San Francisco 49ers: Ranking 5 best moves from 2020 offseason

Javon Kinlaw, South Carolina Gamecocks (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)
Javon Kinlaw, South Carolina Gamecocks (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) /
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Brandon Aiyuk, Arizona State Sun Devils, 49ers
Brandon Aiyuk, Arizona State Sun Devils (Photo by Kent Horner/Getty Images) /

No. 4: Filling 49ers’ two biggest holes on the roster

With the departures of defensive tackle DeForest Buckner and wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders from the team, the Niners needed to find replacements quickly.

An elite defensive line across the board is essential for the 49ers defense, while wide receiver was arguably the single biggest need across the board.

Some teams made absolutely baffling selections in the draft as usual, but San Francisco made smart decisions to plug both of these holes.

As mention, Kinlaw was drafted at No. 14 and will replace the void left by Buckner’s trade. He’s a little stouter and stronger than Buckner is but has the speed of a quick tackle as well.

Replacing Buckner is not easy, but Kinlaw has the tools and hunger needed to make an immediate impact.

The 49ers weren’t done either, with wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk being picked up at No. 25 after the Niners flipped their No. 31 selection and the pick from the trade down with Tampa Bay to the Minnesota Vikings.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan loves his receivers who make plays after the catch, and there was nobody better than Aiyuk in college football last year. He has very similar attributes to the versatile Deebo Samuel, who burst onto the NFL scene last season.

Aiyuk can contribute from Week 1, the same as Kinlaw. The 49ers did well to address weaknesses on both sides of the ball.

As a bonus, the team also drafted Jauan Jennings, a tall receiver who has intriguing potential as a red-zone receiver.