The San Francisco 49ers were the NFL’s most disappointing team in 2018 but the arrow is pointing up as we approach the NFL Draft.
Coming out of the 2018 offseason the San Francisco 49ers were a common pick to win the NFC West and make a playoff appearance. They had just committed to new quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, and brought in some big name pieces in free agency like Jerick McKinnon and Richard Sherman. General manager John Lynch was working the 2018 NFL Draft, coming away with a top rated offensive tackle in Mike McGlinchey. In fact Lynch’s top three picks were solid with receiver Dante Pettis and linebacker Fred Warner both looking like great values in the second and third round respectively. All eyes were on the 49ers to make a leap in the 2018 season.
Then the injury bug bit. Garoppolo played in three games before heading to the injured reserve. McKinnon was there already and did not play a regular season snap after being injured in the pre-season. Receivers Marquise Goodwin and Pierre Garcon both missed significant chunks of time. Defensively Warner was thrust into a prominent role because of the disaster that is Reuben Foster off the field. Few teams were hit as hard by injuries as San Francisco. That left them with the second worst record in the NFL, behind their fellow NFC West mates the Arizona Cardinals.
Free agency may have shined some light on what the 49ers want to do with their draft capital. The team went out and spent big money on linebacker Kwon Alexander, formerly of Tampa Bay. The athletic linebacker will pair with Warner to give the team two three down players on the second level that can add a speed element to the defense.
Tevin Coleman was brought in to split carries with McKinnon and recreate head coach Kyle Shanahan’s glory days with the Atlanta Falcons offense. Their biggest move was acquiring Dee Ford from the Kansas City Chiefs. San Francisco lacked premier talent on the outside to compliment their defensive tackles already in place. Ford gives them that and a potential double-digit sack player from the edge.
The 49ers hold the second pick in the NFL Draft. This mock draft was done using The Draft Network’s mock draft machine and the site’s predictive big board. There were no trades, only the teams picking in their respective slots.