Best players remaining for 49ers after Day 1 of NFL Draft

Will the 49ers be fortunate enough for some top-caliber prospects slipping into the second and third rounds after Day 1 of the 2024 NFL Draft?
Iowa cornerback Cooper DeJean
Iowa cornerback Cooper DeJean / David Berding/GettyImages

The 49ers went with a bit of a luxury pick in Round 1 of the NFL Draft, meaning there are still some key needs to address on Days 2 and 3.

If you were in the camp that thought the San Francisco 49ers would select either an offensive lineman or a cornerback with their first pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, you might be left a little disappointed.

In fact, you might be disappointed even if you thought the Niners would target a wide receiver, which they did.

Florida's Ricky Pearsall wasn't a name linked much at all to San Francisco in the pre-draft process, and it'd be hard to find any mocks or target lists with him named.

Nevertheless, Pearsall was the selection at No. 31 overall.

The trickle-down effect could impact veteran wideouts Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk, who were not dealt during Round 1 of the draft but theoretically could be traded despite the fact the 49ers won't get a 2024 first-round pick in exchange now.

A second-round pick is still possible, and/or the Niners could trade up from their next scheduled pick, No. 63 overall.

Either way, these 10 still-available prospects could be targeted by San Francisco on day two of the draft.

10 best remaining players 49ers may target on Day 2 of 2024 NFL Draft

player. Cooper DeJean. . . . Cooper DeJean. 483. 1. Cornerback. Cooper DeJean

It's a shocker that Iowa cornerback Cooper DeJean fell out of Round 1, and there was a brief report that he was the 49ers' top pick at No. 31.

The Niners still need cornerbacks with Charvarius Ward, Deommodore Lenoir and Isaac Yiadom all hitting free agency in a year. But they'd likely have to aggressively trade up (or trade off a key player) to be in range to grab DeJean.

Kool-Aid McKinstry. Kool-Aid McKinstry. 2. 523. . . Cornerback. player. Kool-Aid McKinstry.

Like DeJean, Alabama's Kool-Aid McKinstry was a bit of a shocker to slip out of Round 1 altogether.

Less versatile than DeJean but potentially more seasoned, McKinstry could also be a trade-up target for San Francisco if he continues to fall.

. . Jer'Zhan Newton. . 3. Defensive tackle. Jer'Zhan Newton. Jer'Zhan Newton. player. 481

The 49ers' run defense was bad last year, especially without defensive tackle Arik Armstead, who was released and is now off to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Can the Niners' offseason acquisitions of Maliek Collins and Jordan Elliott make up the difference?

If that's a stopgap approach, Illinois' Jer'Zhan Newton might be a sleeper target, especially with teams focusing more on edge rushers instead of interior defenders.

. Edgerrin Cooper. player. 535. . Edgerrin Cooper. . Linebacker. Edgerrin Cooper. 4

On the surface, Texas A&M linebacker Edgerrin Cooper seems like a luxury pick for a team like San Francisco, especially with Dre Greenlaw, De'Vondre Campbell and All-Pro Fred Warner in the fray.

But Greenlaw is still working his way back from the torn Achilles suffered in the Super Bowl last February, and there are no guarantees he'll be ready by Week 1. Plus, he's a free agent in 2025, too, meaning another pass-coverage linebacker could be a sneaky priority.

. Ennis Rakestraw Jr.. 5. 531. . player. Ennis Rakestraw Jr.. Cornerback. . Ennis Rakestraw Jr.

Expect the 49ers to grab at least one defensive back on day two of the draft.

Missouri's Ennis Rakestraw Jr. has the prototypical body type to mesh well in the zone-style defense the Niners like to operate, and he's be much more realistic a target than either DeJean or McKinstry.

515. . . Jackson Powers-Johnson. Jackson Powers-Johnson. . Jackson Powers-Johnson. player. Center. 6

Teams rarely prioritize centers in Round 1 of the draft, and despite there being a first-round run on offensive tackles, there are plenty of interior linemen available, including Oregon's Jackson Powers-Johnson.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan typically prefers experienced centers, and Jake Brendel is still rostered.

But Powers-Johnson should easily be a long-term upgrade.

. Max Melton. Max Melton. 7. player. . . Max Melton. 452. Cornerback

Notice a trend here?

Rutgers cornerback Max Melton could easily slip toward the end of Round 2, and he has the versatility to line up on the boundary or over the slot, giving San Francisco another potential option for replacing either Ward or Lenoir in a year's time.

Blake Fisher. 443. player. . . . Offensive Tackle. Blake Fisher. 8. Blake Fisher

Notre Dame has a long history of producing good-quality offensive linemen, and the 49ers still need a right tackle upgrade over Colton McKivitz.

Blake Fisher doesn't receive the hype as any of the first-round tackles taken on day one, but he's a good-quality prospect who could secure the position for the next four years without too many questions.

Kingsley Suamataia. 540. player. . Offensive Tackle. . Kingsley Suamataia. 9. . Kingsley Suamataia

The Niners could theoretically take two tackles in this year's draft, which is deep with offensive linemen. After all, All-Pro left tackle Trent Williams is ultimately going to retire in the not-so-distant future.

Fisher and BYU's Kingsley Suamataia could be 8A and 8B on this list, given the former is a bit more polished while the latter has a higher upside.

463. . Cooper Beebe. Cooper Beebe. . Offensive Guard. 10. player. . Cooper Beebe

Shanahan places less emphasis on guards compared to tackles and centers, but guard is a sneaky need for San Francisco anyway.

Right guard Jon Feliciano hinted at retiring after this season, while left guard Aaron Banks is entering a contract year and won't come cheap in 2025, meaning the 49ers would be wise to infuse some cheap youth at the weakest of offensive units.

Kansas State's Cooper Beebe has plenty of experience, moves well and could compete to be a day-one starter right away.

Day two of the 2024 NFL Draft kicks off on Friday, April 25 at 7 p.m. ET.

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