49ers Predicted to Add ‘Highly Talented’ WR in 2024 NFL Draft

The San Francisco 49ers have the Super Bowl on their mind, but NFL draft season is almost upon the NFC West franchise and its fans. The 49ers will either have the 31st or 32nd overall pick in the 2024 NFL draft, and one projection believes they will add another receiver.

Georgia WR Ladd McConkey is being linked to the San Francisco 49ers

It’s almost puzzling, considering that the 49ers have to figure out the future of WR Brandon Aiyuk. They also have Deebo Samuel and Jauan Jennings rounding out the core. But Pro Football Network’s system has projected Georgia star Ladd McConkey to San Francisco.

“Rounding out this MDS-driven 2024 NFL Mock Draft, the San Francisco 49ers — a presumed Super Bowl winner by this projected draft position — add further weapons for Brock Purdy to manipulate NFL defenses with,” PFN’s Oliver Hodgkinson wrote on January 31. “Georgia’s Ladd McConkey is a highly talented WR whose ability to dominate out of the slot is only matched by his high-level off-field contributions.”

McConkey rose into prominence during Georgia’s back-to-back CFP National Championships. Brock Bowers has been the Bulldogs’ No. 1 receiver during the past three years. But McConkey has shown immense promise thanks to sure hands and his ability to earn yards after catch.

McConkey Wins Two Titles in Athens

With as much talent as Georgia has had, McConkey’s bursts of production are understandable. Bowers and multiple top-tier RBs means the ball has to be spread around. But even in his first real season in 2021, McConkey took his limited opportunities and ran.

According to Sports Reference, McConkey has averaged a whopping 14.2 yards per catch. In 39 appearances, he’s had 9 games where he totaled 60+ yards and at least one touchdown. While college football doesn’t meticulously track yards after catch like the NFL, a look at his occasional rushing attempts conveys how strong his on-field vision is.

McConkey took 13 total handoffs for 216 rushing yards and four touchdowns in his college career. It was not a consistent play call, but McConkey often made the most of it, picking up 10+ yards on 9 of those 13 touches.

Of course, winning is an intangible quality coaches will like about McConkey and all Georgia prospects. McConkey finished his career in Athens with a jaw-dropping 37-2 record over three years.

49ers Plan to Re-Sign Brandon Aiyuk

On the opposite side of the NFL draft, the 49ers have to figure out how to keep Aiyuk. Of course, they could trade the 2023 Pro Bowler but players of ilk don’t come often. Which is why NFL media insider Ian Rapoport reported on January 28 that the team is prioritizing Aiyuk’s extension.

“Another 1000-yard season, 18 yards per catch going into his fifth-year option. My understanding is that this is a big-time contractual priority for the San Francisco 49ers. They want him around for the long term,” Rapoport said.

Aiyuk has been the leading receiver for the 49ers the past two seasons, which is only more impressive considering their array of offensive weapons. It’s a no-brainer to keep him around with QB Brock Purdy, the only issue is cost.

Spotrac predicts a $23 million a year contract for Aiyuk, which is costly but possible.

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