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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Cooper DeJean
2023 Big Ten Championship - Iowa v Michigan / Michael Hickey/GettyImages

49. . Iowa. 25. . Cornerback/Safety. 25. Cooper DeJean. Cooper DeJean. player

The Green Bay Packers traded cornerback Rasul Douglas while safety Darnell Savage left in free agency, so they need some upgrades in the secondary.

Cooper DeJean is a versatile defensive back prospect who can play almost any position.

DeJean had two interceptions and five passes defended for Iowa before injury ended his season, but he was on his way to backing up his 2022 campaign where he had five interceptions and eight passes defended. His versatility is on display, but probably projects best as a nickel or a safety at the next level.

There's no doubting the ball skills of DeJean or his capabilities as a run defender. He's an excellent zone-coverage cornerback, but there are some concerns with man coverage as he can find himself in tricky situations with his back to the ball where he panics.

Those concerns aside, DeJean looks a good choice for a team looking for a versatile defensive back who can make plays on the ball.

The question is whether or not that aggressiveness can be curbed.

26. 48. 26. Center/Guard. Jackson Powers-Johnson. player. . Jackson Powers-Johnson. . Oregon

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will need to improve their blocking on the interior in 2024 if they hope to back up their 2023 season which included a surprise playoff win.

Jackson Powers-Johnson is the best pure interior lineman in the draft.

Powers-Johnson is a NFL-ready center who can make his mark in Week 1. He's already an excellent size at 6-foot-3 and 328 pounds, an excellent athlete and possesses good technique with his hands, which allows him to beat defenders to the punch.

While Powers-Johnson doesn't possess the length to move outside of center or guard, he's an excellent fit especially for a zone-based system and plays with an impressive physicality.

He isn't the sexiest pick in the draft, but he's a safe pick to be a strong NFL starter for the long term.

27. . Laiatu Latu. 27. . EDGE. UCLA. player. Laiatu Latu. 32

The Cardinals had a better pass rush than most expected them to in 2023, but they still lack that special talent at EDGE to give them a truly strong defense.

Laiatu Latu is an exciting prospect, albeit with some big concerns.

If this was a question of talent, Latu would be going in the teens at the absolute latest and could even push Dallas Turner to be the first EDGE off the board. Latu is a special story, coming back from a neck injury where he was told he had to end his career at Washington.

Latu refused to do so, transferring to UCLA where he got medical clearance to resume playing.

Teams do have medical concerns over his neck, however, which could see a serious slide for Latu that could surprise people. Latu's talent wins out here, though, after 13 sacks, two interceptions, two passes batted and two forced fumbles for the Bruins in 2023.

Latu will be one of the prospects where his draft range is extremely fluid. Will someone higher in the draft feel he's worth the risk? Will he fall to Round 2?

It's impossible to say.