Mock draft 2.0

Alabama defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick is seen at the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine on Monday, March 5, 2018, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Gregory Payan)

This is how the first-10 picks of the upcoming draft will unfold:

1. Cleveland Browns: Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming.

Analysis: Josh Allen is the most physically-gifted quarterback in the draft, but he’s raw. The Browns can let him develop as long as he needs, because they already have a starting quarterback — Tyrod Taylor.

2. New York Giants: Sam Darnold, QB, USC. 

Analysis: The Giants need a running back and could take Saquon Barkley here. But, this draft has a lot of good running backs — the Giants can get one in Round 2 or Round 3. So, in Round 1, they’ll take the top quarterback on their draft board — Darnold.

3. New York Jets: Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA.

Analysis: Rosen is the most polished of the top three quarterback prospects, but he’ll fall to the Jets because he’s had concussions and shoulder injuries.

4. Cleveland Browns: Bradley Chubb, DE, North Carolina St.

Analysis: Chubb and Myles Garrett, the top pick in last year’s draft, will form the best young defensive-end duo in the league.

5. Denver Broncos: Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State.

Analysis: The Broncos won’t reach for Baker Mayfield, who’s a lot like the quarterback they already have, Case Keenum. Instead, they’ll take Barkley, who will make life easy for Keenum.

6. Indianapolis Colts: Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame.

Analysis: The Colts have to protect Andrew Luck, if he ever actually plays again.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Derwin James, SS, Florida St.

Analysis: The Buccaneers secondary was Swiss cheese last season. They won’t pass on James.

8. Chicago Bears: Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech.

Analysis: Edmunds has more potential than any defensive player in the draft, and he’s only 19 years old. He could be the next Aldon Smith, who flourished under Vic Fangio.

9. San Francisco 49ers: Minkah Fitzpatrick, FS/CB, Alabama.

Analysis: Other than maybe Quenton Nelson, who went to the Colts in the mock draft, no rookie offensive lineman will be able to block Rams defensive tackles Aaron Donald or Ndamukong Suh next season. Those two command double teams no matter who they face. The 49ers shouldn’t reach for a guard with the ninth pick just to try in vain to match up with the Rams. That would be the worst thing the Niners could do. Instead, they should spend their first pick on defense, because their’s ranked 25th last season. I’m guessing they’ll try to build their own “Legion of Boom, starting with the free safety — Fitzpatrick. He has All-Pro potential.

10. Oakland Raiders: Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio St.

Analysis: Ward may be just as good as last season’s Defensive Rookie of the Year, Marshon Lattimore, who was the 11th pick in 2017.


Here’s how the rest of the 49ers draft picks will unfold:

Round 2, Pick 59: Arden Key, DE/LB, LSU.

Analysis: The 49ers have zero talented edge rushers on their roster. Key is a supremely talented edge-rusher who recorded 11 sacks as a sophomore in 2016. He had a down season in 2017 and stepped away for the team temporarily for personal reasons, which is why he’ll fall to the end of Round 2. At one time, he was considered a top-15 pick.

Round 3, Pick 70: Martinas Rankin, OL, Mississippi St.

Analysis: An All-SEC left tackle in 2017 who can play guard and center, too.

Round 3, Pick 74: Tre Herndon, CB, Vanderbilt.

Analysis: A three-year starter in the SEC who ran a 4.47 at his Pro Day and is 6’0″. Herndon wasn’t invited to the Combine, and NFL draft gurus don’t seem to even know who he is, yet. But, he will be a third-round pick. Physically, he compares well with the top DBs in this draft, including Fitzpatrick.

Round 4, Pick 128: Josh Sweat, DE/LB, Florida St.

Analysis: One of the most athletic edge-rushers in the draft. At the Combine, Sweat ran a 4.53 with a fantastic 1.55 10-yard split at 251 pounds. He also recorded a 6.90 3-cone drill. Sweat and Key can immediately play defensive end in the 49ers third-down sub packages.

Round 5, Pick 143: Oren Burks, LB, Vanderbilt.

Analysis: A versatile linebacker who can play Mike or Will for the 49ers.

Round 6, Pick 184: Trey Quinn, WR, SMU.

Analysis: A tough possession receiver who can play outside or in the slot.

Round 7, Pick 223: Marquez Valdez-Scantling, WR, South Florida.

Analysis: A 6’5″ deep threat who ran a 4.37 at the Combine.

Round 7, Pick 240: Kurt Benkert, QB, Virginia.

Analysis: A strong-armed quarterback who throws well while rolling out.


This article has 240 Comments


        “The 49ers could go a lot of different routes with this pick, and I’ve heard they love Minkah Fitzpatrick.”

        Anonymous source told Charlie Cambell. This came out the same day it was announced that Ward might go back to CB, so there might be something to it. Or not, that’s why I asked Grant about it. Maybe he’s heard something too.


          There’s a few articles saying Ward gets reps at CB. So good chance he does.

          Also on the NFL Channel a couple draft analysts said yesterday they feel Fitzpatrick may slide to #12 because teams aren’t sure where he properly fits. Not sure about that. I can see the 49ers picking him at #9 or if Q. Nelson is gone which I hope he’s not because the Rams now have Suh/Donald and Pro- bowl CB’s, the 49ers could even trade down if some team wants Fitz badly enough. Maybe the 49ers can get OL Hernandez or Price and a WR/RB or DE.

