New York, NY—The San Francisco 49ers made it to the Superbowl because they improved in two major areas-the running game and push rush.
Frisco were second in the NFL with 144.1 yard average last season in spite of losing projected starting running back Jerick McKinnon out with a torn ACL. So it was running back by committee with Tevin Coleman, Matt Breida, and Raheem Mostert sharing the load.
San Francisco’s defense made similar strides going from 13th in total yards per game (346.6) in 2018 to No.2 (281.8) last season. No.2 draft pick Nick Bosa was one of the reasons the defense shut down their opponents.
GM John Lynch and company felt real comfortable coming into 2020 NFL draft with the majority of the team intact apart from trading defensive tackle DeForest Buckner for a first-round pick and losing wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders in free agency, the 49ers was in pretty good shape.
With five selections draft picks, this Frisco draft class was very difficult to evaluate. But for a team that came up a little short in the Super Bowl had few areas of concern. Coach Kyle Shanahan came close in filling those needs on Day 1 of the draft.
The 49ers drafted the disrupting defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw (South Carolina) with the (14) pick of round 1, and he will be Buckner’s replacement. San Francisco traded their way into the 25th pick to get wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk (Arizona State), a freakish athlete who runs excellent routes and can get up the field in a blink of an eye.
Frisco had a little time to think in the fifth round when they selected offensive tackle Colton McKivitz (153) from WVU, tight end Charlie Woerner (190) from Georgia and wide receiver Jauan Jennings (217) from Tennessee.
If I had to give the 49ers a grade it would probably be in the B range for the 2020 NFL draft. Frisco were able to use draft picks to get left tackle Trent Williams in a trade with the Redskins, and it cost them only a fifth-rounder in this year’s draft and next year’s third-round pick. But they didn’t address their issues at the outside linebacker position. Dre Greenlaw did a decent job last season but a safety net is really need there.
|Round 1: Pick 14||DT Javon Kinlaw||South Carolina|
|Round 2: Pick 25||WR Brandon Aiyuk||Arizona State|
|Round 5: Pick 153||OL Colton McKivitz||West Virginia|
|Round 6: Pick 190||TE Charlie Woerner||Georgia|
|Round 7: Pick 217||WR Jauan Jennings||Tennessee|