No. 1 player 49ers should have drafted: S Nick Cross, Maryland
Hey, another player San Francisco could have had if it elected to spend its first of two third-round picks on someone other than Tyrion Davis-Price.
Hopefully, Davis-Price doesn’t wear that distinction negatively and won’t be the brunt of criticisms about it, but this illustrates the point: The 49ers had plenty of chances to land impact talent with that selection.
One of them was a surefire gift, Maryland safety Nick Cross, who was regularly mocked to the Niners as early as Round 2 at No. 61 overall. And if they had gone with Cross at that point instead of USC EDGE Drake Jackson, it’s likely few would have complained. The rangy, hard-hitting Cross could have easily filled the void left by safety Jaquiski Tartt when he hit the free-agent market and potentially would have allowed San Francisco to bump the aging free safety, Jimmie Ward, down into an in-the-box role.
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Yet Cross was right there at No. 93 overall for the taking.
The 49ers passed, though, grabbing Davis-Price. Instead, the Indianapolis Colts had to be dumbfounded Cross fell that far, happily grabbing him at No. 96 overall.
Let’s hope the Niners don’t regret that in due time.