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Well, they clearly had their priorities. The San Francisco 49ers have concluded their 2021 NFL Draft, barring a late trade back into the seventh round. They prioritized the run game and the secondary, eschewing a wide receiver selection for the first time since the 2002 draft.
Instead, the 49ers doubled down on running backs, offensive linemen and corners. Here’s how they concluded the draft:
Round 1, Pick 3: Trey Lance QB, North Dakota State
Round 2, Pick 48: Aaron Banks, G, Notre Dame
Round 3, Pick 88: Trey Sermon, RB, Ohio State
Round 3, Pick 102: Ambry Thomas, CB, Michigan
Round 5, Pick 155: Jaylon Moore, OT/G, Western Michigan
Round 5, Pick 172: Deommodore Lenoir, DB, Oregon
Round 5, Pick 180: Talanoa Hufanga, S/LB, USC
Round 6, Pick 194: Elijah Mitchell, RB, Lousiana-Lafayette
Here’s the briefest of brief rundowns on the final three picks.
- Deommodore Lenoir: Probably projects more as a slot corner. Has very similar measurables to K’Waun Williams, but tracks and attacks the ball well with impressive timing. Makes up for footwork issues and stiff hips with natural speed and closing hard on the ball.
- Talanoa Hufanga: Just a ball of joy. Supremely appreciative to be drafted, and would likely have been a Day 2 guy if not for injuries which included a broken collarbone. Was an All-American stud who shows up time and time again on tape; some concerns about his coverage skills, but said that his goal is to be a special teams Pro Bowler in year one. He’s got his head screwed on right.
- Elijah Mitchell: Fast. Very fast. It seems like Lousiana-Lafayette has one of these crazy speed backs every single year, and Mitchell is the next one. He ran a 4.34-second 40-yard dash at his pro day, and had the sixth-best relative athletic score in the draft (Trey Sermon was fourth. He’s got the capability to be an outside zone nightmare.
Loved Elijah Mitchell btw, seems like Lousiana-Lafayette always has little super speedy runners, and he's just that
Had the 6th-highest relative athletic score out of running backs this year (Trey Sermon was fourth).
— Jake Hutchinson (@hutchdiesel) May 1, 2021
The 49ers bolstered their limited depth in the secondary and doubled, dare we say, tripled down on the running game. It’s going to be exceedingly difficult for any team to stop a run game with Trey Lance, Raheem Mostert, Jeff Wilson Jr., Trey Sermon and Elijah Mitchell, with blocking from George Kittle, Kyle Juszczyk, Trent Williams, Mike McGlinchey and some bulldozers on the inside.