The San Francisco 49ers are a team in transition. The team is on its third head coach in as many years, turning to Philadelphia Eagles washout Chip Kelly to kick-start the franchise. For Kelly to turn the 49ers around, he has to greatly improve the talent on both sides of the ball. The 49ers have limited talent on offense, but in our SB Nation NFL writers mock, both Carson Wentz and Jared Goff are gone.
That leaves David Fucillo of Niners Nation to the other side of the ball, and one of the draft's most purely talented players:
7. 49ers: DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon
Fucillo: The 49ers extended Quinton Dial and signed Ian Williams to a new contract this offseason, which seemingly pushed the defensive line down the priority list. Next thing we know, word gets out that Ian Williams had multiple offseason surgeries on his ankle and his five-year deal is turned into a one-year deal. I think the team could have still looked at the defensive line early without news of the injury, but this makes it a bigger deal. Williams has dealt with numerous injuries during his career, so the team cannot really rely on anything long-term with him. Once the Cowboys went quarterback, it dropped a quality defensive player to the 49ers. If Buckner slips to them, he makes a lot of sense.
Analysis: Buckner is just a notch below Joey Bosa, Myles Jack and Jalen Ramsey among defensive players in this year's draft, but he's clearly the player who is right behind them. Buckner and his former Oregon teammate Arik Armstead would give the 49ers a nice long-term solution on the front line.
Dan's top five players remaining
- 7. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
- 8. Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame
- 10. Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida
- 11. Darron Lee, LB, Ohio State
- 12. A'Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama
- 1-7: DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon
- 2-37: (Coming April 12)
Coming up at noon ET: the No. 8 overall pick, made by Bleeding Green Nation for the Philadelphia Eagles.
Complete draft results:
1. Tennessee Titans - Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss (Link)
2. Cleveland Browns - Jared Goff, QB, Cal (Link)
3. San Diego Chargers - Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida State (Link)
4. Dallas Cowboys - Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State (Link)
5. Jacksonville Jaguars - Myles Jack, LB, UCLA (Link)
6. Baltimore Ravens - Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State (Link)
7. San Francisco 49ers - DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon