The San Francisco 49ers ended 2017 on a high note and paid top dollar for their new franchise quarterback. Can John Lynch and company surround him with enough talent via the draft to reach the playoffs in 2018?
After losing their first nine games to start the season, many expected a neck-and-neck between the San Francisco 49ers and Cleveland Browns for the rights to the first overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Unlike the Browns, however, the 49ers found their franchise quarterback in the form of Jimmy Garoppolo and went on to finish the season with a 6-10 record.
They paid a hefty sum to keep Garoppolo around as their franchise quarterback, but now John Lynch must continue to build the Niners’ foundation for a shot at reclaiming glory in the wide-open NFC West race. The pass rush will be a key focus and could go a long ways in determining how San Francisco fairs next season.
So, without further ado, here’s how the 2018 NFL Draft could play out for the up and coming San Francisco 49ers.
The Niners will be looking for pass rush help any way they can get it coming into this draft and even if they miss on Bradley Chubb, UTSA’s Marcus Davenport would be a nice consolation prize.
Davenport is one of the most physically-gifted edge players in this class and though you may not be familiar with watching many UTSA games, he has all the tools to be a disruptive pass rusher at the NFL level. Davenport had an outstanding showing at the NFL Combine last night, running a blazing 4.58-second 40-yard dash at 264 pounds.
He is able to use his length (33 5/8-inch arms) and quickness to both set the edge and bend it to sack opposing quarterbacks. He’s a little raw technique-wise and will face a steep learning curve coming from a smaller program to the NFL, but Davenport has every tool that you covet in a pass rusher and will only get better as time goes on.
The 49ers were one of many teams to meet with Davenport at the Combine and if Bradley Chubb and Quenton Nelson are off the board in the top five, I’d expect San Francisco to go look hard at Davenport with the ninth overall pick.