With their 2018 season in the rearview mirror and the Senior Bowl already underway, the San Francisco 49ers coaching staff and front office have shifted their attention to scouting and recruiting new players for the team’s roster.
The 49er own the rights to the 2nd overall selection in the 2019 NFL Draft. The popular consensus is that they will select an edge rusher with the pick.
Defensive ends such as Nick Bosa and Josh Allen stand at the forefront, but some mock drafts circulating suggest defensive tackles Rashan Gary and Quinnen Williams could be in the mix.
A trade down for more picks is also a possibility, but for that to happen, a team would have to fall in love with a quarterback or be desperate for one of those aforementioned players.
More than likely the phone remains silent and the Niners will select somebody with their 2nd pick. Never the less, draft prognosticators will continue to keep fans guessing.
If the Arizona Cardinals pass on Bosa, general manager John Lynch will have an easy decision. But if Bosa is gone and there are no trade partners, things could get complicated.
What’s important to know going forward is that the 49ers’ pass rush is in dire need of improvement. How they decide to do it will be determined by the best players available to them.
If Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan believe Williams or Gary are the best players to help them in that regard, one of them will be their pick at number two overall. Before his dominating performance in the Citrus Bowl, Allen was projected as a top-10 pick. But as is the case every year, players like Allen tend to race up draft boards as the draft approaches.
Currently, draft analysts rank Allen among the top three prospects, but that doesn’t guarantee anything. By not attending the Senior Bowl, Allen makes it extremely difficult for the 49ers to evaluate him.
Williams is an intriguing player and may be well worth the second pick, but the 49ers would have to make room, leading many fans and analysts to believe that Allen will be the guy. If the 49ers find an edge rusher in free agency or in a trade, it’s possible they could then see Williams as a logical upgrade from who they already have on their roster. A similar situation was enacted a year ago when the 49ers selected Mike McGlinchey and then traded Trenton Brown to the Patriots shortly thereafter.
If that’s the case, then Williams makes a lot of sense. If not, then maybe the NFL Scouting Combine in February will help clear up any doubts. But it’s still anybody’s guess what happens between now and April.
One thing is certain, the San Francisco 49ers will catch fire with whoever they select in this years NFL Draft, it just may not be the fire we all expected.