SF 49ers: 3 dark-horse targets for first pick in 2021 NFL Draft
On the surface, linebacker is not the biggest need for San Francisco. It’s certainly true as well, as the team has the talented Dre Greenlaw and All-Pro Fred Warner at the position.
But with the No. 12 pick simply a prime position to take a prospect that falls, linebacker Micah Parsons might be too good to pass up should he slide to the 49ers pick and provide a chance for the team to complete an elite trio of linebackers.
Would Parsons fall to No. 12? It’s hard to say. Current Arizona Cardinals linebacker Isaiah Simmons fell to No. 8 overall despite arguably being the best defensive prospect not named Chase Young, and Parsons isn’t quite the same caliber of prospect Simmons is. It’s possible, to say the least.
The big question is character. Parsons is not a criminal by any means, but there are concerns about his character as he was accusing of taking part in hazing at Penn State. As a result of this, some mock drafts have Parsons falling into the teens of the first round.
As a result, Parsons is way too good of a prospect not to put here. He didn’t play in 2020 as he chose to opt out, but in 2019 he had 109 tackles, 14.0 tackles for loss, five sacks and five pass deflections. He can play both as a blitzing linebacker, as well as in coverage. He has the sideline-to-sideline potential, not unlike Warner has.
This is a bit of a risky pick for the team and doesn’t fill the biggest need. But for sheer talent, it’s hard to pass up on how Parsons could fit into the defense for San Francisco.