  1. Not too shabby, Grant! Here’s mine:

    9. Harold Landry, Edge, Boston College(He’s a supremely talented edge-rusher who recorded 16.5 sacks in 2016. He had a down season in 2017 due to double teams and an ankle injury. No known character concerns.)
    59+128 for Buffalo’s 53. Carlton Davis, CB, Auburn(Right before the Chiefs)
    70. Kolton Miller, OT, UCLA
    74. Antonio Callaway, WR, Florida
    143. Fred Warner, Mike or Will LB, BYU
    184. Tony Adams, OG, North Carolina St.
    223. Troy Apke, S, Penn St.
    240.Chad Kanoff, QB, Princeton

      1. I think it was more than just lying season yack when Lynch said on The Herd he didn’t want just a steady safe pick at 9. He wants an explosive talent other teams have to account for.

        DB and Edge with the two first picks works for me.

  2. No on Key.

    “Round 7, Pick 223: Marquez Valdez-Scantling, WR, South Florida.”

    Hmm, I like that one. I wonder why. Just a couple of days after I put him in my mock, he reportedly looked good catching the ball at his pro day.

    Been saying James would go ahead of Fitzpatrick for a while (pre-combine).

          1. He had to leave the team, possibly for rehab. He came back 40 pounds overweight. inconsistent effort. Could be an Aaron Lynch type.

            1. Rehab for what?

              Seems like a risk you take at the end of Round 2. Edge-rusher is such a premium position, and Key doesn’t seem as bad as, say, Randy Gregory. That guy couldn’t even pass the Combine drug test.

              1. Given how little patience they showed with Aaron Lynch, do you honestly think they will take that sort of risk with a 2nd round pick?

              2. “Rehab for what?”

                Don’t know, but that’s the rumor. If he didn’t go to rehab, then he left the team for no reason? That might be worse.

                We might give him a shot if he can show his passion for the game like Foster did when he met with the team.

              3. Key is in shape… for the combine. So was Lynch. During the season he was out of shape in a big way. How do you trust him to do what he needs to do?

              4. Teams will share that concern, and that’s why Key will fall to the end of Round 2. But, Lynch fell to Round 5. Key is so much more talented.

  3. Love Arden Key’s footage. He was my first 2018 draft crush until I googled his name.

    No risk it, no biscuit?

      1. I would meet with him too. His pass rush abilities jumped off the screen. Maybe the future pattern will safe pick first, risky pick 2nd.

        If they truly think Key’s shoulder and private life are fine, it will be a nervous wait until pick 59.

        1. Key showed just enough to get drafted, like Leonard Fournette. Key is going to be really, really good in the NFL. His issues will drop him to the end of Round 2, which works out well for the 49ers.

          1. Many talk about edge rushers needing a quick first step. Key has a quick and long first step.

            His first step eats major green space. Tackles have no choice but to turn perpendicular to the LOS right after snap. Once the OT’s perpendicular to the LOS he’s up a famous creek with no paddle. Fun to watch.

          2. I think all 32 teams understand Key’s very talented at a cornerstone position. It will only take one other team to come to the conclusion that Key’s issues are manageable.

  4. If Fitzpatrick is there at #9 I definitely think he is in play. Good athlete, but love his instincts and from all reports he is highly football intelligent and really works hard at his craft. Think he would be a nice fit at FS.

    I agree with others on Key – I just don’t think his attitude is worth the risk. Another one of the “how much does he really care?” brigade. I acknowledge they met with him, but I am sure that is very much about getting a feel for how committed he is, and I don’t feel confident that is a test he would ace. I think Sweat who you have later on is a better chance at going at #59.

    With Herndon, he measured in under 6’0″. That doesn’t seem to fit the type of outside CBs that teams running this system typically take.

  5. A FS with their first pick would be silly seeing as how they have an emerging star in Adrian Colbert .Crummy mock.

      1. Ahhh, thank you! Some sanity with regards to Colbert. Yes, he looked decent at the end of last year, and certainly outperformed expectations for a rookie 7th round pick. But the way people are talking about him you would think he had played at an All Pro level. He still has a long way to go before I would feel confident with him being a full time starter.

        1. Would Fitzpatrick step in and play at an all pro level? I’m just confused with replacing positions we already have tons of depth in.

        2. For a raw, rookie FS, learning an entirely new system, Colbert looked absolutely fantastic. Tons of potential there. If Colbert continues to develop, the INT’s will come, and if we are willing to project where Colbert could very well be in year 2, considering how many talented rookie’s blossom in their 2nd seasons, I’d say FS is lower on the list of needs than a number of positions, with Edge and CB coming in at top 2, followed by OL, and WR.

          Fitzpatrick can play CB, but he’s not a guy I’d draft to play primarily at CB. If he’s, by far, BPA at #9, well then I would consider pulling the trigger on him if a trade back in round 1 doesn’t materialize.

          1. “For a raw, rookie FS, learning an entirely new system, Colbert looked absolutely fantastic. ”

            Exactly. He looked fantastic for raw rookie FS. And one of the reasons he looked fantastic is because he made some highlight reel hits. Everyone gets excited by those, so even if he was making glaring errors in assignments we fans wouldn’t have cared because he made some nice hits. But he only played a handful of games, and his best games were his first couple. We have absolutely no idea if he is capable of even sustaining his level of play from last year, let alone building on it. Yet quite a few people have already anointed him a budding star. Maybe he will develop into a good player, but realistically what we saw from him last year was likely a flash in the pan.

            1. “And one of the reasons he looked fantastic is because he made some highlight reel hits. Everyone gets excited by those” Scooter

              Yes, we get excited with the big hit. But WR’s having to come over the middle sure don’t.

