SF 49ers NFL Draft: 5 prospects to watch in 2021 CFB Playoff

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Tyreke Smith, Ohio State Buckeyes

Tyreke Smith #11 of the Ohio State Buckeyes (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

SF 49ers NFL Draft Target No. 4: EDGE Tyreke Smith, Ohio State


Tyreek Smith

EDGE, Buckeyes

Injuries and cap concerns could make another player who was absent for almost all of 2020 an excess commodity, EDGE Dee Ford.

The SF 49ers already have one prolific pass-rusher, Nick Bosa, recovering from a torn ACL suffered early last year. Behind him, EDGE Kerry Hyder is poised to hit free agency and could have priced himself out of the Niners’ comfort range after recording a career-high 8.5 sacks.

Either way, some pass-rushing depth is going to be a clear need.

Unlike the last two seasons, the 2021 NFL Draft isn’t going to be deep with outside edge rushers. But if San Francisco wants a project player to look at who has all the intangibles to be successful at the pro level, Ohio State EDGE Tyreek Smith could be a name to watch.

Smith, 6-foot-4 and 267 pounds, looks the part for an elite-level edge rusher. And the Buckeyes have a pretty strong tradition producing top talent in this department, Bosa being a great example.

But Smith has been more of a supplementary piece, notching only one sack this season and only four over his three-year collegiate career.

If Smith delivers during the CFB Playoff and looks impressive enough, however, the SF 49ers may want to consider using a day-three flier to bolster their pass-rushing depth, as this crop of players looks to be awfully thin next season.

Especially if Ford remains out of the picture.

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