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Let’s use a wide range to get familiar with potential prospects the 49ers could select

Now that the 2024 NFL Combine is over, draft analysts will use the information gained from Indianapolis to update their draft boards. NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah released the third version of his Big Board on Thursday. Let’s look at where he has prospects listed around pick No. 31 to see who could be in the 49ers‘ range for the first round.

Players 23-35

Chop Robinson, Penn St., Edge
Edgerrin Cooper, Texas A&M, LB
Adonai Mitchell, Texas, WR
Ennis Rakestraw Jr., Missouri, CB
Graham Barton, Duke, OL,
Cooper DeJean, Iowa, CB
Bo Nix, Oregon, QB
Jackson Powers-Johnson, Oregon, OL
Nate Wiggins, Clemson, CB
Jer’Zhan Newton, Illinois, DT
Michael Penix Jr., Washington, QB
Ladd McConkey, Georgia, WR
Zach Frazier, West Virginia, IOL

I used a wider range to give us an idea about the pool of players in the 49ers range. Jeremiah has offensive tackles JC Latham, Amarius Mims, and Tyler Guyton ranked from 16 to 22.

I think we can eliminate linebackers, defensive tackles, and quarterbacks from being in first-round contention.

We listed Rakestraw as one of five potential targets at No. 31, but few cornerbacks are sub 6’ running a 40-yard dash in the 4.5s that get drafted in the first round.

For my money, Wiggins is the best cornerback in the draft. Toledo’s Quinyon Mitchell is 1B, but Jeremiah has him ranked No. 13 overall. I have a top-10 grade on Wiggins, who Jeremiah dropped six spots from his last update.

Wiggins ran a 4.2 40-yard dash. Jeremiah said, “His effort to chase from the back side is spotty, at best,” but I can show multiple clips of Wiggins chasing down the ball carrier, including a forced fumble to save a touchdown and force a touchback against the Miami Hurricanes.

Jackson Powers-Johnson and Zach Frazier are two players who could step in right away and be upgrades at either center or right guard. The question is whether the 49ers value interior offensive linemen early enough. It’s also about the drop-off between Powers-Johnson/Frazier and the next tier of guards and centers.

Frazier is a stud and one of my favorite linemen in the class.

All of the talk about Texas wideout Xavier Worthy when Adonai Mitchell ran a 4.34 at 6’2, 205 pounds. But he’s likely to be off the board by pick No. 31. Taking a wide receiver, as long as Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel are still on the roster, feels like a luxury pick when there are more significant needs.

Players who the internet likes who I’m not nearly as high on are DeJean and McConkey. I’m unsure where you play DeJean, but I don’t think it’s cornerback. Any safety projections are just that…projections.

As for McConkey, while he tested well, I don’t think he plays as fast, is as dynamic as some think when the ball is in his hands, and struggled against the limited press coverage he faced. Most of his production came running free off the line of scrimmage in the slot.

Of the players in this range, Wiggins and Frazier would be my top picks.

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