49ers Draft OT Patrick Paul in Latest Mock Draft

He clearly is a physically gifted player at a premium position, and one day he could become an excellent left tackle.
Mar 3, 2024; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Houston offensive lineman Patrick Paul (OL55) during the 2024
Mar 3, 2024; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Houston offensive lineman Patrick Paul (OL55) during the 2024 / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Everyone seems to think the 49ers will draft an offensive tackle in Round of the upcoming NFL Draft, but no one seems to know which offensive tackle they'll take.

NFL.com's Chad Reuter says the 49ers' ideal pick in Round 1 is Houston offensive tackle Patrick Paul.

"Paul is a key selection for the Niners," writes Reuter, "because star left tackle Trent Williams, who’ll turn 36 years old this summer, misses a couple of contests each year, and Colton McKivitz could use some competition at right tackle. His length (36 1/4-inch arms), strength (30 bench reps) and agility (7.65 three-cone) are intriguing at 6-7 1/2 and 331 pounds."

Reuter makes a good case for the 49ers to take Paul with pick no. 31. He clearly is a physically gifted player at a premium position, and one day he could become an excellent left tackle.

But his scouting report on NFL.com makes him sound like a player who needs at least one year on the bench to develop.

"Long, athletic left tackle prospect whose pass protection is much further ahead of his run blocking," writes Lance Zierlein. "Paul’s hands are more active than well-timed or accurate in pass protection, but he does a nice job of muting rush challenges with a decent anchor and an adequate mirror around the top of the arc. He’s high-cut with a tendency to bend at the waist into contact. He struggles to sustain and finish as a run blocker but that doesn’t appear to be an issue in pass protection. Paul should continue to add play strength, but he also needs to display better effort and full-time grit if he wants to square off against NFL run defenders and become a well-rounded left tackle."

That analysis doesn't make Paul sound like an offensive tackle the 49ers would draft in Round 1. They look for offensive linemen who specialize in outside-zone run blocking -- that's non-negotiable. Pass protection is secondary.

I don't know who the 49ers will take in Round 1 this year, but I don't think it will be Paul.


Published
Grant Cohn

GRANT COHN