Nickolas Loza | February 27th, 2020
The San Francisco 49ers rookie class of last season performed to outstanding levels, with Nick Bosa winning Defensive Rookie of the Year. Deebo Samuel looking like a future go-to receiver for Jimmy Garoppolo with his versatility and his receiving skills. Jalen Hurd has yet to play a game but showed upside during the offseason. Justin Skule, who filled in admirably for Joe Staley and Mitch Wishnowsky, who averaged of 44.9 yards per punt. It was good enough for the Niners to be awarded the “Best Draft Class” award at the Combine this year. There is almost no way this draft class can live up to the power the last draft class had, but I’ll attempt to predict how the 49ers will make an attempt to change their future now.
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Round 1, Pick 31: Ashtyn Davis, SAF, California
The 49ers need a solid and enforcing presence over the middle, and with this pick, they’ll get all of that and more. Davis is a track star type speed player who doesn’t mind delivering a good hit across the middle. In his career, he racked up seven interceptions and made 170 plus tackles, and was a finalist for the Burlsworth Trophy, which is awarded to the player who was the best walk-on player in the country. He provides the kind of speed and fast thinking the 49ers defense needs because last year speed killed them. Therefore, he seems like a slam dunk pick for the Niners.
Round 5, Pick 156: Jon Runyan Jr., OG, Michigan
Without picks in the second, third, and fourth rounds due to previous trades for Dee Ford and Emmanuel Sanders, the 49ers will need to hit on all of their later round picks. Runyan has admirable strength, along with being skilled at run blocking, and patient in pass protection. He does tend to lose his balance against more skilled and polished rushers. However, with some technique work, he can turn into a good reserve on the offensive line.
Round 5, Pick 156: Lavert Hill, CB, Michigan
Hill is a sticky corner who can provide good coverage in the secondary, but not much else. He tends to get outmuscled due to being only weighing 183 pounds, so he definitely needs to bulk up a bit in order to be more physical at the point of attack. ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. called Hill one of the most puzzling players in this draft class because he has no idea where he will land on draft weekend. Despite his flaws, the 49ers should grab Hill in the fifth round.
Round 6, Pick 210: Tanner Muse, SAF, Clemson
One safety isn’t enough so the 49ers grab a second one late. Muse will at depth at the position. During his time at Clemson, he racked up six interceptions, nine sacks and 13 passes defended. He has a real shot to make an impact on the team this year, assuming he makes the final roster.
Round 7, Pick 217: Josiah Coatney, DE, Ole Miss
With their second to last pick of the draft, the 49ers take Coatney. He will have to show out in training camp in order to make the active roster. Even if he ends up on the practice squad this is a good pick by the 49ers. During his time at Ole Miss, Coatney has 3.5 sacks and made several plays in the run game. He will provide depth and an option for the team in short yardage situations.
Round 7, Pick 245 Parker Braun, OG, Texas
Braun will have an uphill fight to make the final 53 man roster but he has the potential to make it. He was a key member of one of the better offensive lines in college football last year and held his own against everyone he faced. While he doesn’t have a horrible weakness that needs to be fixed, he lacks experience. A year on the practice squad would do him wonders for the rest of his career.
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