We’re less than a week out from the 2018 NFL draft and another milestone moment for the 49ers’ new regime of general manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan.
Using the Fanspeak mock draft simulator, we’re able to project all of the 49ers’ nine picks through seven rounds. Right off the bat, things get interesting. UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen fell out of the top five in the projection and was still on the board for the 49ers at No. 9, prompting the phone to ring in San Francisco’s draft room.
The 49ers seem to have won the October trade when they gave up pick No. 43 to the Patriots for their new franchise quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo. In this mock, Lynch decides to return the favor, allowing Bill Belichick the opportunity to jump way up to pick No. 9 in exchange for both of New England’s first-rounders – pick Nos. 23 and 31.
The trade allowed the Patriots to select Tom Brady’s successor in Rosen. Lets break down where the 49ers went with 10 picks – including five in the first three rounds following the blockbuster trade:
The 49ers’ roster improved dramatically last year, but atop the list of remaining needs is an edge pass-rushing threat to complement first-round picks DeForest Buckner and Solomon Thomas. Trading back with the Patriots and still landing Davenport at pick No. 23, one of the top three edge rushers in the class, is a good scenario for Lynch.
Davenport (6-6, 264) logged an impressive 17 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks last season. But he’s a prospect with more upside than proven production, making him a risky pick if the 49ers were to consider him ninth overall. His tools are enticing, nonetheless, and would be a worthwhile selection at this stage in Round 1.