PFF draft board: San Francisco 49ers

Gordon McGuinness takes a pick-by-pick look at the 2016 draft prospects that best fit the 49ers' roster needs.

| 8 months ago
(Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

(Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

PFF draft board: San Francisco 49ers


PFF is putting together team-specific draft boards for all 32 franchises using our draft rankings and evaluation of how each player fits in specific schemes.

Included are three ideal targets for each team with their first-, second-, and third-round picks, along with a team-specific draft board (at the bottom of this article) that includes every player in PFF’s draft rankings.

Here is the entry for the San Francisco 49ers: 

Round 1 (seventh overall)

Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State

It might involve a trade up, but depending on how the draft goes, the 49ers could get their shot at a signal-caller in Round 1. Wentz is the No. 2 QB on our draft board, despite playing only 521 snaps in 2015. He had a lot of success downfield last season, with a grade of +6.0 on passes 20 yards or more in the air.

DeForest Buckner, DI, Oregon

If the 49ers don’t manage to snag a quarterback in the top 10, it almost certainly means that one of the top defensive prospects in the draft has slipped down to them. With 3-4 defensive end not considered to be an exciting position, that could mean San Francisco gets the chance to pair last year’s first-round draft pick, Arik Armstead, with fellow a Oregon alumnus. Buckner was our highest graded interior defender in 2015, racking up 67 total pressures over the course of the season.

Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor

They have a downfield threat in Torrey Smith, but the 49ers lack a true every-down difference maker at the wide receiver position. Coleman could be the guy, with his work on shorter routes showing up throughout the season. He forced 13 missed tackles from 74 receptions in 2015, and can make things happen after the catch.

Round 2 (37th overall)

Rashard Higgins, WR, Colorado State

Regardless of whether or not they address their quarterback situation in Round 1, the 49ers need to find more weapons on offense. Similar to Coleman as an option in Round 1, Higgins is the type of player who can complement Torrey Smith and work the underneath routes. He impressed on WR screens, and trailed only Amari Cooper and Tyler Lockett in PFF receiving grade in 2014.

Scooby Wright, LB, Arizona

It’s tough to project where he fits best at the next level, but Scooby Wright was an excellent run-defender in 2014 at Arizona. With the second-highest grade of any inside linebacker not named Paul Dawson, he stood out in particular against the run.

A’Shawn Robinson, DE, Alabama

If they miss out on DeForest Buckner in Round 1, that doesn’t mean the search for a 3-4 defensive end to pair with Armstead should end. Robinson racked up 28 tackles resulting in a defensive stop in 2015, and he’d be a good addition on that San Francisco defensive line.

Round 3 (68th overall)

Malcolm Mitchell, WR, Georgia

They need to address the position at some point, and Mitchell has shown the potential to exceed his college production. The former Bulldog had the 16th-highest receiving grade amongst wide receivers in this draft class, forcing 13 missed tackles on 58 receptions in 2015.

Joe Thuney, OT, North Carolina State

Should the 49ers look to address the offensive line, tackle Joe Thuney would be a smart pick-up. He graded positively in all but one game last year, and allowed just two sacks, one hit, and four hurries.

Vernon Adams Jr., QB, Oregon

Adams is an interesting prospect given just how much he struggled early on at Oregon. You can partly put this down to learning a new system, and partly down to a thumb injury, but the most important thing is that he improved. From Week 12 onwards, only Jared Goff had a higher passing grade than Adams.

