NFL Draft 2020: How Marqise Lee release could impact 49ers' plans


Like the 49ers, the Jacksonville Jaguars hold two picks in the first round of this year’s NFL draft, the Nos. 9 and 20 selections overall.

Plenty of needs exist for Jacksonville, especially on the offensive and defensive lines. But also like their Bay Area counterpart, the Jaguars are in need of a top-level wide receiver, especially with a young quarterback like Garnder Minshew expected to be the starter in 2020. That need only grew Monday, when Jacksonville released wideout Marqise Lee, the team announced Monday

Lee had been productive in his five seasons with the Jaguars, catching 174 passes for 2,184 yards and eight touchdowns. But Lee also completed the last two seasons on injured reserve, and his release creates almost $5 million in salary-cap space.

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The 49ers’ first-round pick is four spots behind Jacksonville at No. 13, meaning the Jaguars have a chance to steal one of the big three from this year’s wide receiver class: Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb and Alabama products Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs III

Especially with the Raiders and New York Jets also holding picks before San Francisco and needing a wideout, there’s a chance all three stars could be off the board by the time general manager John Lynch goes on the clock.

[RELATED: Report: 49ers 'open' to trading both first-round draft picks]

Our Dalton Johnson and Josh Schrock have Jacksonville trading out of that No. 9 position with Tampa Bay to secure a few additional picks to help accelerate the team's rebuild, but the chance to add a top-end talent on the outside to pair with vertical threat D.J. Chark could be too good an opportunity for general manager David Caldwell to pass up.

While snagging an offensive tackle like Louisville's Mekhi Becton or opting for a cornerback like Florida’s C.J. Henderson wouldn’t be an awful consolation prize, all signs point to the Niners wanting one of those three in coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense next season.

Whether any of them will be available at No. 13 remains to be seen, as we enter the most unpredictable NFL draft in years.

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