NFL Insider Adam Caplan Predicts 49ers Will ‘Fill Cornerback Void’ in Latest Mock Draft

Following the Super Bowl 58 loss, NFL insider Adam Caplan explains why the 49ers will address cornerback with the 31st overall pick.

With the 2024 NFL Draft less than 10 days away, the San Francisco 49ers have one final decision soon to make on who should be taken 31st overall in the first round.

The NFC champs can go a multitude of ways at that spot. Many analysts have listed offensive tackle, edge rusher, safety, and defensive tackle among the high needs for the Niners. PFN’s own Adam Caplan, however, believes the 49ers will turn their attention to cornerback with the next-to-last pick of Day 1.

Who Adam Caplan Is Projecting Will Fall to the San Francisco 49ers

The NFL insider projects Georgia cornerback Kamari Lassiter going No. 31 to the Niners in the latest Mock Draft from PFN.

Caplan revealed that the 49ers tried to land CB help before the draft. They were hunting for help at that position during the season before the league’s trade deadline in November but couldn’t find an upgrade. That would’ve meant a new No. 2 CB opposite of Charvarius Ward.

The 5’11” Lassiter has become a popular prediction to land near the end of the first round or go early on Day 2 in the second round. The Bulldogs star immediately took to the field as a freshman by earning a spot on special teams and serving in a reserve cornerback role.

From there, he became a steady starting presence for an always-stacked Georgia defense. He started in all 15 games his sophomore year of 2022 during the Bulldogs’ 15-0 pursuit.

But 2023 represents the reason behind his rise as a potential first-rounder. Lassiter broke up a career-best eight passes while delivering 3.5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage. The former stat showcased his ability to disrupt passes coming his way. Lassiter used his reported 73 3/4″ wingspan and long-strider speed to deny receptions coming to his side.

PFN’s Ian Cummings wrote how Lassiter is a top-75 talent ahead of the draft and how he’s “one of the better, more versatile CB prospects in the class, and he should be able to provide starting utility for press-man, off-man, and zone-heavy teams.”

Did Caplan Mention Other CB Possibilities for the 49ers?

Turns out Lassiter isn’t the only projected CB fit Caplan highlighted for the Niners.

Toledo’s fast-riser Quinyon Mitchell was hailed as another strong first-round projection idea by the insider. Mitchell has emerged as one of the better Group of Five talents in this draft class after delivering stellar Senior Bowl and NFL Combine performances.

Should the 49ers end up taking Mitchell, it’ll mark the second time since 2022 that the franchise drafted a Toledo CB (Samuel Womack was selected in the fifth round at No. 172 in the ’22 draft by S.F.). Mitchell, however, is anticipated to land as high as No. 12 to the Denver Broncos by the insider.

Outside of Mitchell and Lassiter, another option written down by Caplan as a possibility for the Niners was Ennis Rakestraw Jr. of Missouri, who shares Southeastern Conference ties with Lassiter.

The Tigers standout is one more 5’11” CB option who’s his own PBU artist — best known for breaking up 12 passes in 2022. Rakestraw, however, was limited to nine games due to injuries in 2023. Yet, he still delivered tenacity in man coverage when he was healthy.

KEEP READING: Top CBs in the 2024 NFL Draft

Rakestraw even battled a groin injury during his NFL Combine workout. While Caplan calls the Mizzou star a strong CB idea for S.F., Cummings lists the defender as a top-64 prospect who’s “deserving of consideration in the early-to-mid Day 2 range.”

Considering how the 49ers allowed 333 yards to Patrick Mahomes in Super Bowl 58, it’s understandable why CB soars near the top of the Niners’ draft needs. Caplan believes the team can still solidify depth and a possible CB2 option next to Ward. Lassiter, with his projected value, looks ideal to join Ward, Womack, and Deommodore Lenoir in the CB room at 31st overall.

Miss football? The 2024 NFL Draft is almost here, boss. Pro Football Network has you covered with everything from team draft needs to the Top 100 prospects available. Plus, fire up PFN’s all-new Mock Draft Simulator to put yourself in the general manager’s seat and make all the calls — lone wolf or with your friends!

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