Updated San Francisco 49ers Mock Draft, Post Day 2
Where do the San Francisco 49ers go from here in the draft?
The second day of the 2016 NFL Draft was less exciting for San Francisco 49ers fans. A day after adding two great linemen to the team, they only made one pick all day long on Friday, ending up with a member of the All-ACL team in CB Will Redmond of Mississippi State.
With a torn ACL suffered in October, Redmond seems like a classic Trent Baalke pick, but he’s unlikely to be stashed. The regular season starts 11 months after his original injury, so he could be ready for Week 1–though his recovery will likely eat into some of his prep time. Redmond only has seven career starts, so he’s a even more of an unknown than most NFL Draft prospects. Pro Football Focus ranked him as the 56th-best cover corner in the draft, which is less than ideal, but he’s got good speed and great overall athleticism, plus he’s nearly six feet tall, which helps. He’s a bit of a boom-or-bust sort of player; a gamble on someone with little experience who could turn into a solid starter if his measurables end up translating into on-field production. I don’t hate the pick, but I do wonder if the 49ers could have gotten him at #105, had they not traded that pick to get Josh Garnett in the first round.
What’s done is done, however, and the 49ers go back at it with eight picks on day three. They still haven’t addressed quarterback or any skill position players on an offense that was stuck in neutral for all of last season. Is that in the cards tomorrow? Let’s run down a quick mock and see what might happen.
Round 4, Pick 133: Malcolm Mitchell, WR, Georgia
While the 49ers may trade up into the fourth round later tomorrow, at the moment, they don’t pick until the compensatory selections. I’ll give them Malcolm Mitchell from Georgia, a year after taking Georgia Tech receiver DeAndre Smelter around this pick.
Mitchell led the Bulldogs in receiving last year, finally getting onto the field after being hampered by injuries earlier in his career. He has good hands and is not afraid to go over the middle, making him a potential replacement for the aging and still unsigned Anquan Boldin.
Round 5, Pick 142: Nate Sudfeld, QB, Indiana
Alright, so the 49ers won’t be putting a rookie quarterback into competition this year. That’s alright, it is what it is. They still need a better developmental prospect on the roster; someone who could compete in 2017 if neither Gabbert nor Kaepernick really step up. Sudfeld, at the top of the fifth round, could be that guy. At 6’6″ and 234 pounds, he’s got fantastic size, and he works well in a timing-based offense. He’s not someone I project as being able to take over a franchise by himself or anything, but he’s got a strong arm and accuracy. He needs to learn to read defenses better, but that’s what a developmental quarterback does.
Yes, I said that yesterday, but the logic still stands! Sebastian Tretola, the guard from Arkansas, would be my pick if the 49ers hadn’t gone guard in the first round. He might still be a good pick, even so–probably not an ideal fit for Chip Kelly, though.
Round 5, Pick 145: Caleb Benenoch, OT, UCLA
I love the story that Benenoch, the son of two Nigerian ministers, was signed up for “Football” in Texas, with them thinking it was soccer. Can you imagine a 6’5″, 305 pound forward on the US Men’s National Team? No, Benenoch is a much better fit playing American football, where his athleticism for his size makes him a good fit for Chip Kelly’s offensive line plans. Plus, he’s a Pac-12 guy, and we know Chip Kelly likes his Pac-12 Guys.
Round 5, Pick 174: Austin Blythe, OC, Iowa
If we’re building through the trenches, let’s keep building through the trenches. At only 6’2″, 291 pounds and 30-inch arms, Blythe’s too dang small for center in the NFL, but he has enough other attributes that he may be able to overcome that. Playing center and both guard spots at Iowa, Blythe was a four-year starter with consistent production. He was also a champion high school wrestler, which is a tough thing to be in uber-competitive Iowa, so you know he can mix it up in the trenches.
Round 6, Pick 207: Jonathan Williams, RB, Arkansas
Now that we have all that beef up front, let’s give Carlos Hyde another mate in the backfield to run through it. It’s another Baalke special–Williams missed the entire 2015 season with a foot injury, but he rushed for 1,200 yards in 2014 despite splitting time in the backfield. I like him as part of a committee rather than a workhorse, which makes a selection this late very intriguing.
Round 6, Pick 211: Steve Longa, ILB, Rutgers
Longa is coming off of three straight 100-tackle seasons at Rutgers. He’s undersized at only 6’1″ and 241 pounds, but when he gets through blockers, he wraps people up clean and takes them down. A tackle machine like that could have some serious special teams value.
Round 6, Pick 213: Avery Young, OT, Auburn
You can never have enough offensive linemen when you gave up more than 50 sacks two years in a row. He’s a tackle, technically, but he might be better served moved inside to guard. At guard, though, he’ll need to work to gain some more power. Either way, he’s got a nice big frame and plenty of starting experience; I think he’s a practice squad candidate for a year or two with a chance to be a depth player in the short term.
Another player unchanged from yesterday’s mock draft.
Round 7, Pick 249: Tyrone Holmes, DE, Montana
Holmes moves to outside linebacker in the 49ers’ 3-4 system. He’s athletic, can work standing up or with his hand on the ground, and has surprising lateral agility. He’s from a tiny school, so there’s question marks as to how he’d put that together on the field, but he’s probably worth at least checking out in training camp.
It’s another player unchanged from yesterday’s mock draft–it’s a little hard to justify massive changes after 24 hours.
Next: 49ers Picks, Grades and Analysis
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Let’s hope day three is more exciting, like day one was, and less snooze-inducing like today was…