2020 NFL Draft: 5 First-round candidates for the 49ers

C.J. Henderson, Florida Gators. (Getty Images)
C.J. Henderson, Florida Gators. (Getty Images) /
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The 49ers are slated to select with the 31st overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, here we look at some possible first-round candidates for San Francisco.

It’s going to be a long, long offseason for the San Francisco 49ers.

It didn’t appear that way when they led by 10 points in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl LIV, but things happen.

Free agency is first on the agenda but, with the Scouting Combine only a matter of weeks away, there will soon be plenty of discussion about what the Niners should do with the 31st-overall pick, if they do indeed decide to keep it.

Here we provide some suggestions for San Francisco by looking at five possible first-rounders who they should be considering with the penultimate pick of round one.

Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama

Jimmie Ward is set to enter free agency following an extra contract year. If the 49ers are unable to lure him back, they would have a significant hole at free safety.

There are some questions over his range but for a team that often rotates Ward and Jaquiski Tartt between the deep and box safety roles, McKinney’s versatility makes him an excellent fit.

Saleh doesn’t blitz often, but when he does he frequently relies on sending safeties and cornerbacks. McKinney can blitz off the edge and would have little difficulty playing the box role.

An instinctive player who finished his two seasons as a starter at Alabama with 15 passes defensed and five interceptions, McKinney has what it takes to immediately fill the void Ward could leave and make the 49ers forget about their 2014 first-rounder.