49ers mock draft and free agency: Predicting the 2020 NFL offseason

Head coach Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers and general manager John Lynch (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Head coach Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers and general manager John Lynch (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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49ers, free agency, mock draft, 2020 offseason, Buckner trade
Delanie Walker #46 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

Free agents the 49ers should target

If the Niners lose starting wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders in free agency, Lynch and Shanahan are likely to spend one of their first-round picks on a potential stud wideout. But even if San Francisco is fortunate enough to grab an elite talent early in the draft, the 49ers will still need a receiver with experience to start across from top wideout Deebo Samuel.

WR Breshad Perriman

Once considered a first-round bust with the Baltimore Ravens, wide receiver Breshad Perriman came into his own during his fourth NFL season — and with his third NFL team. At 6-foot-2 and 216 pounds, Perriman looks the part, especially when he’s showing off his 4.35-second 40-yard-dash speed.

Perriman played his best football last year with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, particularly at the end of the season, when injuries thrust him into a starting role. Perriman started each of the Bucs’ final three games, and logged over 100 receiving yards in each matchup, in addition to a total of four touchdown receptions.

WR Robby Anderson

Former New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson has the skills to be one of the NFL’s better receivers. However, questions remain about his character and his disturbing “off-field antics.”

Anderson wants a big pay-day — in excess of $10 million per year — but has found little interest in his services at that cost. If his asking price comes down to reasonable levels, the 49ers would be wise to kick the tires on the home run threat, provided he demonstrates an increased level of maturity compared to his younger days.

WR Taylor Gabriel

The word on the street is Shanahan loves to sign players who played for him in the past. Although I don’t necessarily recommend a reunion for former Chicago Bears wide receiver Taylor Gabriel and San Francisco’s head coach (see: WR Aldrick Robinson), it would be surprising if Shanahan lacks an interest in bringing the veteran wideout to the Bay Area.

Taylor’s best season in his six-year NFL career was in 2016 with Shanahan and the Atlanta Falcons, as the wideout tallied 630 yards from scrimmage and seven touchdowns on just a third of the team’s offensive snaps. Although he doesn’t have the upside of Anderson or Perriman, he would come at a fraction of the price.

TE Delanie Walker

Former 49ers tight end Delanie Walker isn’t a wideout, but he is a veteran receiver who could provide leadership and another viable target at TE for quarterback Jimmie Garoppolo. San Francisco is also light at the tight end position due to Garrett Celek‘s retirement and yesterday’s signing of Levine Toilolo by the New York Giants.

After six years in San Francisco, Walker signed with the Tennessee Titans, where he was a Pro-Bowl selection three consecutive years before injuries derailed his final two seasons in Tennessee — so the Niners should be able to sign him on the cheap. If Walker is healthy again, Shanahan could have the secondary receiving option at tight end he’s been longing for ever since the 49ers wasted $8 million for the opportunity to trade TE Vance McDonald and an early fifth-round pick for a late fourth-round selection in the 2018 NFL Draft.