Round 1: Pick: 9
Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State
Ward is a 5’11, 190LBS. corner who has earned a pro comparison of Chris Harris Jr. from NFL Network’s Lance Zierlein. He could develop quickly into a lockdown corner on the outside for the 49ers in the very near future. Ward has elite footwork entering the the NFL, and he’s only going to get better! Sure, he can stand to put on some weight to be able to jam and press more at the line, but Ward could be a game-changer for the 49ers for years to come. Eric Crocker wrote about Ward’s fit with San Francisco over at Fourth & Nine, here’s some of what he had to say:
“Ward has All-American credentials and is sure to run fast at the combine. He’s got great instincts and fluid hips. The film consistently shows he plays much bigger than his size, and he fits any scheme. But he’s most comfortable in press coverage, which is what the 49ers do most. If the 49ers want to draft a shutdown corner with a Marshon Lattimore type skillset, Ward will be their guy in the first round.” – Eric Crocker
Round 2: Pick: 27
James Washinton, WR, Oklahoma State
Kyle Shanahan gets a true deep threat in Oklahoma State’s James Washington. He is an extremely vertical wide receiver, as evident by averaging over 20 yards per reception for the last three years! Washington certainly has some drawbacks, like not being the best at route-running, not having the best hands, or even not having much experience getting jammed in press-coverage. Garoppolo would absolutely feast with a wide receivers group consisting of Goodwin, Garçon, Taylor, Bourne, and Washington.
Round 3: Pick: 6
Lorenzo Carter, OLB, Georgia
Carter was recruited as a five-star prospect coming out of high school, but never really lived up to those expectations. Carter is still a productive pass-rusher, finishing with 4.5 sacks for Georgia in 2017 (14.5 in four years). He has a knack for forcing and recovering fumbles (6 in his career), which is much-needed on any team! While he is 6’6, he could still benefit from putting on some weight to fill out his frame. The 49ers desperately need production at the pass-rusher position, and Carter could help with that now, and more in the future.
Round 3: Pick: 10
Rashaad Penny, RB, San Diego State
Penny is 6’2, 220LBS, and he was absolutely on fire all of 2017. He ran the ball 289 times for 2,248 yards, averaging 7.8 yards per carry, and 23 touchdowns on the ground! He also added another 135 yards (19 receptions) and 2 touchdowns through the air. Penny showed he has the size, ability, and knowledge of the game that makes scouts and GM’s drool while watching his tape. Although he doesn’t have burners to fly by the secondary, his work ethic and motor will keep Penny earning both yards and the respect of his teammates. With San Francisco letting Carlos Hyde walk and signing Jerick McKinnon, Penny could be a perfect back to bring in and develop for the future.
Round 4: Pick: 28
Ola Adeniyi, EDGE, Toledo
Olasunkanmi Adeniyi finished his 2017 season at Toledo with 8.5 sacks and 20.0 tackles for a loss! He’s a little bit undersized, but I think he would make a great option for the 49ers as a pass-rusher. At the NFL Combine, Adeniyi recorded a 4.83 40-yard dash, but he claimed he tweaked his hamstring a bit while doing so. When he was asked about coming from a small school like Toldeo, he replied:
“It doesn’t matter where you are from, they will find you. You had three guys (from Toledo) get drafted. You can’t really say anything about that. We won the MAC championship this year. So just looking at things like that you can’t ignore us now. Playing next to Treyvon Hester for a whole season was pretty impressive, and I know how good he is. Him living out his dream gave me some motivation to do the same.” – Ola Adeniyi
Round 5: Pick: 6
Brandon Parker, OT, North Carolina A&T
Parker is a developmental lineman for sure, but there are plenty of positives that come with his game to be excited about. First, he is 6’7, 314LBS! That is definitely the ideal size for the position, and he has proved to coaches year after year that he has the ability to continue to grow larger! Parker is a very athletic offensive lineman, who consistently held down his side of the line all four years at North Carolina A&T. While he has some negatives, like his high center of gravity or poor body control, Parker possesses a lot of promising physical traits that any offensive-minded coach would love to inherit and mold at the next level.