Why the 49ers Won't draft a D1 player Before Pick No. 105

Is Shanny batting his eyes at a D-III star with the 43rd pick?
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If I called you from the future last October and told you the 49ers would use the No. 3 draft pick on a Division II player (Hey! How did we get the third pick?!!!) and their second-round pick (No. 43) on a Division III player...is that something you think you'd be interested in? 

No, I'm not trolling you. That's Grant's job. Hear me out.

We've established why the Niners are likely to grab the Football Championship Subdivision's (FCS) best player - North Dakota State University's QB Trey Lance with the third pick. 

But you may not have been aware of the fact that it's quite possible the 49ers will select a Division III star with their very next pick. And they'd be wise to do so. 

Wisconsin-Whitewater center/guard Quinn Meinerz is climbing draft boards after coming out of Canadian hibernation and dominating the Senior Bowl. 

And while Senior Bowl Director Jim Nagy says that the Twitter video of this massive 6'3, 320 pound man flat-foot dunking a basketball did help earn Meinerz a late invite to the most prestigious of the post-season showcase games - it was Meinerz domination on the practice field that had the scouting community talking.

Meinerz is no joke. The 6'3, 320 pound former champion wrestler is as quick as a cat and as violent as a bull. 

Senior Bowl week saw Meinerz lining up next to Northwestern's Rashawn Slater, a player whom many consider the draft's top tackle, and dominating whichever defender dared line up across from him, stripping numerous high profile DLs and EDGEs of their pride in a flurry of punches, rag-doll throws and drive blocks. Just ask Pitt's Patrick Jones, widely seen as a top 75 overall player. 

Meinerz is also athletic as hell, which doesn't hurt. He ran two sub-5 40s (at 320 pounds)...

...and ranks among the most athletic interior lineman ever tested in the last 30-plus years. 

Meinerz' performance during Senior Week had pro personnel staff across the NFL ready to take a career-killing risk as they reported back to team HQs: sliding a D-III player not just on to the draft board, but in many cases into the top 50. (Currently, Meinerz is holding steady at No. 53 on the PFF 2021 Draft Top 100.)

 "As a scout, you put even a seventh-round grade on a D-III guy, you're putting your reputation on the table," Nagy told NFL.com during Senior Bowl Week. "In 18 years of NFL scouting, the only D-III guy I ever put a draftable grade on was (Mount Union and longtime NFL wide receiver) Pierre Garcon."  - Senior Bowl Director Jim Nagy

It just so happens that the Niners are extremely thin on the interior of the offensive line after going through four centers last season. 

This year, Shanahan and company are counting on a 36-year old signed to what amounts to a one-year contract to hold the line together this year. 

And let's be honest. The guard positions aren't exactly locked down either. The Niners are definitely in the market for a dominant interior offensive lineman. And this D-III star may fit that billing.

All I'm saying is brace yourself. The Niners may not call any SEC, PAC-12, Big12 or Big10 names until well after the draft's 100th pick has come and gone. 

I was also going to tell you why Shanny is likely to grab two quarterbacks within his first five selections...but the mind can only take so much trauma and I'm looking out for you. We'll save that story for a different day. How's tomorrow look?

Kevin Thomas Hulten is a journalist, consultant and the Editor of Facebook's SheLovesFootball page. Follow Kev @bigfacekev on Twitter and Instagram.