch in this draft class. Bosa had a dominant career at Ohio State when healthy, and now that he decided to sit out the end of his last season with the Buckeyes, he appears to be just that heading into the draft."
Well, it sure seems like Ohio State EDGE Nick Bosa is the consensus pick to San Francisco in this year’s draft. After all, Bosa ended up being Niner Noise’s own selection in our latest 49ers mock, too.
Of course, this mostly hinges on the Cardinals taking Murray. Although Brinson’s mock for CBS Sports had the Oakland Raiders moving up to No. 1 overall, taking Murray at that spot.
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With the Raiders quarterback, Derek Carr, having his fully guaranteed 2019 salary going into effect already, though, it doesn’t seem likely that happens. But Oakland hasn’t exactly followed script since head coach Jon Gruden took over a year ago. Either way, Murray going No. 1 all but solidifies the top chances of the 49ers going with Bosa.
Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams and Kentucky EDGE Josh Allen have also been thrown around in the discussion for San Francisco’s top pick. This would presumably be possible if the Cardinals’ courtship of Murray was a mere “smoke and mirrors” campaign, and they grabbed Bosa instead.
Williams is clearly the second best prospect behind Bosa, and some may argue he’s even better than the Ohio State pass-rusher. But the Niners’ first-round draft additions to the defensive line interior the past four years could negate such a move here, opening up the door for talk of drafting Allen instead.
Regardless, it sure seems as if Bosa winds up donning a 49ers uniform in 2019, and we’ll know for certain when the 2019 NFL Draft kicks off on Thursday, April 25.