49ers Draft WR Ladd McConkey in Latest Mock Draft

Peter Schrager doesn't come out and say it, but drafting a wide receiver in Round 1 presumes the 49ers will trade Brandon Aiyuk, which seems more and more likely every day.
Mar 2, 2024; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Georgia wide receiver Ladd McConkey (WO16) during the 2024 NFL
Mar 2, 2024; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Georgia wide receiver Ladd McConkey (WO16) during the 2024 NFL / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
In this story:

It seems like people in the know expect the 49ers to trade Brandon Aiyuk soon.

Because suddenly, lots of the top NFL Insiders expect the 49ers to draft a wide receiver in Round 1, something they have done since they drafted Brandon Aiyuk in 2020. Today, NFL.com's Peter Schrager released his mock draft, and he projects the 49ers to take George wide receiver Ladd McConkey.

"McConkey in the first round?" writes Schrager. "Yes. Above guys like Troy Franklin and Keon Coleman? Perhaps. I've spoken to a lot of people over the past few months, and I'm not sure there is a single prospect who's as universally liked and respected as Ladd. Tough, smart, selfless. San Francisco seems like a perfect home."

Schrager doesn't come out and say it, but drafting a wide receiver in Round 1 presumes the 49ers will trade Aiyuk, which seems more and more likely every day. So McConkey would be Aiyuk's replacement.

There's a lot about McConkey that the 49ers probably like. He runs a 4.39, he's an excellent route runner, he's good after the catch, he's committed to run blocking because he played at Georgia and he's a punt returner, too.

But to replace Aiyuk as the starting X receiver, McConkey will have to get much, much stronger so he can beat NFL press coverage. Because he had trouble beating the press in college, which is why he often lined up off the line scrimmage as a Z receiver or in the slot.

Drafting a wide receiver in Round 1 to replace Aiyuk would make sense, but McConkey seems like a poor fit.


Published
Grant Cohn

GRANT COHN