49ers fill their biggest need in this 1st-round mock NFL Draft

It's draft season, which means it's mock draft season! Niner Noise mocks the first round of the NFL Draft, all 32 picks of it.
NFL Draft
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Breece Hall, Byron Murphy Ii
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19. Texas. player. . . Defensive Tackle. Byron Murphy. 51. Byron Murphy. 19

To the relief of 49ers fans everywhere, Los Angeles Rams All-Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald has finally retired as one of the most dominant defenders in NFL history.

What's a relief to the Niners is a problem for the Rams, however, who need to find a replacement.

Byron Murphy can remind people of Donald in a few ways. He's a bit undersized for the position (6-foot-0, 297 pounds) but is an excellent disruptor at the point of attack, with five sacks for Texas in 2023.

Despite being short for the position, Murphy was also a good run defender for Texas, taking advantage of his natural leverage to penetrate into the backfield and blow up plays. He has a wicked first step, too, and the result is the taller offensive linemen he plays again can have problems with him getting in and under.

Murphy does have concerns, of course, given his size and playing against consistently bigger blockers at the NFL level, but he looks worth taking a first-round pick on.

. Offensive Tackle. player. 20. Taliese Fuaga. 55. . Oklahoma State. Taliese Fuaga. 20

Dan Moore isn't cutting it as a tackle for the Pittsburgh Steelers, and they are looking toward a new future with both quarterbacks Russell Wilson and Justin Fields on the roster.

No matter who the quarterback is, they need more protection.

Taliese Fuaga is an interesting prospect. He's a raw talent with good size (6-foot-6, 324 pounds) but might be more suited to be a right tackle who can also play guard in the NFL. Further to his raw abilities, Fuaga uses his excellent strength to dominate in the run but needs work as a pass protector.

Where Fuaga fits in the NFL will be determined by his development in pass protection. He needs to use his feet and lateral movement better, and he can't rely on size and strength alone to stop edge rushers.

If he does that, he should be a strong right tackle for the NFL.

. Troy Fautanu. . Offensive Tackle/Guard. 21. 59. 21. Washington. Troy Fautanu. player

The Miami Dolphins need to bolster the offensive line, and they're going to have plenty of options come their pick in the first round. Given they need interior help and an understudy to the oft-injured Terron Armstead, Troy Fautanu could be suitable as a guard who can eventually move to right tackle and let Austin Jackson move to the blindside.

Fautanu is a physical and athletic offensive lineman who specializes as a run blocker. He has the versatility, too, with a good size (6-foot-4, 317 pounds) to play either tackle or guard.

Fautanu doesn't have the arm length for the blindside, so he has to make sure he develops his technique further for the NFL. He's a strong player who can get his hands inside and lock up defenders, but he can also be overaggressive and be prone to errors.

Nonetheless, he should be an excellent guard at the very least, and I believe he has what it takes to stick as a tackle.