• Matt Woolsey

Players in the Draft That Can Immediately Improve the 49ers Offense

Image Credit: Associated Press

Draft time is upon us, and we will finally see where some of the big names land. I am sure there will be some surprises and some “they drafted who?”

There has been much speculation about whom the 49ers are taking with the third overall pick in the draft. I will not talk about the pick because, oh God, the horse has been beaten to death 100 times over. The only thing we should be able to guess for certainty is that the pick will be a quarterback. Moreover, that is only because they gave up two future first-round picks to move up.

So, what about Round 2 for the 49ers. Players like running back Najee Harris, tight end Kyle Pitts, and wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase will be long gone before pick No. 43. Who can they draft in the second round to make an immediate impact on offense?

First off, let us talk about a less sexy pick, but it could be a necessary one: offensive tackle Alex Leatherwood from Alabama. He is 6’5” and weighs 312 pounds. He has played both right and left tackle and some guard, so he brings versatility to the position. He can be effective in the outside zone and blocking for the screen pass. Something head coach Kyle Shanahan loves to scheme up. He is good against a bull-rusher but lacks the power to knock his opponent backward. With the 49ers exercising Mike McGlinchey’s fifth year option, Leatherwood would have a year to fine-tune his craft and eventually become a nice replacement.

How about Purdue’s wide receiver Rondale Moore? At 5’7” and 181 pounds, he is not very big; however, he is a very elusive slot receiver. Remember Wes Welker? He was only 5’9”; however, he too was a speedy elusive slot receiver. Oh, and Welker is the 49ers’ wide receiver coach. Moore is someone who Welker could mold and fine-tune into being a dangerous weapon. He is excellent after the catch, making him an excellent target for moving the sticks on third down, and would make an excellent replacement for Trent Taylor, who at first was a move-the-sticks-type player but was derailed by injuries.

And finally, sticking with the slot, the 49ers could draft Mississippi’s Elijah Moore. However, Moore stands at 5’9 ½” and weighs 178 pounds. He is not as elusive as Rondale Moore, but he shows fearlessness when catching the ball. Even when he knows he is going to be punished for doing so. He is a great route runner and even has the speed to get deep if he needs to. He has been compared to Antonio Brown; if it is the Brown of old, Moore will make a great addition to the offense.

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