49ers must target McTelvin Agim in NFL Draft to replace DeForest Buckner
By Robert Smith
While many mock NFL Drafts have the San Francisco 49ers selecting Javon Kinlaw or Derrick Brown with the 13th pick in the draft, Niner Noise focuses this article on the team taking McTelvin Agim in the later rounds instead.
After the San Francisco 49ers parted ways with defensive anchor DeForest Buckner by trading him to the Indianapolis Colts for the 13th pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, many draft experts began mocking South Carolina’s Javon Kinlaw, Auburn’s Derrick Brown or even TCU’s Ross Blacklock to the Niners in Round 1.
And while that certainly could be the case come Thursday, let’s instead project yet another mid-to-late round gem by general manager John Lynch that helps fill the hole left by Buckner’s departure.
Enter Arkansas defensive tackle McTelvin Agim, a converted defensive end who transitioned to the interior for the 2019 season.
In his first full season there, Agim was a constant disruptive force, totaling 8.5 tackles for loss and five sacks in 2019, with 39 total tackles and a forced fumble in 12 starts.
Yes, Buckner’s trade leaves a hole in the center of a dominant defensive front. But with the re-signing of defensive end Arik Armstead, as well as the expected healthy return of both defensive linemen D.J. Jones and Ronald Blair, the team’s most glaring needs are still at wide receiver, cornerback and perhaps along the offensive line.
A strong scenario exists where the Niners take a wideout at No. 13 overall, perhaps one of the two phenomenal Alabama receivers, Jerry Jeudy or Henry Ruggs III. Or they could go with Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb should he fall to them. With the 31st pick, we could see San Francisco trade back with a team like the Colts, picking up the Colts’ pick at No. 34 and also their 122nd pick. That could allow the Niners to take a cornerback (Clemson’s A.J. Terrell or Mississippi State’s Cameron Dantzler for example) with the second-round pick, and use that fourth-round pick to take Agim.
With Agim, Jones, Blair and Armstead, the 49er defensive front would still be a force, and allow the team the freedom to choose a difference maker at receiver or cornerback in the earlier rounds of the draft.
There are countless scenarios that could play out for San Francisco in this year’s draft, and Lynch is undoubtedly exploring all the options available to him. With the team still considered a Super Bowl favorite heading into the 2020 season, this draft could be the difference between finishing the season with a sixth Lombardi Trophy or falling short once again.
Let’s hope as Niner fans that it is the former rather than the latter.