              I’m not advocating Colbert as the next shinny car on the lot, but he did show enough to be given an opportunity to earn a starting role.
              Worst case scenario, he will get his share of snaps if he doesn’t start.

              The int’s will come, for now I’d be happy knowing that WR’s will have to think twice and look for Colbert when they go over the middle. That area of his game matters for me.

              1. Fitzpatrick may be an upgrade, he’s a talented player. I’m not sure he’d be much of an upgrade as a rookie though. There is some question as to where his best fit is at the NFL level.

                But, like I said, if he’s without question BPA at#9 in the eyes of the 49ers, he’s worthy of a selection at #9. However, how much better does he make our team in 2018, with many bigger needs to fill?

            2. I also remember him high pointing to break up two passes and having the requisite range to play Single High. I could be wrong, but I don’t remember seeing him play poorly. I assume he wasn’t perfect, but I think any major flaws in his game would have been noticed by one on more people on here.


              “the San Francisco 49ers GM said. “He displayed some things in that game that are characteristic of a big-time starter.”

              “He’s relentless in his work ethic and his preparation. I love the way he hits. He’s a very physical football player,” Saleh said.”

              “He’s got great range in the middle of the field,” Saleh said. “He’s a professional safety. He’s a professional football player in that he can go red line to red line and cover you.”

              “It just shows that he is an NFL-caliber safety.”

              1. He displayed a lot of good traits in his starts. But it was a limited pool of starts. His greatest attribute was his hitting, which he demonstrated in his first start and is what got everyone excited. He had some other nice hits in the next few games too which carried the hype train.

                I didn’t say he showed any glaring weaknesses, but his best games were his early ones. He didn’t suck after that, but he was only ok. I agree with Saleh that he demonstrated he is an NFL calibre safety. Note Saleh didn’t say he was a great safety, or even a starting calibre safety though. NFL calibre. He has a place in this league. He needs to keep improving to demonstrate he is a starter.

                The hype train on Colbert is a bit over the top. Its one thing to be excited about how he was able to step in and play well as a rookie, another to then anoint him the starter moving forward. I really like him and think at worst they have a really good backup FS moving forward. But absolutely would not pass on a guy they think can be a future pro bowl calibre FS just because they have Colbert.

              2. Ah, got it. And I agree that they could go with Fitzpatrick as an upgrade. But the first things I think about WRT Colbert are the PBUs, INT, and his range.

                I agree that it’s a small sample size. He looked better in his early games. Opposing OC’s probably wanted to test the rookie back then, it didn’t go too well for them. After those games, he went unnoticed. A DB going unnoticed usually means they’re getting the job done.

              3. I’m definitely with Scoot and Grant on the Minkah/Colbert debate. Yes Colbert showed he may develop into a solid starter at some point. I think at the top of the draft you have to BPA and not reach for need. Fitz has All-Pro potential and can be a cornerstone of our rebuild, and Colbert, for as solid of a rookie season he had, would likely just be ok.
                Hey if he proves to be more, then great, we can handle that as it comes.

              4. You have depth at safety, a need for an edge rusher and WR and a corner. I’m of the belief you take a player of need at #9 if that player is there and can be a difference maker.

                Colbert, Tartt and Ward are all interchangeable. Go with them and draft a corner or pass rusher or the best WR.

              5. Agree with Scooter regarding Colbert. I’ve rewatched the JAX game a few times and there is a glaring deficiency that Colbert displayed. Using his eyes, Bortles froze Colbert and that resulted in a relatively easy TD for JAX.

                Having said that, I have to agree with Prime that we have sufficient depth at FS. If Ward moves to CB full-time, then I don’t know what they might be thinking; Sherman’s return is unknown and Ward didn’t earn the moniker “hospital” for nothing. To me, edge rusher is the glaring deficiency and my first choice. But with the Rams signing Suh, Nelson would be a good pick, if he’s there.

      2. Earl Thomas only had 2 int’s last year so I guess that makes him chop liver.
        Colbert may not be all-pro material but he filled in very well and helped improve the defense last season. He deserves a shot at starting this year and I have a sense that he will make a strong run for it.

        Now this takes nothing away from Minkah because he is a special talent. But I believe we have a greater need at Edge and LB.
        Landry or Roq Smith make better sense as our top pick. An Edge who can pressure the QB and disrupt the passing game and cause the QB to make throwing mistakes. Everything starts in the trenches, i.e. Dline and even LB. An old veteran like Carlos Rogers and Donte Whitner became pro bowl players because we had studs on the Dline and LBs.

        Point, our secondary will look much better when we rebuild our Dline and LB positions.

          1. My thinking all along has been that we trade out of the 9 and garner a pick between 14-20. Choosing an Edge or LB in that slot would not be a reach.
            I’d like to be able to use the trade down to get a late Rd 2 or early Rd 3 pick as well.
            Safety just doesn’t strike me as a great need.

              1. I actually liked your March 21 mock much better than this one because I felt that it addressed more needs.
                Your trade scenario garnered a nice haul.
                Wynn (great fit for Shanahan offense).
                Sutton (big productive Wr).
                Nwosu (active LB that can pressure the QB).
                Griffin/Hill/Mata’afa (can be impact players).

                We don’t know if Minkah can be an all-pro player throughout his career.
                I thought Eric Reid would have an all-pro type career but again, you just never know.
                If you can get Fritz along with players mentioned above I would feel much better.

      3. really dude he played great in all 7 games. 9ers should trade 9to bills for their 2 firsts then ship one to giants for #13!!!!

