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2024 Mock Draft Monday 1.0: The 49ers Are Back in the First Round

Happy draft month to all who celebrate! As we saw over the course of the last few weeks, the San Francisco 49ers were incredibly active in the free agent market, adding 11 new players to the roster since the start of the new league year along with a number of extensions and re-signings. A majority of the new acquisitions came on the defensive side of the ball, with a special emphasis on the front seven, but San Francisco did also round out its quarterback room and bolster the offensive line.

With four weeks left until the official start of the 2024 NFL Draft, much of the attention is now on the next generation of players set to enter the league. The 49ers have a rich history of drafting and developing the franchise's stars of tomorrow and look to the draft as another means of fortifying the roster for 2024.

President of football operations and general manager John Lynch and company are slated to make a first round selection for the first time since the 2021 season. As always, keep in mind, San Francisco's draft position is always subject to change.

Given the 49ers positions of need, below is a first look at who draft experts and analysts are projecting San Francisco to pick with the 31st-overall selection:

Jordan Morgan - G/OT, Arizona

"The 49ers might be wise to add to their OL depth. Morgan was a left tackle in college and might one day play there in the NFL, even if his shorter frame has a lot of teams projecting him inside. There's a need there in San Francisco."

Jordan Morgan - G/OT, Arizona

"The 49ers were active in free agency, but they didn't do much regarding the offensive line, which struggled throughout the postseason. To me, that signals that the front office sees the draft class as a good opportunity to build there. Morgan played left tackle at Arizona, but he is seen by scouts as a potential guard at the next level. He has 37 games of experience and is a great mover in space. Morgan is a plug-and-play fit in the 49ers scheme."

Kris Jenkins - DT, Michigan

"After losing Arik Armstead, the 49ers did sign two DTs, but Jenkins has a higher upside than both."

Ennis Rakestraw Jr. - CB, Missouri

"I went with one of my favorite defensive players in this class. Yes, Rakestraw only weighed 183 pounds at the combine, but his playing style reminds me of Devon Witherspoon ... who weighed 181 pounds at the combine a year ago."

Ladd McConkey - WR, Georgia

"McConkey gives Kyle Shanahan a great separator, something the 49ers sorely needed in the Super Bowl against man coverage, and insurance if Aiyuk isn't on the roster this year or next."

Graham Barton - OG, Duke

"Coming off a Super Bowl loss, San Francisco needs help on the interior of its offensive line, so the 49ers decide to grab Duke OG Graham Barton. The ninth and final OL taken in this 2024 NFL Mock Draft, he has elite explosiveness despite his imposing size at 6'5", 313 pounds. Still, concerns over his arm length could pigeonhole him into an interior spot at the NFL level despite his experience at LT for the Duke Blue Devils."

Kris Jenkins - DT, Michigan

"Kris Jenkins would be another first-round surprise but his strength and functional athleticism are well-documented. This just isn't a very deep interior DL class near the top. The 49ers badly need another key rotational piece at defensive tackle, so it might behoove them to take Jenkins here."

Graham Barton - OL, Duke

"Barton finished his college career at left tackle, thanks in large part to the fact that he was Duke's best offensive lineman. He's likely better suited for the interior at the NFL level, but college success on the exterior shouldn't be discounted, because versatility is an increasingly valuable commodity on the offensive line. Barton has a lot of that adaptability, as he also started at center and guard. The 49ers biggest statistical weakness last season came in pass protection and major change should soon be afoot along their front, even though they're currently set to bring back all five 2023 starters. Left tackle Trent Williams will be 36 next season, left guard Aaron Banks is entering the final season of his rookie deal and all three other positions — from center to right tackle — can use upgrades. That's why Barton would bring tremendous value to the 49ers late in the first round. He's athletic with a strong base — just the ingredients San Francisco could work with to mold a rookie who'd contribute where needed in 2024."

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