One 2022 NFL mock draft calls for secondary help coming to the San Francisco 49ers.
Luke Easterling of USA Today’s Draft Wire unveiled his newest three round projections and has the 49ers taking not one, but two secondary members to bolster the defensive back unit.
This mock article also has the ‘Niners falling to No. 42 overall due to the Trey Lance addition. The 49ers wound up sending their future first rounders in the 2022 and 2023 draft to the Miami Dolphins to take Lance at No. 3 overall this past May.
Who does Easterling and Draft Wire have coming to the Bay Area?
Cornerback Sevyn Banks of Ohio State
Rookie Deommodore Lenoir has given San Francisco a strong glimpse of the defensive future by allowing nine catches through five games per Pro Football Focus. But with 33-year-old Josh Norman struggling early in his 49ers tenure, Draft Wire calls for the 49ers to dip into a traditional NFL Draft hotbed for defensive back talent: Ohio State.
That’s where they believe Banks will be available at the 42nd spot of the second round.
The 6-foot-1, 200-pound senior has been lauded as a first round talent. Pete Nakos of On3.com listed Banks as a candidate for the top overall selection of 2022, which would make him the first Buckeye to go No. 1 overall since Orlando Pace of the 1997 NFL Draft. Meanwhile, Ian Cummings of the Pro Football Network wrote in a June 19 article that Banks “might be the best raw athlete of the bunch” that includes highly-touted corners Derek Stingley Jr. of LSU and Ahmad Gardner Cincinnati.
This CB group for 2022, though, is expected to be a deep unit — hence the belief Banks could fall to the second round.
Banks is one of the most least targeted CB’s in the Big 10 conference. He’s physical against receivers especially before they get into their routes and has the lateral quickness to take on angles. He’s an aerial disruptor who’s among the best in his conference at the pass breakup, which includes breaking up a key end zone pass against 2021 first overall pick Trevor Lawrence in the January 2021 College Football playoffs. Another key moment from Banks? Defending the slot fade, considered one of the toughest routes to cover but Banks plays it fundamentally strong here as noted by former NFL CB Eric Crocker:
He has, however, gotten over-aggressive in his angle pursuits and will either come up too high on tackles or over-shoot. He’s only snatched two interceptions through 31 games played, which will likely question his ability to be a consistent ball-hawk.
Nevertheless, a Banks and Lenoir pairing could be too good to pass up for S.F.
Safety Bubba Bolden of Miami
At No. 73 overall, the 49ers select some much needed youth at safety…and a brief former college teammate of rookie Talanoa Hufanga.
Bolden’s USC career, though, was marred with off the field issues that included violating a school code of conduct policy, hence his transfer to Miami.
Bolden still possesses the traits that make him a high value come draft day. Like Banks, he’s another with the speed to attack angles plus brings strong recovery speed in receivers get in front of him. He’s excellent at making plays at the third level of the defense, seen here in this evaluation by NFL Draft Fan Nation.
Bolden will need to improve his tackling ability in the box. He appears to thrive more in a two-high safety look. Unfortunately, his troubles at USC will likely be a topic of conversation among teams that evaluate him.
But for a 49ers team with aging veterans Tavon Wilson and Jaquiski Tartt at safety, Bolden makes a lot of sense…and he could form the safety tandem with Hufanga that never came to be at USC.