NFL Draft 2020: Three Positions 49ers Should Target With Pick No. 13
Jose Luis Sanchez III
The San Francisco 49ers knew that when they were entering the offseason that their draft status was unappealing. It was bleak to say the least. They hardly had a first-round pick since they originally only had the No. 31 pick at the end of the round. After that pick, they would not have a draft selection until the fifth-round.
San Francisco doesn't even need to show up for day two of the draft should they stay at their positions. However, the 49ers were able to boost their draft stock. When they sent DeForest Buckner to the Indianapolis Colts in a trade, they were able to receiver the Colts' No. 13 overall pick.
Now the 49ers are able to draft a stronger, more polished prospect. The only question is: which position will the 49ers look to select with the pick?
Here are three positions the 49ers should target with the No. 13 pick.
The 49ers have attempted to find their stalwart wide receiver ever since Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch took over the reigns of the franchise. They simply have not been able to find that standout receiver. Deebo Samuel has been the only to show promise so far, but placing all that pressure on him in year two is not ideal. San Francisco must have the position as a top target with pick No. 13.
As much as Samuel and even Kendrick Bourne looked good in the second half of the season, relying on them will lead to sustained success. These two players are the only ones that contributed last season, but they excelled in their No. 2 and No. 3 receiver roles. There is also Jalen Hurd, whose health is questionable, and Trent Taylor who missed all last season.
Considering the polished talent that should be availble with the 13th overall pick, the 49ers would be nuts not to snag a Jerry Jeudy or CeeDee Lamb if they're there. This is the chance for the Niners to finally solidify the receiver position for the foreseeable future. While it doesn't look great that the 49ers have spent five draft picks on receivers in the last three years, it looks even worse that they still do not have a stacked group.
One common theme from the 49ers' 2019 season was the injuries. Every position group suffered from an injury, but none were more impacted than offensive line. From Joe Staley, to Weston Richburg. No one went the season unscathed. It proved how valuable offensive line depth is in the league. It also reminded the 49ers that Staley's career is nearing its end.
He suffered three injuries last season, including the one he sustained in the Super Bowl. With Staley up there in age and looking injury prone, the Niners must have offensive tackle as a target with the No. 13 pick. A player like Tristan Wirfs or Mekhi Becton would be a great addition for this team.
The logic behind going offensive tackle over a receiver is that Shanahan can scheme receivers open. Scheming an offensive tackle isn't really possible. Ensuring the blindside of Jimmy Garoppolo carries significantly heavier weight on the offense. Plus, the Niners could settle for a receiver at pick No. 31 and still find a quality player like a Denzel Mims.
The idea of targeting a tackle at 13th overall is the same when it comes to the cornerback position. Richard Sherman, despite having a stellar season, is not getting any younger. It is only a matter of time before his performance and maybe even his health starts to decline. The 49ers need to nip this in the bud as soon as they can by finding his future replacement.
However, this becomes a bit tricky because the 13th pick may be the only time the 49ers can consider a cornerback until the late rounds in the draft. This draft class of corners is underwhelming. After Jeff Okudah is taken, the drop-off is staggering. Only C.J. Henderson or Kristian Fulton would warrant consideration. Even that might be a bit of a stretch.
It's a very complicated situation when considering drafting a corner this season. While I don't think they should draft one at No. 13, it would be naive to think that they wouldn't at least consider one. The 49ers have a ton of faith and confidence in their coaches to develop players, so maybe drafting someone who needs some work won't detract them. Regardless, cornerback will be in the back of the 49ers' minds when they are on the clock.