49ers 7-round mock NFL Draft with Super Bowl 56 in the books

Commissioner Roger Goodell (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
Commissioner Roger Goodell (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images) /
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Marcus Jones, Houston Cougars
Houston Cougars cornerback Marcus Jones (8) Mandatory Credit: Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports /

player. 881. . Cornerback. Cougars . Marcus Jones. 101

Round 3, Pick No. 101 Overall (Compensatory): CB Marcus Jones, Houston

It would seem more fitting for San Francisco to use the compensatory selection gained by Mike McDaniel going to Miami on an offensive player than on a defensive one.

But with the 49ers still having vast needs for both the secondary and in the return game on special teams, it’s no time to reach and get creative on that other side of the ball.

In selecting Houston cornerback Marcus Jones, the Niners do a bit of both.

From the defensive vantage point, Jones can double as a nickel coverage back, potentially reinforcing the previously selected Jalen Pitre, should he play adequately enough as a boundary corner.

Yet the bigger return would be, well… the return game.

Jones, 5-foot-8 and 185 pounds, was electrifying as a return specialist for Houston last season, netting 510 kick-return yards and two touchdowns, those figures going along with 374 punt-return yards and another two scores there, too.

San Francisco has struggled to identify a quality return specialist in recent years, and it’s time the team fully invests some draft assets to shore up one of the major weaknesses on the roster.