PlayerPositionSchoolPFF Draft BoardSan Francisco 49ers Draft Board
Joey BosaEDGEOhio State11
Jalen RamseyCBFlorida State32
Jared GoffQBCal43
Laremy TunsilOTOle Miss54
DeForest BucknerDIOregon25
Corey ColemanWRBaylor96
Myles JackLBUCLA67
Ezekiel ElliottRBOhio State78
Josh DoctsonWRTCU109
Sheldon RankinsDILouisville810
Shaq LawsonEDGEClemson1111
Cody WhitehairGKansas State1712
Chris JonesDIMississippi State1213
William Jackson IIICBHouston1514
Ronnie StanleyOTNotre Dame1615
Sterling ShepardWROklahoma2316
Carson WentzQBNorth Dakota State1417
Jarran ReedDIAlabama2018
Jaylon SmithLBNotre Dame2519
Jason SpriggsOTIndiana4620
Vernon HargreavesCBFlorida1821
Leonte CarrooWRRutgers3522
Hunter HenryTEArkansas3323
Vernon ButlerDILouisiana Tech3224
Rashard HigginsWRColorado State4024
Will FullerWRNotre Dame6026
Michael Thomas (OSU)WROhio State2426
Leonard FloydEDGEGeorgia1928
Emmanuel OgbahEDGEOklahoma State3729
Andrew BillingsDIBaylor2230
Karl JosephSWest Virginia3031
Nick MartinCNotre Dame4532
A'Shawn RobinsonDIAlabama4133
Jack ConklinOTMichigan State1334
Reggie RaglandLBAlabama2635
Paxton LynchQBMemphis5536
Joe ThuneyOTNC State5137
Shilique CalhounEDGEMichigan State2938
Kalan ReedCBSouthern Miss5439
Michael Thomas (SM)WRSouthern Miss3840
Keyarris GarrettWRTulsa6441
Isaac SeumaloGOregon State6341
Ryan KellyCAlabama4243
Maliek CollinsDINebraska6144
Adolphus WashingtonDIOhio State4345
Laquon TreadwellWROle Miss2846
Cyrus JonesCBAlabama7747
Scooby Wright IIILBArizona7148
Carl NassibEDGEPenn State6848
Jonathan BullardDIFlorida2750
Paul PerkinsRBUCLA4950
Su'a CravensLBUSC4850
Eli AppleCBOhio State3153
Christian WestermanGArizona State8554
Darron LeeLBOhio State8155
Nick VanHooseCBNorthwestern8856
Malcolm MitchellWRGeorgia6757
Hassan RidgewayDITexas5758
Kenny ClarkDIUCLA5858
Connor CookQBMichigan State7560
De'Vante HarrisCBTexas A&M6960
Jeremy CashSDuke5362
Austin JohnsonDIPenn State3963
Joshua GarnettGStanford5064
Dean LowryDINorthwestern9764
Kevin DoddEDGEClemson7064
Nick KwiatkowskiLBWest Virginia7667
Joe SchobertEDGEWisconsin7467
Xavien HowardCBBaylor8069
Kenneth DixonRBLouisiana Tech4770
Mackenzie AlexanderCBClemson2171
Joe DahlOTWashington State11271
Taylor DeckerOTOhio State5273
Pharoh CooperWRSouth Carolina9674
Devin LucienWRArizona State9274
Braxton MillerWROhio State9874
Jerell AdamsTESouth Carolina5977
Tavon YoungCBTemple11578
Joshua PerryLBOhio State8679
Cre'Von LeBlancCBFlorida Atlantic9380
Aaron BurbridgeWRMichigan State13881
Bronson KaufusiEDGEBYU6682
Tyler BoydWRPittsburgh8282
Ronald BlairEDGEAppalachian State10282
Sheldon DayDINotre Dame3485
Noah SpenceEDGEEastern Kentucky3686
Le'Raven ClarkOTTexas Tech11987
Thomas DuarteTEUCLA8988
Matt IoannidisDITemple12489
Darius LathamDIIndiana8490
Shon ColemanOTAuburn9191
Kevin PetersonCBOklahoma State9491
Austin HooperTEStanford12591
Darian ThompsonSBoise State8394
Daniel BravermanWRWestern Michigan6295
Jordan HowardRBIndiana5696
Vonn BellSOhio State9097
Steven DanielsLBBoston College10198
Willie HenryDIMichigan9998
Kyler FackrellEDGEUtah State65100
Anthony ZettelDIPenn State114100
Kentrell BrothersLBMissouri108100
Jake McGeeTEFlorida123103
Matt SkuraCDuke128104
Kamalei CorreaEDGEBoise State78105
Javon HargraveDISouth Carolina State79105
Alex CollinsRBArkansas87107
Kevin ByardSMiddle Tennessee State73108
Nelson SpruceWRColorado145109
Spencer DrangoGBaylor107110
Brandon DoughtyQBWestern Kentucky109110
Darrell GreeneGSan Diego State157112
Jordan PaytonWRUCLA118113
Tajae SharpeWRUmass180114
Austin BlytheCIowa203115
Devon CajusteTEStanford174115
Will AnthonyEDGENavy132117
Demarcus AyersWRHouston150118
David MorganTEUTSA153119
Jakeem GrantWRTexas Tech173120
Germain IfediOTTexas A&M182121
Kyle MurphyOTStanford72122
Vernon Adams, JRQBOregon111123
Devontae BookerRBUtah103124
Max TuerkCUSC113125
Jack AllenCMichigan State122126
Sebastian TretolaGArkansas126127
