99. Sydney Brown, S, Illinois
With the safety cupboard a little bare thanks to some pending departures in free agency, the 49ers know that they will have to use an early pick to address the position and solidify the rotation. They use the No. 99 overall pick in this mock draft on safety Sydney Brown out of Illinois.
Brown is considered by many mock draft experts as a late second-round pick so grabbing him at 99 is a potentially great value. Brown is a bit shorter than you like in a safety at 5-foot-9 but he has some bulk to him as he weighs in at 211 pounds. His forty time is in the top 20% at his position at 4.47 seconds and he looks the part as a hard-hitting safety with great ball skills.
The former Fighting Illini defender is an experienced player, having spent five years at Illinois. This shows up on his tape through his ability to read defenses and understand complex coverages. He is a reliable tackler that’s not afraid of contact, and despite his size, is always willing to mix things up near the line of scrimmage.
The only concerns about him are related to his technique, as his footwork can be sloppy at times, but that can be coached out of him. He is a very talented and athletic player and if he can play bigger than his listed height, then he would be a great addition to this 49ers defense.
100. Tyler Steen, OT, Alabama
One of the most maligned players on the 49ers was right tackle Mike McGlinchey, who was the unfortunate victim of several highlight reels for pass rushers playing against San Francisco. Right tackle has been a need for the team as McGlinchey has not lived up to expectations there, so the 49ers use the No. 100 overall pick to address that position by grabbing Tyler Steen out of Alabama.
Steen is shorter than McGlinchey but has a bit more heft to him as he is currently listed about 15 pounds heavier and that additional weight should allow him to hold up better in pass protection. The Florida native started his career at Vanderbilt and played three seasons there at right and left tackle before transferring to Alabama as a senior and continue to play left tackle.
Obviously, the transition from right to left tackle is not as simple as it sounds, but Steen does have a season of experience on the right side and can slot in there from day one if he lives up to his measurables. He has consistently shown the ability to anchor against powerful pass rushers while also showcasing enough athleticism to make blocks at the second level.
Some scouts are concerned that he may rely too heavily on his physical gifts and his shorter arms and wingspan may make him susceptible to longer-limbed pass rushers. There’s nothing the 49ers can do about his potential physical limitations, but they can coach up his technique and allow him to use his size and strength to negate those limitations.
101. Adetomiwa Adebawore, EDGE, Northwestern
In recent years the 49ers have become known for featuring one of the most fearsome defensive lines in the NFL. The combination of Arik Armstead and Nick Bosa has been absolutely devastating for opposing offenses, but you can never have enough defensive linemen and pass rushers.
This mock draft, perhaps, needs to be updated after his impressive performance at the NFL Combine, but we take advantage of the opportunity and grab Adetomiwa Adebawore out of Northwestern with the No. 101 overall pick. AD became one of the stars of the Combine after running a ridiculous 4.49 40-yard dash, despite measuring in at 6-foot-1 and 282 pounds.
Adebawore has the skill set that teams look for in an explosive pass rusher and he has the type of athleticism that coaches dream of. He has a respectable 11 sacks over his last two seasons and can come in and become an immediate situational pass rusher opposite Nick Bosa. Though he doesn’t have ideal length that you look for in a pass rusher, he has incredible strength and was on Bruce Feldman’s Freaks List for his 30 bench reps and other mind-boggling times in other Combine events.
It’s unlikely that he will last until the third round after the way that he tested, but if he is available at this point, then Adebawore could become the next great defensive player in San Francisco. His presence would also take some of the pressure off Bosa, who is of course, coming off a Defensive Player of the Year Award but has also dealt with injuries over his career.