SF Round 5, Pick No. 178 Overall (Compensatory): DL Xavier Kelly, Arkansas
The SF 49ers are expected to get one compensatory pick for the loss of Emmanuel Sanders in free agency, although the official announcement won’t come until the start of the 2021 league new year.
If this is the case, though, look for the Niners to bolster some of their depth up front along the defensive line.
Versatile pieces are always good late in the draft, and that essentially describes Arkansas defensive lineman Xavier Kelly, who transferred over from Clemson after seeing modest action behind a stacked group with the Tigers.
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Much of Kelly’s 2021 draft stock will hinge on how well he blossoms after being a relatively undiscussed piece his first three years in the college ranks. For now, he’s a solid run-stuffing defensive lineman capable of solidifying the depth and potentially replacing nose tackle D.J. Jones, who is also pegged for free agency next year.
At 6-foot-5 and 311 pounds, though, Kelly could be much more of a beast if he works on his pad level and gets lower at the point of attack.
While the Niners still have a well-stocked D-line, getting some depth pieces who can play a variety of positions would be a wise move.