Niner Noise scours some recent 2024 NFL Draft mocks to see which prospect the 49ers are most likely to grab with their top pick.
San Francisco 49ers fans have likely been pretty bored in Round 1 of the NFL Draft the last two years.
In retrospect, they certainly would have preferred otherwise, considering those picks were part of the massive package used to trade up and land now-Dallas Cowboys quarterback Trey Lance back in the 2021 draft.
With that aggressive move a collosal failure, the Niners front office can nevertheless look at their current roster and realize it wasn't a disaster. San Francisco is still very much a Super Bowl team.
If that stays true, the Lance whiff won't hurt nearly as bad.
Regardless, barring some sort of blockbuster trade by the 49ers between now and the draft this upcoming April, general manager John Lynch and Co. will have a first-round pick at their disposal, one that'll likely hit late in the round based on where the Niners are expected to finish the season (No. 32 overall, hopefully).
So, which prospects are being linked to San Francisco in some of the recent mock drafts out there?
Let's accumulate what's out there right now.
Kyle Stackpole and Staff, CBS Sports: 49ers select WR Malachi Corley, Western Kentucky (No. 32 overall)
"I love Malachi [Corley]'s physicality. I like the idea that you can run a slant with him, give him the ball and let him do the rest and take some of the miles off of Deebo [Samuel] if that's what you wanna do."- Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports
This move would likely indicate not only reinforcements to lessen the load on Samuel, but it would also point to the possibility/probability that the 49ers are unable to re-sign fellow wideout Brandon Aiyuk after his 2024 fifth-year campaign.
Ian Valentino, Pro Football Network: 49ers select Edge Bralen Trice, Washington
"Bralen Trice brings a grown man frame and skill set to the dinner table. He’s a powerful defensive end who displaces offensive tackles with a fantastic combination of length and explosiveness. The Huskies product stands out in a class of smaller, shiftier rushers."- Ian Valentino
The Niners are already paying All-Pro edge Nick Bosa more money than any other defensive player is getting in the NFL, meaning a No. 2 pass-rusher has to be on the cheap.
With second-year edge Drake Jackson yet to hit a stride, getting another pass-rusher to bolster the defense would make a lot of sense.
Sayre Bedinger, NFL Spin Zone: 49ers select LB Smael Mondon Jr., Georgia
"The San Francisco 49ers would be wise to dip their toes into the trade market at the 2023 NFL trade deadline, or perhaps look to trade this pick for a proven veteran player. Right? This team doesn't miss, either way, when it comes to the players they've been adding. They could trade this pick for a proven veteran player, or they could get a player whose name is pronounced "smile"."- Sayre Bedinger
It might seem strange for San Francisco to grab an off-ball linebacker with All-Pro Fred Warner present and fellow backer Dre Greenlaw alongside him. Plus, the 49ers used two picks in last year's draft on Dee Winters and Jalen Graham.
Yet the Niners have a history of making strong positions even stronger, and it could happen again here.
The takeaway, though? San Francisco has playmakers already at each position selected, making almost any pick a luxury one.
Weird how no one felt an offensive lineman would be a priority.