Round 3, Pick No. 101 Overall (from Eagles): 49ers select C Luke Fortner, Kentucky
John Lynch hasn’t been shy about draft-day trades, and we’ve already kickstarted this year’s final mock with two, the next in line being a trade-down with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Hey, PFF suggested it in the mock-draft simulator, so we won’t complain. There was a player we had eyes on who’d be available after San Francisco’s original selection at No. 93 overall.
This hypothetical trade has the 49ers trading down a few spots, then landing an additional fourth-round selection at the added cost of a compensatory sixth-round pick.
With that newfound selection and the added value of trading down, the Niners pick up Kentucky center Luke Fortner, a highly intelligent interior offensive lineman who could potentially fill in right away at one of San Francisco’s two guard spots or, if absolutely needed, plug the void at center if veteran Pro Bowler Alex Mack indeed elects to retire, which is the presumed rumor.
The 49ers need to think about replacing Mack anyway, and head coach Kyle Shanahan has long preferred players with experience to lock down this spot on the line.
Taking this approach, the Niners ensure Mack’s eventual departure doesn’t create too much panic.