by Mario Granata
After seeing your quarterback (Jimmy Garoppolo) and running back (Jerick McKinnon) go out, Kyle Shanahan had to scramble to put a workable offense together for the remainder of the season. As a result, the 49ers are drafting 2nd in the 2019 NFL Draft. While the 49ers have some explosive players in place, playing in a division with the Seahawks and the Rams the latter making it to the Super Bowl, is a tough task to take. As Shanahan tries to get his program going and recapture some of the magic from the final weeks of the 2017 season, what are some of the obstacles facing San Francisco in 2019?
San Francisco sits in a very familiar place as they did at the beginning of 2018 by having around 39 million dollars in cap space heading into the 2019 NFL Draft. Perhaps General Manager John Lynch wants to protect himself if other players happen to have season-ending injuries and he needs to replace them to avoid another 4-12 season.
Prior to 2018, Shanahan made three trades and resigned 14 players just after the Super Bowl last year, which has made for a quiet 2019 off-season.
The 49ers did add CB Jason Verrett from Los Angeles and also signed Tevin Coleman who reunites with Shanahan from their time in Atlanta. This makes for a crowded backfield as the 49ers have re-signed Raheem Mostert to a three-year deal and have Matt Breida and McKinnon in the fold. Keeping four running backs is not exactly ideal, but is a nice problem to have if another team loses a back and San Francisco could find a trade partner in the future.
With only 6 picks in the 2019 NFL Draft, the 49ers are expected to spend about 10 million of their 39 million in cap space that they have. What does that mean? They could trade back and take on a contract from a team who is willing unload a deal on draft day.
The 49ers find themselves in a very envious position with the 2nd overall pick in the draft should the Arizona Cardinals draft Kyler Murray with the 1st overall pick. John Lynch is no stranger to pulling the trigger to acquire picks as he did in 2017 moving one spot back and taking Solomon Thomas with the 3rd overall pick. If Arizona takes Murray, the 49ers would be smart to sell to the highest bidder and add to the 6 picks they already have.
Many of the signs point to San Francisco taking Nick Bosa #2, but with the 49ers taking DT Arik Armstead (17th overall in 2015), DE DeForest Buckner (7th overall in 2016), and DE Solomon Thomas (3rd overall 2017) the 49ers have a couple of options with the 2nd overall pick:
Scenario 1: Seeing as it is a very defensive heavy draft, they could trade back and take an offensive tackle to play opposite Mike McGlinchey (who was taken 9th overall in the 2018 NFL Draft) and secure that line for Garoppolo, or
Scenario 2: They could take Quinnen Williams from Alabama and have one of the more stout defensive fronts in football.
Seeing what the Rams did last season and the impact that a game-changing defensive tackle could do (Google Aaron Donald), Williams could be the route they go. Also, with the recent acquisition of Dee Ford to play opposite Thomas, the 49ers seemed poised to have a very formidable front with 5 players that could make an impact on any given play.