5 NFL Draft prospects who'd be too good to pass up if they slip to 49ers

There's no way one of these five top prospects end up slipping to the 49ers at No. 31 overall, right?


Georgia Bulldogs tight end Brock Bowers (19)
Georgia Bulldogs tight end Brock Bowers (19) / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages
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The 49ers should draft the best player available at No. 31 overall, and there's always a chance a top prospect ends up slipping to them in Round 1.

The NFL Draft is weird.

All those mock drafts, projections and guesswork can reveal a lot. But, as anyone who has watched it for even a modest amount of time can attest, the draft never pans out the way one would expect. As for those mocks, maybe the first five wind up being correct.

Maybe. All it takes is one trade into the top five to completely throw off everything.

On top of that (we see it every single year), there are massive reaches that parallel top prospects slipping and slipping pick by pick early in the draft. Remember the 2005 NFL Draft? Former Cal quarterback Aaron Rodgers could have been picked by the San Francisco 49ers at No. 1 overall, but they opted for Utah signal-caller Alex Smith instead, prompting Rodgers to fall all the way to the Green Bay Packers at No. 24 overall instead.

That's just one high-profile example.

Speaking of the Niners, they currently hold the No. 31 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. The first of 10 projected picks, San Francisco is expected to attack the offensive and defensive lines while adding depth and support to its secondary.

But, what happens if a prospect ends up falling in Round 1; someone the 49ers never thought would be available with the second-to-last pick in the opening round?

Here are five who'd simply be too good to pass up (should that happen).

No. 1: TE Brock Bowers, Georgia

Tight End. Scouting Report. . Brock Bowers. Brock Bowers. Brock Bowers. 1. player. 527.

Most big boards out there list Georgia tight end Brock Bowers as a top-10 player, meaning it's a pipe dream for the 6-foot-3, 243-pound Northern California native to fall to the Niners some 20-plus picks later.

But, that's the premise of this article, right?

San Francisco could theoretically be looking for a replacement for All-Pro tight end George Kittle sooner than later, as Kittle is now on the wrong side of 30 years old, has a lengthy injury history and has reached the more expensive portion of his current contract.

For the cap-stressed 49ers, someone like Bowers could be appealing in that he offers plenty of Kittle-like attributes, including solid yards-after-catch abilities and a willingness to be an inline blocker.

True, Bowers falling in Round 1 is unlikely enough, but the Niners would be far too enticed if that somehow comes to fruition.

Even if it spelled the inevitable end for Kittle's own San Francisco tenure much earlier than anticipated.