The San Francisco 49ers have a strong roster, but they have had an issue finding a true number one receiver. The 49ers need to target one with their first-round draft pick, and selecting a guy like Justin Jefferson from LSU would make a whole lot of sense.
This is a bit of an odd draft coming up in April for the 49ers. The 49ers have their first-round draft pick but after that, they aren’t slated to pick again until the fifth round, which makes it even more important that the 49ers hit on their first pick.
The Niners traded for Emmanual Sanders, who has been a good pickup for the squad. But he is set to be a free agent after this season. There is a chance that the team could sign him back or sign someone else in free agency, but that shouldn’t be counted.
The 49ers can’ take a project with their first-round pick, and Jefferson is someone who should be able to come in right away and be an impact player on the offense. Thedraftnetwork.com gave the following analysis of Jefferson’s game:
Displays a well above average ability to climb the ladder and snag the ball out of the air. Adequate body control quickly leads to him being able to adjust to the ball pattern in the air. Shows the ability of having the conscious to track the ball out of the air even when he seems to be in unfavorable situations to make the catch. Trait is glorified in the redzone, where he refuses to be denied the ball and tremendous with keeping his body clean off of the line.
Even if the rest of the offense took a while to develop, Jefferson would become an instant red-zone target for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo that would be a mismatch for other teams.
The Niners already have one strong red-zone target on the team in Pro Bowl tight end George Kittle, but it would be hard for other teams to take away both him and Jefferson. It would make the 49ers offense all the more potent to have another dangerous weapon on the outside like Jefferson that opposing defenses must account for.
If Jefferson is still on the board when the 49ers select late in the first round, then the 49ers need to think long and hard about selecting him. He might just be the man to be their top wide receiver of the future.