49ers mock NFL Draft 2021 using only small-school players

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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Robert Rochell, Central Arkansas
American defensive back Robert Rochell of Central Arkansas (23) Mandatory Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports /

Round 4, Pick No. 111 Overall (via Bengals): 49ers select cornerback Robert Rochell, Central Arkansas

Up to this point, San Francisco hasn’t done anything to address its defense. And even while many of the mocked small-school prospects have fit specific needs, it would be foolish to assume the 49ers would pass on a cornerback.

Especially with the veteran, Richard Sherman, already gone and fellow corners Jason Verrett and K’Waun Williams back solely on one-year deals.

To make sure they get their guy, the Niners engineer a Round 4 trade with the Cincinnati Bengals by moving the Nos. 117 and 155 overall picks to Cincy in exchange for the No. 111 overall pick.

With that in hand, San Francisco grabs Central Arkansas cornerback Robert Rochell.

At 6-foot-0 and 193 pounds, Rochell has a solid body type for a boundary corner and became a full-time starter his sophomore year before truly breaking out as a junior in 2019 with 44 tackles and 13 pass breakups. And over the course of his collegiate career, he also logged 12 interceptions, and a team like the 49ers would appreciate a new ballhawk.

Rochell has some ranginess to his game paired with the ability to thrive in a zone-style system. With his lanky build, the Niners could potentially be getting a Week 1 starter early on day three of the draft.

That’d be a steal.