Given the players the 49ers have signed this offseason, here’s who they should pick in each round of the upcoming draft.
Round 1, pick 2: Josh Allen, DE/OLB, Kentucky.
The 49ers’ best option is to trade down for more picks — they currently own only six. But, they may have trouble finding a trade partner. None of the quarterbacks this year are particularly exciting, and there’s no reason to trade up for an edge rusher, because teams can find quality edge rushers throughout the first round this year. So, the 49ers probably will have to take the best player available, and that’s Allen. He can play SAM linebacker in the 49ers base defense, and move to defensive end in the sub-packages.
Round 2, pick 36: Amani Oruwariye, CB, Penn State.
The 49ers gave Jason Verrett a one-year deal with $3.6 million, but Verrett has played only five games the past three seasons. The 49ers can’t count on him to be healthy or even make the team next season. They need another corner — someone who can start right away if necessary. Oruwariye is one of the top-graded corners in this draft. He’s 6-2, 205 lbs., he ran a 4.47 at the Combine and intercepted seven passes the past two seasons. He’s a playmaker, unlike 2017 third-round pick Ahkello Witherspoon, who has intercepted just five passes total since high school.
Round 3, pick 67: Hakeem Butler, WR, Iowa State.
No position has a higher bust rate than wide receiver. So, if I were a GM, I never would draft a receiver before the 60th pick, unless that receiver were the second coming of Jerry Rice or Julio Jones. No receiver in this draft fits that description, so I’d wait and take the best receiver available in Round 3. Butler is ranked 62nd overall by CBS — there’s a good chance he’ll be available for the 49ers (if not, I’d take Emanuel Hall. If he’s not available, either, I’d take Terry McLaurin). Butler is a big-play threat who averaged 22 yards per catch last season. He’s also 6-6, and excels making contested catches, unlike the rest of the 49ers receivers.
Round 4, pick 101: Marquise Blair, FS, Utah.
The 49ers gave Jimmie Ward a one-year deal worth $4.5 million, but Ward can’t stay healthy. The 49ers can’t count on him, just like they can’t count on Verrett. They need to draft a free safety who can play next season. Blair qualifies. He ran a 4.48 at the Combine, he hits hard and has intercepted six passes since 2016.
Round 6, pick 176: Foster Moreau, TE, LSU.
A dominant blocking tight end who has the athleticism to develop into a quality receiver — similar to George Kittle when he came out of college in 2017. Moreau can replace Garrett Celek as the 49ers’ No. 2 tight end.
Round 6, pick 212: Trey Pipkins, OT, Sioux Falls.
A Division II All American left tackle in 2018. Pipkins is one of the most athletic offensive tackles in the draft, but he needs to get stronger and improve his technique before he can play in the NFL. He’s a developmental prospect who can sit on the bench for a season.