The season win totals dropped recently, and the Niners were set at eight wins, which...yeah. That's how I feel, too. Sure, I'll give them eight...but I don't want to give them any more than that.
How good is this team?
Big ticket free agents on the defense (Richard Sherman, Kwon Alexander, Dee Ford) have to become impact players. A crowded defensive line has to settle into roles and a groove. The secondary needs to stay healthy.
And on offense, Jimmy Garoppolo needs to prove, once and for all, that he's legit. I believe in Shanahan, I love his backfield, I love the pass-catching options (assuming they added an early guy, which they do here) -- it all comes back to the quarterback.
Weird team, huge question mark, fun to watch. Let's get 'em some players!
Pick 2: Josh Allen, EDGE, Kentucky
It's still worth investigating those avenues in which Kyler Murray does not go No. 1 overall, in my opinion -- until Josh Rosen is off that roster, I can't believe the Cardinals have locked in Murray. As such, if Nick Bosa goes in the first slot, I'd imagine the Niners stick to the script and take Allen at 2.
I don't love Allen as a prospect and would prefer a player like Brian Burns, but Allen's versatility, explosiveness, and length all spell a good fit in San Fran. It'll be interesting to see how snaps are divided in Year 1 between Dee Ford, Solomon Thomas, and Allen -- and what alignments they fill on the line.
Pick 36: A.J. Brown, WR, Ole Miss
Slam-dunk fit for the Niners here. Brown and incumbent Dante Pettis both have the versatility to play from any WR alignment, the route-running prowess to execute multi-break patterns that Shanahan loves so much, and strong and fearless hands across the middle to absorb big shots.
Brown and South Carolina WR Deebo Samuel fill similar molds and have both visited the Niners -- I like Samuel just a hair more as a prospect, but I wouldn't hate either here. As the board fell, no Deebo, so Brown was the big. Still a win.
Pick 67: Trayvon Mullen, CB, Clemson
This class has more than a few names who I think will be successful in a Seattle Cover-3 mold of play, so I'm not afraid of waiting on the position a bit. Mullen at the top of Round 3 is a good deal for his talent level.
Mullen is at his best attacking the catchpoint, as he has really strong flexibility, timing, and coordination in the air -- he's also willing to come downhill and attack through receivers with admirable physicality. At the line, he will get worked a bit -- as most young corners do -- and needs to measure his steps and play from a more balanced base. When he lands his punch and disrupts, however, he's suffocating.
Pick 104: Ben Powers, iOL, Oklahoma
Wanted to go safety here but was too excited when I saw Powers still available after the Top-100. Big ol' steal.
Powers isn't a snug fit in a zone system, but he's at least a functional athlete who brings a lot of power to the contact point. Stiffness is something you can survive with when you have Powers' hand technique and timing, as well as his measured play to ensure he doesn't get off-balance or out of position. He's not an ideal starter, but he can challenge your incumbents and provide strong depth.
Pick 176: Marvell Tell, S, USC
Marvell Tell absolutely crushed the Combine. 11'2 broad, 42" vert, 6.63s 3-cone, 4.01s short-shuttle with an 80" wingspan. He's thin, at 198 pounds on a 6-foot-2 frame, but you'll forgive it for that explosiveness and agility.
His tape is also bad. His angles are questionable, his motor runs cold, and he's a poor tackler. Some have recommended a change to corner in the NFL, but as it stands, I think he provides depth behind Adrian Colbert at FS as Colbert looks to bounce back from a poor 2018.
Pick 212: Donald Parham, TE, Stetson
Fun little fit here, in my opinion. Parham's really a souped-up WR, as he hit the Bethune-Cookman Pro Day at 225 pounds, a significant drop off from his 243 pounds at the Senior Bowl. Because he's freakishly tall (6-foot-8!), he's super thin throughout his frame, and can't hold up on an in-line role.
But I expect a coach like Shanahan can get a lot of out him as a big-slot player, as Parham has relatively sharp routes for a dude of his stride length. Parham can win with leverage, size, and catch radius at the catch point and is a reliable over-the-middle receiver. He can carve out a unique role in San Fran.