Tuesday Draft Notes -- 8.0

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Tony Pauline

Draft Analyst Writer

In this week’s edition of Tuesday Draft Notes, we look at how Jimmy Garappolo trade will affect next April’s draft and some former risers still motoring up draft boards.

We spoke highly of John Lynch throughout the 2017 draft process, and the trade for Garappolo was yet another terrific move by the Niners general manager. 

Considering the top crop of quarterbacks expected to make themselves available for the 2018 draft has fallen short of expectations, this could set the franchise up for the next decade if Lynch signs Garappolo to a long-term deal.

This also means the Niners likely select Saquon Barkley in the draft, assuming they don’t string together a bunch of wins and drop out of the top five picks. Starter Carlos Hyde has played well this season but is set to hit the free agent market in 2018. The Niners considered selecting Leonard Fournette last April, but in the end they felt Solomon Thomas was too good to pass up.

If it’s not Barkley, I would expect the team to stay on the offensive side of the ball and consider a highly rated offensive lineman or receiver, though nether position looks particularly strong heading toward 2018.

Two players previously mentioned in our Risers/Sliders column continue their upward momentum on draft boards.

Several sources tell me Week 8 riser Zach Allen of Boston College is receiving top-45 grades from area scouts.

Allen had another solid performance last Thursday when the Eagles beat Florida State during the annual Red Bandana game, finishing with four tackles, one tackle for loss and one quarterback hurry. The fact that potential first-round pick Harold Landry was sidelined with an ankle injury, making Allen the focus of attention from the Florida State offensive line, made his game even more impressive.

Some insiders I’ve spoken with feel Roquan Smith of Georgia, a Week 5 riser, is the top linebacker on the Bulldogs defense. Considering the talent Georgia lines up at the position, that’s high praise. As we reported two weeks ago during Tuesday Draft Notes 6.0, sources tell me they expect Smith to enter the draft.

It’s a good news/bad news story from the SEC on two cornerbacks,

Scouts feel Ken Webster of Mississippi is a fraction of his former self since returning from the devastating knee injury he suffered during the first contest of 2015 and believe Webster would be a medical red flag if he enters the draft.

We graded Webster as a potential second-round pick after his sophomore season and even stamped him as a third-rounder entering 2017, but in the six games he’s dressed for this season, Webster has totaled just 14 tackles and two pass breakups.

Conversely I’m hearing a lot of good things on Kentucky cornerback Derrick Baity.

The junior is a long, athletic corner with a developing game and impressive measurables, hitting the tape at 6-foot-2 and weighing 185 pounds. Baity showed solid ball skills as a sophomore in 2016 but has taken his game to the next level this season. 

I’m told there’s a very good chance that Baity, who has totaled 36 tackles, one interception and five pass breaups this year, enters April’s draft.