      4. Oh so stardom at Defensive back is based solely off of interceptions?Not range ,PBU’s ,or the ability to make tackles in the open field .You must be new to the game.Why don’t you ask the Assasin how he feels about Colbert.

  6. Question: Why would the team draft a safety in Fitzpatrick before a more pressing need at corner and take Ward?

  7. Grant:
    * If he’s still available, I don’t see the Browns passing on Saquon Barkley with their pick #4.
    * Why would the 9ers draft LSU LB Arden Key at # 59, after he quit the LSU program last year. He may have a good reason and explained why to Lynch, but he’s refused to explain his reason to the public! * Do you know why?
    * NFL teams are concerned about Key’s reliability after he left LSU in spring, ballooned up to 280 pounds and then struggled to come back to full strength after offseason shoulder surgery.

    1. I would pass on Key not because he can’t play, but because I’m not sure he wants to play.

      If he is fully committed then I’m good, but if he needs to be motivated that’s a major red flag.

      1. I agree and I think the team will have the same concerns. It seems like Kyle was hugely disappointed by Joe Williams especially since KS stated that he would have been sick had they not selected Williams.

  8. Grant:
    * If he’s still available, I don’t see the Browns passing on Saquon Barkley with their pick #4.
    * Why would the 9ers draft LSU LB Arden Key at # 59, after he quit the LSU program last year. He may have a good reason and explained why to Lynch, but he’s refused to explain his reason to the public! * Do you know why?
    * NFL teams are concerned about Key’s reliability after he left LSU in spring, ballooned up to 280 pounds and then struggled to come back to full strength after offseason shoulder surgery.

  9. I would definitely take Fitz.. he reminds me of Troy P. Can lay a hit on you if need be, can play the run, can rush the QB and he’s a ball hawk. We haven’t had a pure ball hawk FS since Merton. You put tartt at SS and the back end is secure for at least 5 years. Colbert Isint on their level. He came in and did his job as a backup. And a great job he did. But you don’t pass on Fitz if he’s there. And barring trade, I hope he’s there.

    1. Steelmatic

      I like your reference to Troy Polomalu for Minkah…the similarities are pretty amazing…for that reason, I go along with Grants choice….IMHO, Key is a loser…inconsistant, proverbial fart in a fry pan…who knows who’s showing up on game day ? We’ve already had Kentwan Balmer…Martinis Rankin could be the ‘steal’ of the draft…yeah, we all know that we still have ‘Big Joe’ and Trent Brown at tackle, but would like to see Rankin taken in 2-3 and find a place for Kolton Miller…maybe PS…Love Sweat, and Tremaine Edmunds, Lazard, and Marquez-Valdez, …Derwin James ? that’s dreaming….

  10. Don’t get this Josh Allen obsession.

    I watched him last season in two games, both losses, against Oregon and Boise State. He averaged 40% completion for under 175 yards in those games. He threw 1 TD and 4 INTs in total. He reminded me of another much ballyhooed pick, Paxton Lynch.

    The guy averages 55% completion in Mountain West, — in Mountain effing West where free range wide receivers run alone among the Wide Open Spaces under the Big Skies.

    Allen is tall, imposing and probably overwhelms GMs in interviews. He throws 80 yard passes in combine and pro day. The guy looks like he’s from central casting for franchise QB. If anything, he looks to me like a GM-killer. Some GM is going to fall for his physical traits and overlook his inadequacy as a QB. Normally, he’d be a Haslam sure shot but John Dorsey will not allow it. I’m guessing it’s the Beane-McDermott team in Buffalo — a young GM with defensive background (IIRC) and a DC-turned-HC.

        1. is the ceiling higher than how high he can throw the football?

          Josh Allen Hype Season is officially here. His games at Wyoming were sparsely televised, but now the entire football world is watching the cannon-armed mountain man, trying to determine exactly how talented he is. I just keep coming across one problem when I consider Allen as a prospect: He does not seem especially good at playing football.

          Apparently there are other doubters more knowledgeable than a ornery fan like me.

          It would be unfair to cite one missed throw from practice as evidence of anything, but it’s impossible to watch any amount of Allen’s tape without seeing a handful of dramatic misses.

          just wait till the pockets starts collapsing in the NFL to see where those throws will land.

          1. Do you think some of this hype is a “piggy-backing” of sort on Carson Wentz? Both coming from lower-tier conferences. Having said that, Wentz seemed to clearly be a better prospect and he’s shown that in the NFL.

            1. I don’t know why this is the case, Cubus. Grant is one person who can explain their fascination with the Mountain Man. He writes “Josh Allen is the most physically-gifted quarterback in the draft…”.
              His assumption appears to be that a college QB with amazing metrics (not sure what “potential” means since for every awesome throw, Allen seems to have a couple of terrible ones) will become a franchise QB given time to mature. Not sure how many years he expects him to simmer in this maturation sauce. But QBs rarely improve their accuracy in NFL over their college record, even those who played in pro-style system.

    1. I’ve been saying the same thing Mood. I was excited about Allen’s potential going into this season but his game really didn’t improve at all. He has tremendous physical skills but they don’t translate to the field unfortunately. He’s Kyle Boller and somebody is going to make a massive mistake and draft him top ten.

  11. Fitzpatrick does not make a lot of sense. The “49ers loving Fitzpatrick” is obviously a smoke screen. I think they take Ridley at 9 and are hoping to get someone to trade back up so they can get better value with Ridley. Regardless I think he is their guy.

    I like Rankin in the 3rd in this mock. Brown could be on another team next year and Rankin would be solid replacement.

