49ers debate desk: What position should be addressed in Round 2 of the NFL Draft

Commissioner Roger Goodell names a pick by the San Francisco 49ers during the 2016 NFL Draft (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
Commissioner Roger Goodell names a pick by the San Francisco 49ers during the 2016 NFL Draft (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images) /

The San Francisco 49ers could go one of many different directions with their top pick in Round 2 of the NFL Draft, and Niner Noise breaks down each positional choice and why it would make sense.

Barring a trade down, the San Francisco 49ers are highly likely to grab either Ohio State EDGE Nick Bosa, Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams or Kentucky EDGE Josh Allen with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

Those are the best three prospects in this year’s class, and either one would provide a much-needed boost to a Niners defense needing a lot of help heading into summer.

Things get a bit more provocative, position-wise, in Round 2, however.

General manager John Lynch owns the No. 36 overall pick, the fourth selection in the second round. The first five picks, or so, can be relatively easy to predict. But as the draft rolls along, it’s going to be exceptionally difficult to gauge what Lynch does in Round 2.

Grabbing the best player available is never a bad idea. Yet positional needs work their way into the equation a bit more in the middle rounds, so San Francisco’s second pick in the NFL Draft should reflect this to an extent.

So, what should be the position Lynch and the 49ers address? Let’s look at all the possibilities and ask you, the fans, what should be the priority target.

Wide Receiver

This year’s crop of wide receivers is deep, at least towards the top, yet more than a few should slip into Round 2. After the Niners endured a season in which no wideout reached 500 receiving yards, grabbing an up-and-coming pass catcher should be a top priority.

Especially if a savvy route runner with some red-zone prowess is available at No. 2 overall.

For what it’s worth, San Francisco is meeting with Ole Miss’ A.J. Brown and South Carolina’s Deebo Samuel, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. Both could be available early in the second round.


The 49ers would like to upgrade their free safety spot, as Adrian Colbert and Jimmie Ward may not be long-term answers. Yes, there’s depth here, but the team’s Cover 3 defense needs a rangy center-fielder with excellent sideline-to-sideline skills.

Thankfully, there are a lot of those kinds of safeties in this year’s NFL Draft. And many of them are bunched up on the fringes of Rounds 1 and 2.

Should San Francisco have its eyes on one or two of them, tabling the wide receiver needs until later rounds would make some sense.


Speaking of that secondary, Pro Football Focus ranked the Niners’ defensive backfield dead last in 2018. While there’s at least some proven depth at safety, one could argue cornerback is more pressing an issue.

The veteran, Richard Sherman, just turned 31 years old. Fellow corner Jason Verrett has been injured the better part of his pro career, and there’s more than a couple of question marks surrounding younger corners Ahkello Witherspoon and Tarvarius Moore.

The NFL Draft isn’t as deep at cornerback as it as at the aforementioned positions, so would it be totally shocking to see this position addressed at No. 36 overall?


Fred Warner and Kwon Alexander are slated to start at the MIKE and WILL linebacker spots, respectively. As far as SAM, it’s anyone’s guess. The 49ers have some depth here, yes. But there isn’t exactly a shoo-in option or favored candidate.

Like cornerback, there aren’t too many linebackers worth going after in the middle rounds of the draft.

One could argue Warner and Alexander’s presence helps negate this need a bit. But if one of the top prospects at linebacker is still sitting there early in Round 2, you can’t rule it out.

Offensive Line

It’s not the sexy pick. But the 49ers could stand for some upgrades and reinforcements up front along the offensive line. Left tackle Joe Staley turns 35 years old before the regular season, while both interior linemen, Weston Richburg and Laken Tomlinson, are coming off 2018 knee injuries.

PFF ranked San Francisco’s O-line 15th overall last season, although you’d like to see that better after all those investments last year.

Unlike linebacker and cornerback, there are a good deal of quality offensive linemen in the NFL Draft this year, both inside and outside. As far as starting-caliber players go, targeting one in Round 2 could be a smart, smart move over the long run.

What about you, Niners fans? What position do you think needs to be addressed the most by the 49ers in Round 2?

It’s possible an edge rusher winds up being the pick in Round 2 as well, particularly if the Niners wind up grabbing Williams with their top pick.

A number of pass-rushers could fall into those early second-round picks, so don’t rule that out.

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Now, we want you to be a part of the discussion. Chime in on the comments section below, explaining why you think the 49ers should grab the position you suggest.