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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No. 3: OT Troy Fautanu, Washington

Troy Fautanu. Troy Fautanu. 3. Scouting Report. . Troy Fautanu. . player. 521. Offensive Tackle

The 49ers are fortunate that their No. 1 need in this year's draft, the offensive line, parallels the strongest position group of prospects in 2024.

With needs at all three spots (tackle, guard and center), it wouldn't be shocking to see the Niners tap into this pool of prospects at multiple points throughout the draft, perhaps using their first pick at No. 31 to grab someone who can be a plug-and-play starter.

Assuredly, Washington's Troy Fautanu is on San Francisco's big board. The 6-foot-4, 317-pound lineman projects long term as a starting left tackle, which could afford the 49ers an eventual replacement for the 36-year-old All-Pro, Trent Williams, who is nearing retirement.

In the interim, a player like Fautanu could be a day-one starter at right tackle and should thrive in a zone-blocking offensive scheme, which the 49ers are known for under head coach Kyle Shanahan.

But, will Fautanu slip that far?

It'd be interesting to see, since O-linemen are often contingent upon scheme fit and style, which varies from team to team. Despite being a top-20 prospect, some other squads in need of O-line help may not necessarily deep Fautanu as an ideal grab-and-go target.

At least hopefully, from the Niners' vantage point.