Prospects for 49ers to Avoid in 2021 NFL Draft

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistApril 12, 2021

Prospects for 49ers to Avoid in 2021 NFL Draft

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    Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

    We know that the San Francisco 49ers are going to take a quarterback with the No. 3 overall pick in this year's draft. At least, that's the assumption because there's no way they would trade a plethora of picks to acquire the selection if it weren't to select a signal-caller, right?

    NFL Media analyst Rich Eisen is so confident that the pick will be a quarterback that he will eat a dirty sweatshirt if it's anything but.

    "So let's take that sweatshirt," he said on the Rich Eisen Show. "If the 49ers on draft night choose a player other than a quarterback, I want you to send that piece of clothing to me. And I will eat it."

    While we don't know which quarterback will be selected, that pick is going to define San Francisco's draft for the next several years. Hitting on that pick will be the first step to a successful draft, but the 49ers will also need to avoid making mistakes in the later rounds too.

    With this in mind, let's examine some draft prospects that San Francisco shouldn't target in Round 2 and later. Whether these players aren't the right fit for San Francisco or simply don't address areas of need, they shouldn't be on the 49ers' radar after Round 1. This isn't to suggest, though, that they are not quality prospects or the right picks for other franchises.

Javonte Williams, RB, North Carolina

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    Jim Dedmon/Associated Press

    In addition to owning the No. 3 pick in the draft, San Francisco has the 43rd overall selection. This could put the 49ers in range of a running back like North Carolina's Javonte Williams.

    Williams, the 37th-ranked prospect on Bleacher Report's latest draft board, looks to be a solid pro prospect.

    "Big, broad bully back who runs with an exciting blend of animosity and feel as a future every-down starter in the league," NFL Media's Lance Zierlein wrote. "With just 366 carries under his collegiate belt, Williams hasn't seen much tread come off the tires."

    While the 49ers did lose Tevin Coleman in free agency and have yet to re-sign Jerick McKinnon, they shouldn't target Williams or any other running back that high in the second round. They have a solid duo in Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson, while coach Kyle Shanahan has shown that he can get the most out of a committee backfield.

    San Francisco should target a running back later on draft weekend and focus on greater areas of need—defensive-line depth, cornerback or a second tight end—in the second round.

Samuel Cosmi, OT, Texas

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    Michael Ainsworth/Associated Press

    Samuel Cosmi is widely viewed as one of the top tackle prospects in this draft class and a future starter at left tackle. However, Cosmi isn't a finished product and could take a year or two to groom.

    "Despite solid pass pro traits and good athleticism, he could find early trouble dealing with the diverse attacks of NFL edge-rushers," Zierlein wrote.

    Ranked 47th on Bleacher Report's draft board, the Texas product could slip into Round 2 and be a team's left tackle of the future. For San Francisco, though, this shouldn't be a concern. The 49ers locked up perennial Pro Bowler Trent Williams in the offseason with a six-year, $138 million deal.

    The 49ers shouldn't be in the market for a left tackle for at least a couple of years, and while offensive-line depth is always valuable, there are more pressing needs to address in the second round.

    The fact that the 49ers boast a solid starting right tackle in Mike McGlinchey further solidifies the fact that they shouldn't target a tackle before Day 3.

Tamorrion Terry, WR, Florida State

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    Andrew Shurtleff/Associated Press

    While the 49ers traded their third-round pick as part of the package to get the third overall selection, they still hold a compensatory pick in the round (102nd overall). There are a couple of reasons why San Francisco should avoid Florida State wideout Tamorrion Terry with that pick.

    The first is that San Francisco already has a solid trio of wideouts in Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk and Mohamed Sanu. The second is that Terry appears to be a low-floor, high-ceiling gamble better suited for a fully rebuilding franchise.

    "He struggles to consistently catch the football, and his ball skills down the field are hit or miss," Joe Marino of The Draft Network wrote.

    San Francisco should be looking for players who can contribute right away and ones who can help a young quarterback develop. While Terry may have big-play potential, his lack of polish and inability to consistently catch the ball could be a major issue on both fronts.

    This year's draft class features an impressive receiver pool, and the 49ers should be looking to dive in for a pass-catcher with a much more reliable floor.


    Contract information via Spotrac.