  12. Just a thought about Fitzpatrick and it might be off the wall, but does anyone know how tight he was with Foster? Could be a plus or a minus, depending.

    1. Who knows. But the same can be said for Da’Ron Payne and Rashaan Evans who fill bigger needs for the 49ers than Fitzpatrick would. Could say the same about Ronnie Harrison as well. Dido for Bo Scarborough.

        1. If they were close, it could be a huge plus, since it sounds like Fitzpatrick would be a very good influence on Foster.

          1. If they were close, I agree it could be a huge plus. It could be a huge minus too if Foster rubbed off on Fitzpatrick instead of the other way around. It’s just something to throw out on a blog.

            1. The chances of Fitz following in the path of foster ….is slim to none

              Huge fan of the Colbert….

              The big question is who has a better chance of making the HOF = Fitz

  13. Colbert has potential to be a solid starter at FS. Seems to be part of the reason the FO is flirting with the idea of moving Jimmie Ward back to corner. I am not saying his play was perfect, but Colbert showed the kind of range and physicality that is required of a FS in our system. Once he was the full-time starter he played solid. Might you ask where were the interceptions? He dropped a few sure. Why? Maybe it was because he played with a hand fracture and a small cast. He played through injury, something Jimmie Ward has never been able to do since college. I would still consider drafting Fitzpatrick as he could further solidify our secondary and play multiple positions for us.

    1. I agree about Colbert.

      Ward has been disappointing to say the least. He had a few good games at the end of the Tomsula experiment and now we are picking up his fifth year option to be either…a) Witherspoon’s backup…b)dime corner….c) starting disappointment because Witherspoon isn’t ready anymore.

          1. Grant, I love you, man, but you argue any side. You’d be a great defense attorney. Williams is not going to supplant either Breida or McKinnon, besides which he’ll have to out-compete McNichols and anyone else they might bring in. Good luck to him. He appears to be on his way out the door. In hindsight, that pick was a big waste. I’ll bet Kyle’s learned from that. And Lynch too. He’s not going to make the same kind of mistake twice.

              1. As I said above, Williams hugely disappointed KS last year. Williams was a guy that KS stomped on the table for. I don’t think KS wants to put his reputation on the line like that again.

  14. My dream scenario:

    Rd.1 (trade down) EDGE Harold Landry
    Rd.2 pick 1 CB Carlton Davis
    Rd.2 pick 2 G/T Connor Williams (or Ragnow or any other OL fitting Shanny system)
    Rd.3 pick 1 RB Rashaad Penny
    Rd.3 pick 2 WR Equanimeous St. Brown
    Rd.3 pick 3 ILB/SAM Tegray Scales
    Rd.4 TE
    Rd. 5 CB/S
    And so on….

  15. Amongst other players, Fitz would be a fine pick at nine. Key wont be there at 59 and Sweat isn’t going to be there at 128 (59). Like QB’s, edge is a hard position to fill and probably past Chubb, and similar to most QB’s, they will be over drafted. I like your Rankin pick at 70 and I don’t like your QB pick at 240. They will pick up a camp arm in UDFA’s.

      1. Yes but isn’t that mostly due to his off field issues and his questionable work ethics. I believe he will go late first early second. Teams will take chances on a hard position to fill. However, you may be right and if the draft went your way it would be a really good draft.

          1. I don’t dispute the rankings and if was any other position I would agree, its just the need for a pass rusher is a need for most teams. I hope you are right as it would be a really good draft.

    1. I’d be fine with Fitzpatrick. He’s a blue chip player and he can play anywhere in the secondary. You don’t lose by adding talent; you lose by reaching for lesser talent because of need. Having said that, I would still take Landry trade down or not because he’s being severely underrated imo.

  16. After signing CB Richard Sherman, with Whitherspoon, Colbert, Tartt, Ward, there is no way the 49ers are taking a Safety that high. Of course Fitzpatrick is talented, unless the 49ers are moving one of their DB’s. Safety isn’t their top need, the 49ers will target a LB or Edge Rusher, or maybe CB on defense. Offensively they may go WR or OT. Don’t be surprised if DL Arik Armstead is traded,

    With Rams making significant upgrades, the 49ers will be looking to maximize each pick. Not just take a guy early.

    Rd1- LB Tremaine Edmunds
    Rd2- WR D.J. Chark
    Rd3- OG Braden Smith
    Rd3- CB Quentin Meeks
    Rd4- ILB Oren Burk
    Rd5- OT Alex Kappa
    Rd6- RB Josh Adams
    Rd7- WR Daurice Fountain
    Rd7- Edge Joe Ateman

    Don’t be surprised as i said the 49ers trade DL Arik Armstead, and maybe Jimmie Ward. HC Kyle Shanahan and GM John Lynch after landing their franchise QB in Jimmy Garoppolo will be looking to contend this year. The moves made in free agency was to stabilize the O-line, RB, and depth, getting Pierre Garcon back healthy will be key. I also think last years rookie class will take a big step forward, although LB Reuben Fosters legal troubles bare watching. Edmunds can play ILB or Edge, make no mistake about it the NFC West division just got real interesting.

    1. It’s true the 49ers seemingly have depth at safety, but think about their off season moves. There isn’t a single hole on the team. This isn’t to say there aren’t a number of positions that could stand to be upgraded, but every position is covered with at least a legit NFL player. This allows the 49ers to go in almost any direction with the ninth pick.

      Couple this with their stated goal to get an impact player at nine, they could easily draft Fitzpatrick, if they see him as an Earl Thomas type star at FS.

