San Francisco 49ers: 5 Round 1 prospect targets in 2020 NFL Draft

Paulson Adebo #11 of the Stanford Cardinal (Photo by David Madison/Getty Images)
Paulson Adebo #11 of the Stanford Cardinal (Photo by David Madison/Getty Images) /
2 of 6
Carlos Basham Jr., Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Carlos Basham Jr. #9 of the Wake Forest Demon Deacons (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /

. EDGE. Demon Deacons . Carlos Basham Jr.. 5. player. 889

49ers NFL Draft Target No. 5: EDGE Carlos Basham Jr.

If San Francisco goes with another defensive lineman in Round 1, you will…

Well, there’s a reason why John Lynch could keep this trend of selecting D-linemen in the first round again into 2021, and that’s the very real possibility the 49ers have to make veteran EDGE Dee Ford a cap casualty next year.

Ford is going to count for up to $17.6 million against the cap next season, and the cap-stressed Niners probably can’t afford that with the salary cap potentially dropping as low as $175 million.

And with fellow EDGE Nick Bosa still on his rookie contract, it makes sense to bolster the pass rush without having to spend top dollar on the unit just yet.

Wake Forest EDGE Carlos Basham Jr. isn’t the most explosive pass-rusher in next year’s class, although his 10 sacks and 18 tackles for a loss from 2019 sure are promising. And the 6-foot-5, 275-pound defender is equally adept at guarding against both the run and pass, making him a three-down player who could easily see much more of the field than Ford did a season ago.

The 49ers have made their defensive line a top priority in the Lynch and Kyle Shanahan era, and it’s not impossible to think another first-round lineman could end up going this route once more to San Francisco.