The 49ers are in a great spot.
They own the ninth selection in the NFL draft, which starts Thursday, and can pick from 12 surefire future Pro Bowlers, according to general manager John Lynch. The Niners should get one of those players.
I humbly disagree with Lynch. This amateur scout — me — sees 21 future Pro Bowlers, and none of them is a quarterback. If the 49ers prefer, they can trade down in Round 1 and still find a cornerstone talent.
Here are the 21, in order from best to worst.
1. Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State.
2. Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame.
3. Bradley Chubb, DE, North Carolina State.
4. Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State.
5. Derwin James, S, Florida State.
6. Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama.
7. Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech.
8. Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia.
9. Vita Vea, DT, Washington.
10. Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA.
11. Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama.
12. Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama.
13. Kolton Miller, OT, UCLA.
14. James Daniels, C/G, Iowa.
15. Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa.
16. Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame.
17. Isaiah Wynn, OG, Georgia.
18. Mike Hughes, CB, UCF.
19. Isaiah Oliver, CB, Colorado.
20. Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU.
21. Connor Williams, OT, Texas.
Say Lynch picks just one of those players, and tanks the rest of the draft. He still would outdo his performance from last year.
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