The NFL offseason is now in full swing after the Eagles topped the Patriots in Super Bowl LII. The 49ers didn’t make the playoffs, but finished the season with five straight wins courtesy of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. San Francisco was the first team in NFL history to start 0-9 and finish 6-10.

With expectations trending upwards into 2018, general manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan will be among the league leaders with some $100 million in cap space. They’re slated to have nine picks in the NFL draft and need to lock up their shiny new franchise quarterback. With reports surfacing that Garoppolo could be signed as soon as this week, the 49ers will turn their attention to bolstering the roster. Free agency next month will be crucial, but long-term success is found through the NFL draft.

Bleacher Report’s lead draft scout, Matt Miller, authored his first 7-round mock draft this week, pegging all nine picks for the 49ers. Let’s take a look and break down how Matt’s choices fit San Francisco.

Round 1 – Pick 9 : Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech

The 49ers’ defense took a massive step forward in 2017 under rookie coordinator Robert Saleh. The unit that set a franchise record in 2016 for the most rushing yards allowed in a season rose to 22nd this year, while ranking sixth in opponents’ yards per carry. Despite the improvement, Miller thinks the 49ers can get better:

Here’s what you need to know about Tremaine Edmunds—he’s 19 years old, 6’5″ and 260 pounds. He was also one of the best defenders in all of college football last season and has the skills to be molded into either a stud pass-rusher or a rangy stack linebacker.

(Michael Shroyer-Getty Images)

Edmunds’ versatility may be his strongest quality. He has the frame to play all three linebacker positions in the 49ers’ 4-3 defense and may be able to develop into a “Leo” pass rushing defensive end. The 49ers spent their first pick on a defensive player for the past six years, but Edmunds’ ability at such a young age would be tough to pass up.

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