San Francisco 49ers: Top 5 NFL draft targets after free agency moves

Quarterback Trey Lance #5 of the North Dakota State Bison (Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images)
Quarterback Trey Lance #5 of the North Dakota State Bison (Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images) /
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Patrick Surtain II, Alabama Crimson Tide, NFL Draft
University of Alabama’s Patrick Surtain II (2) Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

player. 829. . Cornerback. Crimson Tide . Patrick Surtain II. 1

49ers NFL Draft Target No. 1: Cornerback Patrick Surtain II, Alabama

Yes, Caleb Farley could be in play for the Niners at No. 12 overall. And there’s a lot to like about his game, particularly that 6-foot-2 and 207-pound frame looking natural and fluid in motion, indicative of a true shutdown cornerback at the pro level.

But Farley sat out all of 2020, and the 2018 and 2019 seasons are the last bits of game tape on him. And he essentially didn’t stand out as a top NFL Draft pick until 2019, prompting some minor questions whether or not he’ll live up to his lofty expectations.

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If San Francisco wants a much more surefire plug-and-play cornerback with plenty of experience, Patrick Surtain II is the name.

Surtain, a three-year starter for Alabama, is probably the more pro-ready of all three corners suggested to go in Round 1 of the draft this year. And like Farley, Surtain’s 6-foot-2, 202-pound frame typifies what the 49ers have done with their boundary cornerbacks under now-New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh.

Even if the Niners retain most of their veteran corners, getting someone like Surtain to play right away and develop into a true CB1 candidate would be, perhaps, the smartest move John Lynch could make when San Francisco’s number is called first this April.

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