Cardale JonesQBOhio State222127
Cody KesslerQBUSC106127
Henry Krieger-CobleTEIowa230130
Matt JohnsonQBBowling Green110131
Demarcus RobinsonWRFlorida140132
C.J. ProsiseRBNotre Dame105133
Joe HaegOTNorth Dakota State117134
Brandon AllenQBArkansas104135
Kendall FullerCBVirginia Tech139136
Jihad WardDIIllinois159137
Tyler GrayLBBoise State160137
D.J. ReaderDIClemson162137
Terrell LathanDITCU167137
Dadi Lhomme NicholasEDGEVirginia Tech161137
Aaron WallaceEDGEUCLA166137
Joey HuntCTCU189143
Daniel LascoRBCal141144
Will RedmondCBMississippi State116145
Will ParksSArizona100146
Kyle RoseDIWest Virginia168146
Sterling BaileyDIGeorgia170146
Delvon SimmonsDIUSC175146
Brennan ScarlettDIStanford178146
Graham GlasgowGMichigan158146
B.J. GoodsonLBClemson146146
Terrell ChestnutCBWest Virginia129153
Trevone BoykinQBTCU142154
Jatavis BrownLBAkron131155
Tyrone HolmesEDGEMontana130155
Bryson AlbrightEDGEMiami (OH)195157
Travis FeeneyEDGEWashington196157
Jayron KearseSClemson120159
Jacoby BrissettQBNC State151160
Kevin HoganQBStanford143160
Jeff DriskelQBLouisiana Tech149160
Charles TapperEDGEOklahoma136163
Kenyan DrakeRBAlabama135163
Jonathan WilliamsRBArkansas137163
Eric MurrayCBMinnesota154166
Nile Lawrence-StampleDIFlorida State148167
Quniton JeffersonDIMaryland210167
D.J. PettwayEDGEAlabama211167
Ryker MathewsGBYU164170
Byron MarshallWROregon121171
D.J. WhiteCBGeorgia Tech155172
Keanu NealSFlorida176173
Tyler ErvinRBSan Jose State197174
Eric StrikerEDGEOklahoma165175
Cory JohnsonDIKentucky156175
Kolby ListenbeeWRTCU181177
KeiVarae RussellCBNotre Dame171178
Corey TindalCBMarshall172178
Ian SeauEDGENevada219180
Matt JudonEDGEGrand Valley State220180
Miles KillebrewSSouther Utah187182
Jordan JenkinsEDGEGeorgia127183
Nick VigilLBUtah State205183
Adam GotsisDIGeorgia Tech177185
Jhurell PressleyRBNew Mexico179185
Justin SimmonsSBoston College163187
Cody CoreWROle Miss184188
Kenny LawlerWRCal193188
Rees OdhiamboGBoise State190188
Alex LewisOTNebraska183191
Yannick NgakoueEDGEMaryland134192
Artie BurnsCBMiami144193
Taveze CalhounCBMississippi State147193
DeAndre WashingtonRBTexas Tech194195
Mike RoseEDGENC State223196
Victor OchiEDGEStony Brook244196
Cory LittletonEDGEWashington246196
Ted KarrasGIllinois213199
Connor McGovernGMissouri202199
Donte DeayonCBBoise State199201
Blake MartinezLBStanford198202
Curt MaggittEDGETennessee207202
Dak PrescottQBMississippi State221204
Jenson StoshakWRFlorida Atlantic214204
Jordan WilliamsWRBall State218204
Derrick HenryRBAlabama95207
Alex McCalisterEDGEFlorida169207
Clayton FejedelemSIllinois201209
Tanner McEvoySWisconsin206209
Tyler RobertsLBTroy215211
Tyler MatakevichLBTemple185212
Trevon ColeyDIFlorida Atlantic186212
Perez FordLBNorthern Illinois188212
Eddie YarbroughEDGEWyoming192212
T.J. GreenSClemson217216
Teddy RubenWRTroy212216
Roger LewisWRBowling Green224218
Nick ArbuckleQBGeorgia State242218
Mitch MathewsWRBYU226218
Charone PeakeWRClemson229218
Chris MooreWRCincinnati236218
Trevor DavisWRCal239218
John TheusOTGeorgia231224
Jerald HawkinsOTLSU232224
Jesse ChapmanCAppalachian State241224
Jake BrendelCUCLA245224
Justin MurrayOTCincinnati249224
Prince Charles IworahCBWestern Kentucky225224
Jalen MillsCBLSU247224
Praise Martin-OguikeEDGETemple208231
Connor WujciakDIBoston College204231
Caleb AzubikeEDGEVanderbilt209231
Vincent ValentineDINebraska234234
Martavius FosterDIColorado State240234
Deion JonesLBLSU250234
Jimmy BeanEDGEOklahoma State248234
Josh FergusonRBIllinois235234
Wendell SmallwoodRBWest Virginia228234
D.J. FosterWRArizona State216240
Mike HiltonSOle Miss233241
Alex EricksonWRWisconsin227242
Boston StiversonGKansas State237243
Jarell BroxtonGBaylor238243
Vadal AlexanderGLSU243243
Robert NkemdicheDIOle Miss44246
Landon TurnerGNorth Carolina133246
Nila KasitatiGOklahoma152246
Brandon ShellOTSouth Carolina191246
Rashard RobinsonCBLSU200246

