49ers surround Jimmy Garoppolo with pieces in 4-round mock NFL draft
By Insidethe49|Published On: January 24th, 2018 at 1:57 PM|
The 49ers’ five-game winning streak to end the season, compliments of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, shot the 49ers down the draft board. San Francisco will pick ninth or 10th, pending the results of a coin flip with the Oakland Raiders, who finished with an identical record and strength of schedule. General manager John Lynch will have some $110-million in cap space and nine selections in the NFL draft to continue rebuilding the roster with coach Kyle Shanahan.
Our friends at Draft Wire published their latest four-round mock NFL draft this week, predicting the first five picks for San Francisco. Let’s take a look and break down how the choices would fit.
Round 1 – Pick 9: Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame
Veteran center Daniel Kilgore and guard Brandon Fusco are slated for free agency, while guard Laken Tomlinson struggled in his first season with the 49ers. Garoppolo’s quick release and decisiveness masked the deficiencies of the offensive line late in the season, but upgrades along the interior should still be seen as a priority for Lynch and Shanahan.
(Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports)
The 49ers need to protect Garoppolo while improving their run blocking, making Nelson a logical pick for Draft Wire analyst Luke Easterling:
They stole their new franchise quarterback from the defending Super Bowl champs, and now it’s time to make sure he’s protected. Nelson may be the most complete play in this entire class, with the athleticism, physicality and attitude any team would love up front. He’s an absolute steal here.
Nelson’s widely considered the draft’s best offensive lineman. He dominates in both run blocking and pass protection and authored numerous highlights that saw defenders on their back. Nelson (6-5, 330) is a mountain of a man, and it’s fair to wonder if he fits Shanahan’s mold of quicker lineman. Despite his size, the Notre Dame product is athletic enough to hold his own outside while effectively shoring up the interior of the 49ers’ offensive line.
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