49ers NFL Draft: 3 first-round prospects who could fall into Round 2

Caleb Farley #3 of the Virginia Tech Hokies (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Caleb Farley #3 of the Virginia Tech Hokies (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
1 of 4
Najee Harris, Alabama Crimson Tide
Alabama Crimson Tide running back Najee Harris (22) Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /

The 49ers are hoping some first-round talent in the 2021 NFL Draft winds up slipping deep into the second round.

Each year, there are more than a handful of first-round caliber players who wind up slipping out of Round 1 and into Round 2 of the NFL Draft.

Armed with the No. 43 overall pick in the 2021 draft, the San Francisco 49ers hope again this will be the case after they all but certainly use their first pick, No. 3 overall, on a quarterback.

The Niners’ top pick understandably grabs the vast majority of attention, as a quarterback could potentially be a franchise-changing move. But it’s in Round 2 when the biggest questions about San Francisco’s draft class begin. It’s at that point where general manager John Lynch could go in one of any different direction.

It’s possible the 49ers look at wide receivers in Round 2. Same with one of a handful of top-flight running backs. Cornerbacks and edge rushers could also be on Lynch’s radar.

And Round 1-type players continuing to drop into the second round would certainly shake up Lynch’s initial plans for pick No. 43.

More often than not, somewhere between 30 and 40 players are assigned first-round grades by top NFL Draft analysts. If you expand that criteria to Twitter, the number jumps as much as 60 players who are “guaranteed” to go in Round 1.

Yet with only 32 picks, of course, some first-round talent slipping into Round 2 is going to be inevitable.

An early run on quarterbacks could push plenty of first-round players down into the second round, too, while other teams’ draft plans always thwart most teams’ big boards anyway.

Regardless, the Niners can hope these three players viewed as Round 1 talents slip into Round 2.