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San Francisco 49ers' 2020 NFL draft analysis for every pick

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Were Kinlaw and Aiyuk the right picks for the 49ers? (1:24)

Nick Wagoner details whether the 49ers made the right selection in taking Javon Kinlaw at 14th and Brandon Aiyuk at 25th in the 2020 NFL draft. (1:24)

The 2020 NFL draft is in the books, and the San Francisco 49ers' draft class is complete.

The draft, which had been scheduled to take place in Las Vegas, was successfully completed virtually from the homes of coaches, general manager and other front-office staff because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Here's a pick-by-pick look at how each player San Francisco has selected will fit.

Analysis of every pick | Updated depth charts


Round 1, No. 14 overall: Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina

My take: It probably should come as no surprise that the 49ers once again invested in the defensive line. This is the fifth time in six years they've used their first pick on the defensive front. In Kinlaw, the Niners hope they have found their replacement for DeForest Buckner as the 3-technique defensive tackle. Buckner left behind big shoes to fill, but Kinlaw is considered an elite athlete for the position and should be able to contribute right away.

Moving back: The 49ers made no secret of their desire to trade down and eventually found a taker, acquiring the No. 14 pick and a fourth-round choice from Tampa Bay for the No. 13 pick and a seventh-round choice. The Bucs landed Iowa offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs. The Niners then took up the entire clock before submitting Kinlaw's name, an indication they were open to moving down again. But it didn't happen and the team landed Kinlaw, a solid value made better by the trade down.

What about wideout? Throughout the pre-draft process, the 49ers were linked to all of the top receivers and had all except Alabama's Henry Ruggs III available when they made this pick. They could have had Jerry Jeudy, CeeDee Lamb or Justin Jefferson but decided to pass and take Kinlaw. This is a deep draft at wide receiver and the Niners will certainly take at least one before it's over, but it's also fair to wonder what would have happened had Ruggs slipped one more spot.

Round 1, No. 25 overall: Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State

My take: The 49ers absolutely needed to come out of this draft with a real threat at wide receiver after losing veteran Emmanuel Sanders to the New Orleans Saints in free agency. They had their chance to take any of the wideouts not named Henry Ruggs III with their first pick (No. 14) and declined. Instead, they waited and found themselves having to trade up to land Aiyuk. Aiyuk should have a chance to contribute right away and the Niners will need him to do so since they don't have a lot of proven options at receiver aside from Deebo Samuel and Kendrick Bourne. It's going to be more difficult for Aiyuk since there's unlikely to be much of an offseason program, at least not one that involves real on-field work.

Moving up?: Niners general manager John Lynch was open about the team's desire to move out of both picks they had in the first round, but it was hard to envision a scenario in which they actually moved up. A run on receivers apparently changed that, as they sent picks 31, 117 and 176 to the Minnesota Vikings for the chance to select Aiyuk. The Niners don't have a lot of roster holes but aren't allowing for much wiggle room in terms of needing immediate impact from their two first-round picks.

Happy returns: One sneaky need the 49ers had coming into this offseason? The return game. While Richie James Jr. has been serviceable in that role, the Niners have wanted a bit more juice there. Aiyuk seemingly offers that. He averaged 16.1 yards with a touchdown on punt returns in 2019 and 31.9 yards on kickoff returns, earning third-team All American honors as an all-purpose player. Don't be surprised if Aiyuk gets some opportunities to energize the 49ers' return games.

What’s next: The 49ers don't have another pick now until the fifth round, No. 156 overall. Barring the addition of any earlier picks, they will have the longest wait between a first-round pick and their next selection since the 2007 Washington Redskins. With needs at cornerback and the offensive line, the 49ers will have to hope someone they like free falls for a while so they can land some more help in the fifth round.


Round 5, No. 153 overall: Colton McKivitz, OT, West Virginia

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Colton McKivitz's NFL draft profile

Check out highlights from West Virginia's versatile offensive lineman Colton McKivitz.

My take: After trading for left tackle Trent Williams earlier Saturday, the Niners dealt running back Matt Breida to Miami for this pick and used it to add more depth on the offensive line in McKivitz. A 6-foot-6, 306-pound tackle, McKivitz was a four-year starter for the Mountaineers, spending three years on the right side and one on the left. Much like Justin Skule, a sixth-round pick by the Niners last year, McKivitz fits the bill as an experienced backup who should be able to transition well to the league and compete for a roster spot as depth behind Williams and right tackle Mike McGlinchey. McKivitz has said some teams have talked to him about playing guard as well. If he can offer that versatility to play inside, he would significantly bolster his chances of sticking with the 49ers.


Round 6, No. 190 overall: Charlie Woerner, TE, Georgia

My take: The 49ers have made no secret of their desire to add some depth at tight end, even going so far as to be heavy bidders for free agent Austin Hooper. Hooper ultimately landed in Cleveland and backup tight end Levine Toilolo signed with the New York Giants. Woerner is more of a blocking specialist and could be a candidate to move to fullback at some point but figures to have a chance to compete with the likes of Ross Dwelley and Daniel Helm for a spot behind star tight end George Kittle on the depth chart.


Round 7, No. 217 overall: Jauan Jennings, WR, Tennessee

My take: Jennings was a productive player for the Volunteers, posting 2,153 yards on 146 catches in 50 games played. At 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, Jennings offers a bigger, more physical dimension than the Niners have with most of their receivers but his 4.72-second 40-yard dash pushed him down the board. After adding Brandon Aiyuk in the first round, the Niners have a pretty crowded receiver room, especially if Trent Taylor and Jalen Hurd come back healthy. Barring injuries, it's going to be difficult for Jennings to win a roster spot.