NFL Draft

How NFL experts predict 49ers will use No. 31 draft pick

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With the 2024 NFL Draft now just weeks away, the 49ers have a flurry of important decisions to make to bolster their roster for the upcoming season.

San Francisco owns 10 total picks in this month's draft, which includes a fourth-round pick it received from the Dallas Cowboys in last summer's Trey Lance trade and four compensatory selections.

While 49ers general manager John Lynch and Co. will address several positions of need with their 10 selections, their opening focus will be on their 31st pick when Round 1 begins April 27 in Detroit.

Here is how NFL experts project the 49ers will use their first-round pick:

Eric Edholm,

Pick: OL Jordan Morgan, 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."

Pro Football Focus

Pick: WR Ladd McConkey, Georgia

"It seems like the 49ers and Brandon Aiyuk are moving further apart in contract negotiations with each passing day. If he is traded before or during the draft, San Francisco may try to address the position in the first round. 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."

Derek Tate, Pro Football Network

Pick: DB Cooper DeJean, Iowa

"Iowa’s Cooper DeJean possesses a skill set that makes for an unclear projection heading into the NFL. He certainly could thrive as a hybrid safety with his effectiveness as a slot defender and physicality in run support.

"Yet, he could project as an effective zone corner on the outside, which fits the Niners’ zone-heavy defensive scheme. DeJean has exceptional ball skills and can scream downhill when the action unfolds in front of him.

"Ji’Ayir Brown and Talanoa Hufanga make for a potentially great starting safety tandem moving forward, but DeJean’s playmaking ability and versatile skill set could help the back end of this defense become even more formidable."

Chad Reuter,

Pick: CB Max Melton, Rutgers

Melton's plus athleticism (4.39-second 40, 40 1/2-inch vertical, 11-foot-4-inch broad) and aggressive coverage make him an easy choice for the 49ers, who desperately need to upgrade their secondary.

Jennifer Eakins, Bleacher Nation

Pick: CB Kamari Lassiter, Georgia

"Five of the current members of the 49ers secondary are set to hit free agency next season, so grabbing a corner in this year’s draft is a solid move for the future of the franchise.

"Lassiter boasts a desirable combination of size and instincts, making him a shutdown threat against even the most elite wide receivers. He excels in press coverage, using his strength to jam receivers at the line of scrimmage and disrupt their routes before they even begin. The former Bulldog’s fluid movement allows him to stay in phase with his assignment deep down the field, no matter how shifty or speedy they are. Lassiter held his own in a conference loaded with elite wide receivers (SEC), earning a reputation for shutting down the opposing team’s top targets."

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