    2. Andre Taylor

      Nobody in their right mind is going to trade Arik Armstead…period ! We’ve already picked a worse option for him in Solomon Thomas…and not because of higher quality, but because he’s from Stanford…#3 overall ? If we trade anyone on our Oline, it should be HIM. I can agree with you about Jimmie Ward, I’m still baffled that they chose to pick up his 5th year option…why ? I DO like several of your picks, Tremaine Edmunds…DJ Chark…Alex Cappa… Braden Smith…I’d rather see Leighton Vander esch than Burk… and Alan Lazard at TE rather than Josh Adams at RB

  17. Your a disgrace to call yourself 80 after the great one. Your wishwashy posts are cringe worthy. And you make sure to say AFTER you pegged a no name round 7 receiver, he went on to succeed at his pro day. Lame

    Colbert was outstanding, only thing was he couldn’t catch the ball after hurting his hand. He certainly wasnt afraid of the moment, knocking the ball out of Hopkins hands was one of the best plays of the season. Fools

    Stop calling yourself #80 cuz your just a lame

    1. Valdez-Scantling is raw. Him looking good catching the ball is notable.

      I defended Colbert and brought up the same play you just mentioned.

      “You look like an idiot now huh.”

      How so? Because I asked Grant a question? I don’t know if he has sources, but he did get an interview with Ed Debartolo Jr. Grant has his father and I assume other journalists he can talk to.

      I would say nice troll attempt, but it was really bad. At least get your facts straight. Btw, that’s how you use the word your properly. “your just a lame”

      Would love to see your mock.

  18. And why would u think Grant heard something? He has no sources on that team…lol. Why do u think he bad mouthes them and makes up things during the season. He tried to make a big deal when we traded for Jimmy G, like can you imagine the 49ers didn’t ASK if he would sign an extension? What is wrong with them?
    You look like an idiot now huh. Clearly outmatched, should have stuck to politics or what other nonsense your life was about.

    1. “Clearly outmatched, should have stuck to politics or what other nonsense your life was about.”

      “The game is much more spread out,” Lynch said. “They throw the football much more. It’s played much more in space. And so, you better have players who can operate in space and who can do a number of different things. Minkah Fitzpatrick is a guy that is highly thought of, and we feel the same about him, but that versatility that he brings is something special.”

      From the horse’s mouth. Lynch says Fitzpatrick is highly thought of. Maybe you should stick to lurking or whatever your life was about, because your trolling is bad. At least make it factual or funny.

  19. If Cleveland takes Allen that its at #4 and they would take Barkley #1 , could be a dangerous offense Taylor -Allen-Barkley.
    @Grant: You say reaching for Nelson would be the worst thing to do, i disagree fully cuz he would be even better than Iupati was arpund here, this would be a massive upgrade cuz he has generational talent.

    1. Nelson wouldn’t be a reach. But, he probably won’t be available.

      The Browns probably won’t take Barkley after signing Hyde.

  20. I will be blown away if the niners don’t draft a RB. There is a need and it’s a good draft class. IMO, we’ll draft one in the first 5 rounds. I’m hoping for Rolls Royce in the 3rd personally. I would like the Minkah pick if he can play corner opposite Witherspoon. I don’t think Sherman is the answer (bias, yes) and I think we have some good starters with Colbert at FS, Kwuan or Ward in the slot and Tartt at SS. Ultimately, I think Minkah is more of a FS, and given there aren’t corners that fit our scheme that are worthy of a 9th pick, I think we should address it in the 2nd, taking the top LEO at or trading back in the 1st.

    1. You dont think OBJ would be a HOFer

      Guess the question would be is 2 1st rd picks worth for a projected HOF player in his prime

  21. Every time I make a mock draft, I want to change a pick the next day.

    Josh Sweat is good, but Dorance Armstrong is better. The Niners have to take Armstrong if he’s available in the fourth round.

  22. I am going to have to disagree on those first 10 picks Grant. The Giants traded away JPP, failed to sign OG Norwell, and signed a RB that is only a backup at this stage in his career. There is no way Gettleman passes on better talent and potential which fills a critical need for a QB that will most likely have to sit for a year at least.
    I also do not see the Browns keeping the top pick because, while they did address several needs through various trades, they still have several holes that needs to be addressed. I currently see them trading the top pick to the Bills and taking a QB with the fourth pick.
    Finally, I do not see the 49ers taking Fitzpatrick. While Colbert was a Day 3 selection and only had a few starts, it needs to be kept in mind that he was thought to be (at worst) a Day 2 selection If it were not for his injury history. I still see an edge rusher or an OG as the first pick for the 49ers.

    1. No way in hell they are taking an OG in the first round. Tomlinson/Cooper are penciled in as the starters with Garnett and a day 3 pick with an opportunity to unseat one or both….

      1. No way in hell they are taking an OG in the first round.

        Few thought the 49ers would sign a center in free agency after signing Kilgore to a three year deal. I highly doubt an OG is off the board.

        1. When you combine the circumstances with history it does. Shanny has only drafted two offensive positions in the first round. OT and quarterback. I’d bet my last dollar the 49ers first 2 picks will be defense, edge and db or db and edge….

              1. What’s funny is Zierlein compares Fitzpatrick to Budda Baker, and James to Eric Berry. Go figure.

              2. Mathieu is a slot corner. Fitzpatrick is so much more. He can have an Earl-Thomas/Malik-Hooker effect as a single-high safety. Supreme range and ball skills.

