The 2021 NFL Draft will be interesting, yet the 49ers can already start thinking about some potential targets with their first pick in Round 1.
The San Francisco 49ers are entirely focused on the preparations for the upcoming 2020 season, meaning the 2021 NFL Draft is probably the final thing on the mind of general manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan.
Except it isn’t, because any part of the season is draft season, right?
The 2020 draft was interesting enough amid the COVID-19 pandemic, namely with teams and players going through the selection process all remotely. Yet what ends up happening between now and next year’s NFL Draft could arguably be more challenging. Numerous NCAA conferences have already postponed their 2020 campaigns indefinitely, which could cut into the player pool and will certainly make talent evaluators’ jobs much more difficult. It’s also far too premature to start assuming how next year’s NFL Scouting Combine and individual player workouts with teams will go.
Needless to say, the 2021 NFL Draft is going to be much more of a crapshoot than it normally is under the most challenging of circumstances.
For the Niners, they’re still poised to own a pick in Round 1, followed by at least five more in Rounds 2 through 7. After losing wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders in free agency last offseason, another compensatory pick is likely on its way, too, although in which round has yet to be determined.
But let’s stay focused on that first-round pick at Lynch’s disposal. Assuming San Francisco is back in the playoff hunt again, it’s likely to be from Nos. 19 through 32 overall.
Hopefully the last pick in the round, of course.
At any rate, let’s take a look at five prospects who could be realistic targets for the 49ers, breaking down specifically why Lynch and Co. would be interested.