We are exactly one month away from the 2018 NFL Draft which will take place at AT&T Stadium in Dallas. There has already been some movement in the first round. The New York Jets have traded up from pick No. 6 to No. 3 and the Buffalo Bills have moved up nine spots to 12th overall. Those trades and the potential for more should add to the intrigue of what is expected to be an unpredictable first round.
Below are the latest expert predictions for what the San Francisco 49ers will do with the ninth-overall pick.
Bucky Brooks, NFL.com: Derwin James, S, Florida State
"The 49ers could use another pack leader on the defensive side of the ball. James is a Kam Chancellor-like enforcer between the hashes."
Chad Reuter, NFL.com: Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech
"Edmunds would not last this long in a typical draft, but when quarterbacks go early, even rangy, dynamic linebackers have to wait for a while."
Charles Davis, NFL.com: Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State
"The Niners keep getting better. Veteran CB Richard Sherman's addition helps on the field, and he loves to tutor young DBs. Ward is the top cornerback in the draft."
Matt Miller, NFL.com: Edmunds
"Tremaine Edmunds is just 19 years old and already looks like an immediate NFL starter. At 6'4 ½" and 253 pounds, he doesn't look like a teenager and doesn't play like one either. Edmunds is a versatile asset on defense."
Chris Trapasso, CBS Sports: Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU
"Kyle Shanahan gets Jimmy G a boundary wideout who'll win on jump balls and dominate in the red zone. Sutton had 31 touchdowns in his final three seasons at SMU."
Tom Fornelli, CBS Sports: Ward
"The Niners signed Richard Sherman, but still need help at corner. They take Ward, who might just be the best pure cover corner in this draft."
Jon Ledyard, NDT Scouting: James
"If things play out in this fashion, the 49ers will likely choose between Derwin James, Minkah Fitzpatrick and Roquan Smith at no. 9. I think the NFL will feel a little more favorably about James, who is a glove in man coverage but might have some limitations in a single high role. Defensive coordinator Robert Saleh will see a Kam Chancellor type of player with more upside, and the 49ers need at the position will sway former safety John Lynch."
Albert Breer, MMQB: Edmunds
"I'm on record loving the fit for Edmunds in a Seattle-style defense, playing the role K.J. Wright does for the Seahawks and De'Vondre Campbell does for the Falcons. I'm sticking with that."
Eric Galko, Sporting News: OL Tyrell Crosby, Oregon
"In moving back this far, Crosby can be an immediate starter at left guard before potentially taking over for Joe Staley at tackle."
Adam Stites, SB Nation: Marcus Davenport, DL, UTSA
"Ideally, Barkley, Chubb, Fitzpatrick, or Nelson would slide to No. 9. But with those prospects off the board, the 49ers can go a number of different directions. The 49ers have added a lot of talent to the front seven in recent drafts, but there's still work to be done and Davenport has the potential to be a special talent."
Joel Klatt, Fox Sports, Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame
"Safest player available in this draft. This guy has all-pro potential. I think he will fit in perfectly with the mentality San Francisco is building."
Walter Cherepinsky, walterfootball.com: Sutton
"The 49ers have tons of options at this juncture, including wide receiver. This may seem a bit early for Courtland Sutton, but the SMU product was terrific at the combine. Plus, we saw receivers like Corey Davis and Mike Williams go earlier than expected last year, so perhaps the same thing will happen this April."
Charlie Campbell, walterfootball.com: Minkah Fitzpatrick, CB/S, Alabama
"Fitzpatrick would be a great scheme fit and could help form a talented secondary with Richard Sherman and Akhello Witherspoon."
Luke Easterling, USA Today: Fitzpatrick
Chris Rohling, Bleacher Report: Sutton
Ryan McCrystal, Bleacher Report: Edmunds
Final Tally (16 Total)
Edmunds – 4
Sutton – 3
James – 2
Ward – 2
Fitzpatrick – 2
Davenport – 1
Nelson – 1
Crosby – 1