              3. Fitzpatrick = T-Rex
                James = Thomas’ and Chancellor’s love child with 33″ arms, hits like a freight train and blitz’s off the edge like tarzan. Fast and big, arrives with the boom….

              4. Tyrann Mathieu is listed at S, but moves around. Fitz fits this D well, but we have Ward and Colbert. I wouldn’t even consider Fitz if Single High wasn’t so important in this scheme, and the Niners like him.

                That doesn’t make me “wishwashy”. There’s a difference between what I would do (see my mock) and what I think the team might decide to do (Fitzpatrick).

              5. Exception not the rule, because anything short of 32″ arms means an alert is triggered automatically.

              6. The Fitzpatrick/ Mathieu comparison is a good one. Fitz is a bigger, faster version of Mathieu. The reason they are so similar is they both have top notch instincts and play making skills in coverage, against the run, and rushing the passer.

                The main difference between the two is Fitz is built like a safety and can run faster. So while Mathieu spends most of his time in the slot, Fitz can play deep most of the time and use those instincts and speed to cover the back end.

              7. Right. Good comparison in terms of their ability to cover the slot. But Fitzpatrick is a much better free safety. I don’t see why you would play him anywhere else. He can be like Malik Hooker or Earl Thomas.

              8. Yeah not sure what the reservation is about MF, but the kid’s a stud. You can plug him in anywhere but I agree his best fit is at FS. He’s also a great leader. No downside with this kid.

      2. “No way in hell they are taking an OG in the first round.”

        Unless that G can eventually play T (Connor Williams), but I don’t see that happening at #9.

    2. This draft is deep at running back. Gettleman can get a good one in Round 2. He will take the best QB available.

      Mayfield will fall out of the top 10. He’s a Case Keenum clone.

      An edge rusher or an OG (other than Nelson) at 9 would be a reach.

      1. I highly doubt it after those moves. It’s either Nelson, Chubb, or Barkley.

        I have no idea how the QB rat race will pan out. One day I am hearing Mayfield will be the first QB selected, then the next day it is Darnold who will be the top choice, and then Allen becomes the top dog. At this point, it would not surprise me if all of the top five QBs are selected in the top 10, or if only one or two QB prospects are selected in the top 10.

        I think the 49ers trade down.

          1. He better be. What kinda GM would stay put, and turn down all those picks for any position other than quarterback?

              1. If there’s not a quarterback you feel is a franchise caliber, you trade down and take your booty.

              2. Or you take the BPA that can be an asset now and into the future. Barkley, Nelson, and Chubb easily fit.

              3. I’d rather take a stalwart for the offense or someone that will impose fear when they are running with the football. Trading down is fine as long as you get the prospect you want.

              4. With the booty you could fill all three of those positions, and still have ammo to go up and get the quarterback you will now need in 2019….

              5. Of course, I can get a hell of a good look at a T-Bone steak by sticking my head up a bull’s ass, but I’d rather take the butcher’s word for it…;>)

              6. Normally I would agree, but Nelson is an above talent and exceptional player that comes around once in a blue moon; you don’t pass up on that unless the prospect is not a fit.

              7. I’m passing on Steve Hutchinson, when I can get a couple Bob Kuechenberg’s along with the booty.

              1. Jackson, Rudolph, and perhaps even Rosen(depending on how teams view his demeanor and injury history) will be available on the second day; they could also trade back up into the latter part of the first round to take a QB.

              2. Rosen and Jackson won’t be available on the second day. I like Jackson better than Mayfield.

                I wouldn’t want Rudolph.

              3. Hence why I said the Giants could back up into the first round.

                I would pass on Rudolph as well, but that does not mean Gettleman and the Giants will.

  23. Grant, I’m just learning about football, and I hear you are an expert, so maybe you can help me understand why you would select Key and Sweat. Or Landry as others propose. I naively thought we already had sub package edge rushers . Attaochu is signed for one year at 5.25M with 2.5M guaranteed. Marsh is signed for two years at 12.7M with 3.1M guaranteed. So if we drafted Key and Sweat what happens to Attaochu and Marsh and their guaranteed money?

        1. Unfortunately for Armstrong, “get off” and flexibility are the two main traits you look for in an elite edge rusher.

              1. He doesn’t. He had a monster season in 2016, just as Aldon Smith had a monster season in 2009.

              2. I feel like Sweat is a much more accomplished pass rusher, and he’d be my choice from the two. As for monster’s one season removed, how about those 16.5 sacks by Landry?

              3. Sweat never had more than seven sacks in a season.

                Landry will get picked in the late first round. Armstrong will get picked later, and will be a much better value.

              4. 2017 can be attributed to a defensive scheme change. In 2016, Armstrong played in a one-gap scheme; in 2017, it was a two-gap scheme.

              5. Landry’s explosive first step and bend around the arc are unparalleled in this draft. That threat alone leads me to believe good things are sure to follow for our defense should we be that fortuitous at acquiring him….

            1. I do not see what makes people get excited about him. He’s ok. Has some talent to work with, but nothing that makes me think he is a guy you have to get and will be a steal.

              1. He had 10 sacks and 20 tackles for loss in 12 games as a sophomore. He can bend the edge. He has plus agility. He has plus length. Not sure what you’re not seeing, but I think you’re hung up on his 40 time.

              2. I said exactly the same thing before the combine. When I watch him I see a decent player, but nothing special.

      1. I really don’t get the love for Armstrong. He is just ok as a prospect.

        Me either. I don’t think much of Sweat and Key is talented but a head case. That’s why I would go with Landry in the first. The gap between him and the rest of these guys is cavernous. This is a really poor draft for Edge players overall imo.

