The 49ers gave up some huge draft capital to move up to third overall in the 2021 NFL draft. Joey the Tooth breaks down the deal with a 49ers mock draft.
If there was any leash left on Jimmy Garoppolo, it just became incredibly short — the 49ers have made it apparent that they are ready to move on. They just traded their 12th overall in 2021, 2022 first and third-round picks, as well as a 2023 first-round pick to move up to third overall. Obviously, they have their eyes set on their quarterback of the future. I am a huge 49ers fan, and I am very intrigued with how this draft will set up the 49ers moving forward. Here is my 7 round 49ers mock draft for 2021.
First Round Pick, #3 Overall – Justin Fields, QB, Ohio St.
There is some huge smoke in mirrors going on in the NFL right now, and shade is being thrown all over the place as GMs are trying to mask all of their picks. This includes San Francisco, where the thought was that Coach Shanahan’s guy is Mac Jones out of Alabama. This should be taken with a grain of salt as Shanahan looked mighty impressed during Fields’ second pro-day.
Fields is by far the superior athlete over Mac Jones and has some outrageous efficiency in college. Over the past two seasons as a full-time starter, Fields has put up 5,373 passing yards, a 68.7% completion percentage, 63 touchdowns, and just nine interceptions. To me, he is easily the second-best quarterback in this draft and is the closest prospect to Trevor Lawrence. In this mock draft, I have Lawrence to the Jaguars and Zach Wilson to the Jets. This leaves the 49ers grabbing the next best available QB in my 49ers mock draft.
Second Round Pick, #43 Overall – Tyson Campbell, CB, Georgia (Biggest reach of the 49ers mock draft)
The 49ers’ secondary played well last year, though the group needs significant upgrades. Richard Sherman, the team’s best cornerback, said “Sayonara!” and is on his way out of San Francisco, leaving a pretty significant hole. The 49ers would be wise to use this pick of Tyson Campbell. He has very good size at 6’1″ and 193lbs, terrific overall athleticism, ran a 4.40 40-yard dash, and added a 10’04” broad jump.
Campbell has very good short-area quickness and has good transition from his pedal to his pursuit, showing smooth hips. His speed allows him to run with virtually any receiver out there. Pair that with his length, and this is a very good match for the 49ers. Campbell could add some functional strength, but his man and press skills are still very good.
Third Round Pick, #103 Overall – Elijah Molden, CB/S, Washington (My favorite pick in the 49ers mock draft)
The 49ers may not have the extra cash to swing K’waun Williams’ way after the way he played during his stay with the 49ers. Finding a replacement for him will be key, and Elijah Molden looks like he could fit the bill perfectly. He has terrific instincts, does a great job reading and jumping routes, has excellent ball skills, and times his attack perfectly.
Molden also has the aggression to blitz from the nickel position, something the 49ers regularly did with Williams. Add in the fact that he can play some safety, one of the thinner positions for the 49ers, and he seems like a shoo-in for the 49ers in the third round for this 49ers mock draft, if he makes it that far.
Fourth Round Pick, #118 Overall – Quincy Roche, Edge, Miami (Key addition in the 49ers mock draft)
Quincy Roche is a pure pass-rushing specialist. I, unfortunately, do not think he possesses a four-down skill set, but that does not me he does not hold value. Roche is a very technical pass rusher and wins in a variety of ways. He uses his hands well and has very nice bend for a man his size, though he lacks the real explosiveness to use a speed rush. Roche needs to work on his snap timing and quickness off the line, but he provides some excellent pass-rushing depth.
The 49ers lost Kerry Hyder in free agency, and the Dee Ford experiment has been debunked due to injuries. Dee Ford is looking like he may be close to a return, but that remains to be seen. Roche can jump into the pass rush rotation with Arik Armstead and Nick Bosa, maybe sliding Armstead inside during pass rushing downs and allowing some versatility across the line of scrimmage.
Fifth Round Pick, #156 Overall – Jaelon Darden, WR, North Texas
Jaelon Darden fits perfectly for the 49ers’ passing schemes. He is explosive and thrives in space, something the 49ers’ scheme does a great job of providing. Darden is a smaller receiver for the NFL, though he can fit a complementary role for an offense where he can be the team’s WR3. Darden would be behind both Aiyuk and Samuel on the depth chart but would be interchangeable.
The team could use all three receivers on screens, jet sweeps, and quick outs, allowing all the receivers to pick up some YAC. Darden could also help open things up for the other two receivers, as he is a great deep threat. Add in the fact that Darden is one of the best punt returners in the draft, and he could prove very useful in the 49ers mock draft here.
Fifth Round Pick, #173 Overall – Kendrick Green, IOL, Illinois
Kendrick Green would be a great grab in the fifth round. Green has lined up at both guard and center for Illinois and has made 33 starts since 2017. He is far from polished but could be a nice developmental addition to the offensive line and would add some needed depth along the interior. Green thrives in an outside zone scheme and shows great mobility. He needs to work a bit at taking better angles in the second level, but that is all coachable. In this 49ers mock draft, they land a great fifth-round pick.
Fifth Round Pick, #181 Overall – James Wiggins, S, Cincinnati
James Wiggins probably gets drafted higher, though he comes with some injury concerns. Wiggins put up an incredibly impressive 2018 season with 54 tackles, five passes defended, four interceptions, and a touchdown. Looking to make a leap in 2019, he, unfortunately, tore his ACL prior to the start of the season. In 2020, he seemed like a shell of his former self, though he has some intriguing traits. Wiggins has excellent ball skills and can play both safety spots as well as slot cornerback. Wiggins provides depth behind Jimmie Ward and Jaquiski Tartt — who are both often injured — while also being insurance on the slot corner position.
Sixth Round Pick, #195 Overall – Kenny Yeboah, TE, Ole Miss
Kenny Yeboah is a move tight end with very good hands and a quite diverse route tree. He does most of his damage over the middle of the field climbing the seam as well as in the red zone. The 49ers have George Kittle, though he has shown to have some injury concerns, likely to his aggressive nature. The 49ers have both Ross Dwelley and Charlie Woerner, though they are both mostly blocking tight ends. Yeboah offers more of the receiving side that is lost in the event of a Kittle injury. He also allows the 49ers to get creative with two tight end sets.
Seventh Round Pick, #231 Overall – Darren Hall, CB, San Diego St.
Darren Hall will provide great depth at the cornerback position and could surprise some by making a push for some snaps. Hall was very productive for San Diego State with three years of consistent and strong play. Over those three seasons, he showcased some excellent ball skills providing 25 passes defended (16 in 2019), and six interceptions. Hall provides solid size, coming in at 6’0″ and 195 lbs, and played well at the Senior Bowl. He is aggressive at the high point and times his attack well. Hall is also a good tackler on the outside and does not miss many tackles, making him a valuable seventh-rounder in this 49ers mock draft.
The 49ers made an aggressive trade to move up to the third overall pick in the 2021 draft. In this 49ers mock draft, I have Justin Fields as the quarterback who falls to them, making him the easy choice. After Fields, the 49ers bulk up on the defensive side of the football, adding three cornerbacks to bulk up their thinnest position. They also added some needed pass rush help, as well as a versatile safety.
This mock draft also has the 49ers adding a speedy receiver who fits the YAC mold that this group possesses; a move tight end to give depth to the position, allowing them to use more two-tight end sets; and a great interior offensive lineman, built for the outside zone scheme with some great mobility.