5 offensive NFL Draft prospects 49ers must have atop big board

Running back Breece Hall #28 of the Iowa State Cyclones (Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images)
Running back Breece Hall #28 of the Iowa State Cyclones (Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images) /
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Christian Watson, North Dakota State Bison
National Squad wide receiver Christian Watson of North Dakota State (1) Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports /

No. 1 player on 49ers NFL Draft big board: WR Christian Watson, North Dakota State

The top player on any big board should be one a team has little chance at grabbing. It’s time to think greedy. After all, it’s a big board. Not a mock draft.

Kyle Shanahan would have an awfully tough time passing on Trey Lance’s former teammate at North Dakota State, wide receiver Christian Watson, if he somehow inexplicably fell to the Niners at No. 61. Heck, after Watson dazzled during the 2022 Senior Bowl and then again at the scouting combine, running a 4.36 40-yard time in the process, it wouldn’t be shocking if the 6-foot-4, 208-pound wideout ended up being selected in Round 1.

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San Francisco already tipped its hand with the knowledge it likes North Dakota State’s pro-style offense, so the fit is there. And Watson’s seven touchdowns and 800 yards on 43 catches last year suggest the production can be there, too.

Sure, the 49ers already have their two starting wide receivers slated for 2022, Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk.

But adding a big-bodied pass-catcher like Watson, especially given his prior chemistry with Lance, would add another level of potency to the Niners offense it hasn’t yet seen with Shanahan at the helm.

Again, it might be something of a luxury pick, given the needs along the offensive line.

However, if he’s there, Watson might be too good to pass up.

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