| Analyst, Lead Special Teams Analyst

Gordon has worked at PFF since 2011, and now heads up the company’s special teams analysis processes. His work in-season focuses on college football, while he is also heavily involved in PFF’s NFL draft coverage.

  • theowl

    Gorden, why would Goff or Wentz be the Niners first choices if they aren’t at the top of their draft board? Isn’t a team’s draft board listed in order of how a team would want to draft players?

    I’m assuming the tie at 149 is a bit of humor for those who actually look through your list. Tie? I appreciate the pun..

    I completely agree with you that the Niners have taken Nkemdiche off their board. They haven’t drafted anyone close to being an off, or on, field problem for a few years now. More than anyone, Aldon Smith really messed this team up. And they thought he was a solid fella when they drafted him.

    • Alan Mazz

      Total mythology three players from last year’s draft got into trouble in college. Hyde slapped a woman in a bar and another player was suspended from the team. it’s a good idea to consult draft Publications before generalizing. sorry for for my lack of specific info. as Source material has been filed away.

      • theowl

        You are correct. I was mistaken, Hyde was close to being an off the field problem. I overstated the mythology I was creating. But I still think they avoid certain players more than other teams. Who are the three players you are referring to from last years draft?

        • theowl

          I watched the video of Hyde in the club, and if that was his only transgression, I don’t think it shows a person with a red flag. What he did was wrong, but it I think it was one incident.

          The “other player suspended from the team” I assume is Bradley Roby. I’m not sure why you brought him up. He was arrested for an incident in another state, and wasn’t drafted by the Niners. Roby is another player I think the Niners avoided. As you probably know, media publications had a red flag on him.

  • Kaedwon

    LOL @ Nkemdiche wtf

  • grenadiadrian

    Philly just traded up with CLE for the #2 spot. Go ahead and remove Wentz from the list. In no way shape or form is Paxton Lynch worth a top 10 pick. It’s looking more and more like Buckner will be reunited with Armstead and Kelly.

    • theowl

      I love Buckner. Niners number one need is pass rush and he can give pressure from the inside. Not a good draft for edge pass rushers, at least early.

      • grenadiadrian

        Agreed. And with Ian Williams not fully healed and still trying to replace J. Smith, having Buckner with Armstead on the line would be a tremendous help.

  • Tim Edell

    Vernon Adams can be had in the 6th or 7th round