49ers trade-up draft target No. 1: EDGE Boye Mafe, Minnesota
If we’ve learned anything from what John Lynch and the Niners have prioritized in recent seasons, we know it’s their defensive line.
Sure, another top pick on a D-lineman might seem redundant, but it’s not without reason. San Francisco needs another prolific pass-rusher to pair with Pro Bowl EDGE Nick Bosa. And even though it’s looking like fellow EDGE Dee Ford will be around for one more season, his lengthy injury history makes it a pipe dream to return for a full season in 2022.
Plus, with Bosa nearing what promises to be a massive extension, the only realistic way to have a formidable one-two pass-rushing duo would be to invest in the NFL Draft now.
Good thing this year’s class has plenty of edge-rushing talent.
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Minnesota EDGE Boye Mafe, who finished his collegiate tenure with seven sacks and 10 tackles for a loss, is about as explosive off the snap as they come, and his 6-foot-4, 261-pound frame screams athleticism, highlighted by his exceptional 4.53 40-yard time at the combine.
Mafe’s workouts pushed him into first-round consideration, and the 49ers may be inclined to target him at the back end of Round 1 anyway, which would require quite the aggressive trade-up.
In doing so, however, they’d generate that fifth-year option, which could be wise to keep him in tandem with Bosa for a long, long time.