49ers final 7-round mock NFL Draft ahead of 2021 free agency
By Peter Panacy
Round 3, Pick No. 102 Overall (Compensatory): 49ers select EDGE Patrick Jones II, Pittsburgh
Unlike the 2019 NFL Draft when the 49ers selected the best-ranked player in that year’s class, EDGE Nick Bosa, the 2021 draft doesn’t exactly have a lot of safe-bet edge rushers who’ll be bona fide contributors at the pro level.
In short, every outside pass-rusher in this year’s class comes with some major question marks. There’s no Bosa-like player even in Round 1.
Nevertheless, there are players with some solid upside, and Pittsburgh’s Patrick Jones II is a quality target on day two of the draft, particularly if he falls into the Niners’ collective lap with their third-round compensatory selection.
Jones, 6-foot-5 and 260 pounds, checks off all the boxes, physically. And with 17.5 sacks split between his final two years in college, one can see how the production is there, too.
San Francisco’s uncertainty with fellow EDGE Dee Ford, who can’t be made a cap casualty because of an injury guarantee worked into his contract, mandates the need to get another cheaper option to pair with Bosa.
If Jones is able to work into the rotation even as only a rotational pass-rusher, it would be a solid boost to a unit that was formidable in 2019 and not so much because of injuries last season.