San Francisco 49ers 7-Round Mock Draft: Targeting a first-round running back

San Francisco 49ers, 2020 NFL Draft (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
San Francisco 49ers, 2020 NFL Draft (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /
2 of 4
San Francisco 49ers, 2020 NFL Draft
San Francisco 49ers, 2020 NFL Draft (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Round 1, 31st Overall

Pick Analysis. Running Back. player. 42. Scouting Report. Georgia. D'Andre Swift. 1

Given their lack of middle-round picks, the 49ers’ first-round selection will give the team their only real chance to add a top collegiate player. It will be interesting to see which position of need Lynch and Shanahan elect to address.

While receiver and cornerback are the two most pressing needs, the team’s best option may be to use this pick to bolster the team’s biggest strength — their running game.

San Francisco has displayed an elite rushing attack under Shanahan’s zone run scheme. Their ability to find success with an array of running backs has also been impressive.

After injuries to Jerick McKinnon, Matt Breida, and Tevin Coleman, the team was still able to produce behind unknown journeyman Raheem Mostert.

More from Golden Gate Sports

However, imagine what the 49ers’ offense could look like with a legitimate top option in the backfield. If the team was able to use their stable of mix-matched players earn a Super Bowl berth, imagine what they could do with an elite prospect like D’Andre Swift.

The Georgia product boasts excellent athleticism and strength for his position. Scouts have praised his explosiveness and ability to consistently power through tacklers. His natural gifts have even drawn comparisons to Carolina Panthers’ star Christian McCaffrey.

While his physical playing style could lead to potential injury concerns, he is widely considered to be the top overall running back in the 2020 NFL Draft. If he is able to protect his body, he has the makeup of an NFL star.

Swift is the top running back on many draft boards. Some even have him being selected as early as the mid-first-round.

However, in a modern NFL that values passing over rushing, most teams are not eager to select a running back in the first round (unless the prospect has a grade as high as players like Saquon Barkley or McCaffrey).

Swift, while a very good prospect, does not quite reach that level. He could very easily be on the board as the 49ers go on the clock.