49ers land dream target in NFL.com's post-free agency mock draft

The Niners focused on their defensive line in free agency, but NFL.com suggests they'll do the same again in their latest mock draft.

Penn State edge Chop Robinson (44)
Penn State edge Chop Robinson (44) / Scott Taetsch/GettyImages

Despite adding veteran pass-rushers in free agency, the 49ers will also grab a prospect edge in Round 1 of the NFL Draft, according to this NFL.com analyst.

If you've followed the San Francisco 49ers over the last few seasons, at least from the time general manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan took over in 2017 (perhaps even the two seasons before), you'll know that the Niners frequently spend capital on their defensive line.

This was made evident once again in free agency 2024. Despite losses of notable defensive linemen like Arik Armstead and Chase Young via free agency, Lynch and Co. onboarded replacements like Maliek Collins, Jordan Elliott, Yetur Gross-Matos and Leonard Floyd.

According to a recent mock by NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah, that trend will continue in Round 1 of the 2024 NFL Draft.

It also suggests a situation where San Francisco lucks out by drafting the best player available at No. 31 overall.

NFL.com post-free agency mock has 49ers drafting DE Chop Robinson

Gross-Matos and Floyd are potentially the immediate-impact edge rushers who'll support star players like edge Nick Bosa, and that has been an endeavor by the 49ers on a year-to-year basis since Lynch and Shanahan took over.

According to Jeremiah's latest mock after the opening wave of free agency, the Niners grab a prospect whom they believe will finally be that long-term answer.

Penn State edge Chop Robinson:

"The 49ers signed Leonard Floyd and Yetur Gross-Matos to join Nick Bosa, but they love to have a deep rotation of pass rushers to keep players fresh. Robinson has the best get-off in the class and that’s the hallmark of a Kris Kocurek-coached defensive line."

The former Maryland transfer picked up 20 sacks over his three collegiate seasons, including 7.5 a year ago for the Nittany Lions.

At 6-foot-3 and 240 pounds, Robinson dominated the NFL Scouting Combine and ran a sub-4.5 40-yard time, which suggests he will be long gone by the time San Francisco is on the clock late in Round 1.

However, as Jeremiah pointed out, drafts never pan out the way people think, and plenty of top-end prospects end up slipping for reasons that don't always make sense.

In this particular case, Robinson slipping to No. 31 overall would be a dream scenario for Lynch and Co. Not only would the 49ers be landing a long-term need, but they'd also be getting the best player available in this scenario.

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