Final 49ers Draft Mock

Wide receiver continues to be the buzz at 31, but which one?
Nov 18, 2023; Columbia, South Carolina, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks wide receiver Xavier Legette
Nov 18, 2023; Columbia, South Carolina, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks wide receiver Xavier Legette / Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

The most important 49ers draft in years begins tonight, a 1st round pick for the first time since 2021, a roster needing impact and foundation at the same time, while a cloud looms over whether this is the time to move on from Brandon Aiyuk.

I got lucky in last year’s mock, calling four of the 49er picks, with two more mentioned in my position breakdowns. This year is murkier as the Niners can go in several directions with a best player available pick at 31.


A potential Aiyuk trade casts a shadow over the first round with rumors of Indy at 15 and Jacksonville at 17 as possible trade partners. If the Niners move up it would presumably be for an offensive tackle, though keep an eye on Georgia tight end Brock Bowers, who would be of significant interest to Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch.

I’ll make the safe prediction and say no Aiyuk trade in the 1st, but maybe the 2nd if Shanahan is willing to take Day 2 picks and a conditional in 2025. If he’s not, then Aiyuk stays.

Many advocate for a trade down from 31, but that likely depends on a quarterback still being on the board at 31. The latest mocks say no, the top-six quarterbacks are all gone by the 20s.

OL: Tackle is the 2nd rounder. Center here is not high positional value, Shanahan prefers vets, and the center class is ten deep.

DL: Illinois DT Jer’Zhan Newton is productive but probably gone. Missouri Edge Darius Robinson lacks explosion. Newton gets a look if he falls, but I think he’ll be gone and that rules out DL.

DB: Alabama’s Kool-Aid McKinstry has elite cover skills but doesn’t invest consistently in his run defense. Clemson’s 4.28 40 shutdown corner Nate Wiggins came in for a late top-30 visit and if he lasts, I think he’ll be in the final three. Too light to play the run but that can be addressed in his rookie season and he’s only 20. Too early for the other DBs.

S: The Niner focus is on free safeties Calen Bullock from USC and Caleb Bullard from Georgia on Day 2.

WR: The Niners have floated both starting wide receivers in trade, this is a huge need and likely BPA at 31. In addition, the WR class is talented but falls sharply after the early 4th round.

Mocks and draft talk have Adonai Mitchell of Texas gone in the 20s, his teammate Xavier Worthy is a consideration for his speed, production and return ability. Ladd McConkey is in rumors, but he was erased by the Alabama DBs. The Niners held a formal interview with Xavier Legette at Indy, brought him in for a 30 visit, I think he’s the pick.

31. Xavier Legette (South Carolina) WR, 6-1/221, 23
Legette brings the physicality the Niners have with Aiyuk. 4.39 40, outstanding hands with just a 2.8% drop rate and a huge catch radius, solid in contested catch at 48%, 1,255 yards with seven TDs. He’s adept at beating man coverage and a playmaker on kick returns.


Lynch and offensive line coach Chris Foerster fly to Seattle, UW’s Roger Rosengarten is working with Joe Staley, that points to him being the pick. Where he goes could be tricky, the Niners may need to part with their latest 4th rounder (135) to move up if needed.

63. Roger Rosengarten (Washington) OT, 6-5/308, 21

He has the speed the Niners covet with an OT fastest 4.92 40 and a quick 1.73 10. Solid technique and good feet but Rosengarten lacks core strength, only 20 bench reps at Indy and he lost to power in the national championship.


FS: The Niners hosted Bullard and Bullock. If either safety is on the board, they are strong contenders for this pick.

DT: Oregon’s Bradon Dorlus and Ohio State’s Michael Hall Jr. had 30 visits. Hall should be gone by 94 but Dorlus may fall, if so, he’s the likely pick.

TE: Penn State’s Theo Johnson will warrant consideration here, the Niners whiffed at TE last year and will need to take another swing.

WR: If the Niners don’t take a WR in the 1st then this is a receiver pick between Central Florida’s Javon Baker and Washington’s Jalen McMillan.

94. Brandon Dorlus (Oregon) DT, 6-3/283, 23

The Niners value versatility on the defensive line and Dorlus provides that as an inside-outside DL. He has great upper body strength to stack and shed, but needs to work on his lower body, particularly as a high cut athlete, to improve his leverage and finishing. Dorlus led all DT’s in pressure with 46, but had a lot of snaps at edge, with four sacks.


On Day 3 the focus turns to the secondary.

124. Dadrion Taylor-Demerson (Texas Tech) S, 5-10/197, 22

DTD has 4.41 speed, four picks and four PBUs. He can play center field and blitz, a great fit if the defense moves to more simulated pressure schemes. He had eight pressures and a sack. Instinctive in coverage, position flexibility, and a technically sound tackler with closing speed.

132. Trevin Wallace (Kentucky) LB, 6-1/237, 21

One of the draft’s best athletes but raw. Poor in pass coverage, excellent at blitzing and finishing. Not sure he lasts to this point, but if he’s here take him. 30 visit player.

135. Tanor Bortolini (Wisconsin) C, 6-4/303, 21

The Niner emphasis on speed plays out again, Bortolini ran a 4.94 40 and has zone blocking experience with positional versatility. He needs more power and technique to compensate for short sub-32 arms. Bortolini was rag dolled on the first day of practices at Mobile and held his own thereafter.


176. Decamerion Richardson (Mississippi St) DB, 6-2/188, 23

Richardson has been a Niner target early on, they met with him for a formal interview at Indy and hosted a 30 visit. The 49er physical profile is met with 32 3/8 arms, 4.34 speed, and a 128 broad jump. He’s more athlete than corner and needs technique work.


Given Lynch’s comments about thus draft having 170 draftable players these picks could be dealt or made with the practice squad in mind.

211. Erick All (Iowa) TE, 6-4/252, 24

An injury risk with back and knee surgery. Most of his college career was spent at Michigan, where he proved himself as a blocker. He’s improving as a receiver, but needs work in identifying gaps in a defense. He’s a dice roll on injuries and development. The Niners brought him in for a 30 visit, so they see potential.

215. Anthony Gould (Oregon State) WR/KR, 5-8/173, 23

This is the kick returner slot. Best available from Gould, Ainias Smith (Texas A&M) WR, Devron Harper (Mercer) WR, Keilan Robinson (Texas) RB.

251. Sione Vaki (Utah) S, 5-11/210, 23

A special teams ace, a Swiss army knife safety/running back/gadget player hybrid. 30 visit.

Tom Jensen