San Francisco 49ers: Early 3-round 2019 NFL mock draft upgrades defense

Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images /
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San Francisco 49ers
Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images /

The 49ers drafted Alabama’s Reuben Foster two seasons ago, thinking they had the cornerstone of their linebackers group – a player they could build around and establish an elite unit with once again.

Well, one arrest for marijuana, a weapons charge, and two domestic abuse allegations later, Foster is no longer with the team and the 49ers are once again needing to rebuild their linebackers group.

That’s why, with their second-round pick (No. 34 overall as of this writing), the 49ers go back to Alabama (hoping for better results this time) and take Mack Wilson.

Fred Warner has been a very pleasant surprise for San Francisco this season and he’s been playing some terrific ball. The veteran Malcolm Smith, in eleven games this year, has been okay. Ditto that with Elijah Lee.

But San Francisco is going to need a lot more than Warner and a bunch of average guys if they want this unit to be dynamic. Enter Wilson.

Some have compared Wilson’s skill set to that of Foster’s – specifically noting his sideline-to-sideline speed. We just have to hope he doesn’t come with the same baggage. He’s got great closing speed, has good instincts and route recognition, making him an asset in pass coverage, and he is a very willing, ferocious tackler, making him an asset in run defense.

Given the hole created by Foster’s dismissal from the team, the 49ers have got to draft another linebacker who is solid against both pass and run, and they could to a whole lot worse than Wilson.