        1. I just don’t see a lot to be excited about when watching him. He doesn’t have any attributes that stand out to me as a pass rusher.

            1. He gets worked too easily and doesn’t have much of a move. It’s all effort to try and beat his guy from what I’ve seen. Measurables are great but production is better.

              1. His production is good. They used him as an edge setting base end in 2017. Kind of how Missouri used Aldon as a defensive tackle in 2010.

  24. I usually only do 2 mocks so here goes with OldCoach mock #1
    Rd. 1 I would like to see them trade back a few then choose Marcus Davenport DE UTSA
    Rd 2 Greg Stroman CB VT
    Rd 3 Duke Ejiofor DE\OLB WF
    Rd 3 Austin Corbett C\G Nev
    Rd 4 Jason Cabinda ILB Penn St.
    Rd 5 Korey Robertson WR S Miss
    Rd 6 Perry Nickerson CB Tulane
    Rd 7 Nick Stevens QB Col St
    Rd 7 Greg Senat OT Wagner

    1. IOldcoach,
      Looks good.
      Senat and Ejiofor could be pleasant surprises.
      Needs are being filled.

      I’m staying away from creating mocks this time as a personal punishment for mocking Kaepernick and Foster – ouch!

    1. The term “after the draft” interests me. Is that because they will continue to try and trade him up to the draft, but if they can’t, they cut him since they don’t want to have him around for OTAs and eventually training camp. Is there any other reason for that deadline?

  25. As far as I know, Byron Maxwell is still a FA. Why not consider signing him since Sherman is on the team and he knows the defense. I know Maxwell didn’t play as well as expected, but maybe if he is paired up with Sherman again (albeit not in a starting role), in a defensive scheme where he first shined…..

    1. I’m extremely doubtful Garnett makes a full transformation, mostly because we saw 2 fails 1st hand with Tank and Arik. I wonder if they attempt to move him during the draft? Not sure what a Garnett trade would garner?

    2. oh man…yet another “Garnett-hardly-tips-scale” media blurb….
      come on man… “hey look at me, I’m lighter/sexier/svelter– even JL says I am, so it’s gotta be true” …
      another trade disinfo media blitz barrage from his agent and 4949 working together to boost trade value– still say he’ll be in ARI come September…
      I hear there’s an ex-Trent Baalke OL draft pick support group there already…

  26. Dorance Armstrong
    Height: 6035
    Weight: 259
    Arm length: 34 3/4
    40-yard dash: 4.87
    10-yard split: 1.68
    Bench: 25
    Vert: 33
    Broad: 9’10”
    20-yard shuttle: 4.23
    3-cone drill: 7.12
    Conference: Big 12
    College sacks: 15.5

    Aldon Smith
    Height: 6042
    Weight: 263
    Arm length: 35 3/8
    40-yard dash: 4.82
    10-yard split: 1.68
    Bench: 20
    Vert: 34 1/2
    Broad: 9’10”
    20-yard shuttle: 4.50
    3-cone drill: 7.19
    Conference: Big 12
    College sacks: 14.5

  27. Grant, your mocks are worthless because they are unrealistic, they don’t account for team needs. You fall in love with a player and throw him in the mix. After Lynch spends 18M, 5.6M guaranteed, on Attaochu and Marsh specifically to play sub package edge rush, you propose spending 2nd and 4th round choices on those positions. What are the chances off that happening? Also, you ignore the fact Lynch will be sensitive to off field issues after Foster, and Key has plenty of those.

      1. If they are as bad as you say why did Lynch pay good money for them? Are you a better judge of talent than he? What would qualify you for that? I can just see it – our new General Manager Grant Cohn (God help us!). Based on everything Lynch has done I’m willing to trust his judgement.

        1. Because building a winning roster is as much about depth, as it is star players. In Attaochu, you are betting the Come. You’re taking a chance on a uniquely skilled underachiever. Just what the Patriots do. When it works, 30% of the time, it’s spectacular. Low risk, high reward. However, you don’t base your draft on hope. Hope is not a strategy. More importantly to GC’s point, you can never have too many pass rushers or CB’s. Ever.

  28. Grant, I’m saving your unrealistic uninformed picks. How many do you think you will get right come draft day?

  29. Mock draft 2.0
    Niners trade back with Buffalo. Niners receive picks number 12 and 56 for pick number 9. Buffalo wants to leapfrog ahead of Miami,who may be strongly considering a QB at pick number 11, and giving up a second round pick is not too costly, especially considering they have two second round picks. I think that only 3 QBs ( Darnold, Rosen, Allen) will be chosen in the first 8 picks, so Buffalo would be able to obtain Baker Mayfield, Lamar Jackson or Mason Rudolph at number 9.
    Niners make a multi player trade. They trade Reuben Foster, Jimmie Ward, Matt Breida and Zane Beadles to the Raiders in exchange for their 10th overall pick. Niners could then get an edge pass rusher and a ILB in the first round. Gruden would get 2 first rounders in Foster and Ward, and Breida and Beadles could help 2 other areas of need. Gruden would get 4 veterans and the Niners would get a highly ranked, although unproven rookie, but he could help build that foundation for the future. Niners would benefit from moving on from Foster, who is a big talent, but who could also disappear in a puff of smoke. Ward is superfluous, due to the emergence of Colbert. They could also re-sign Eric Reid to fill in for the loss of Ward. It would be a Win/Win scenario, because the Raiders have many needs, while the Niners need to develop the nucleus for the future.
    Niners would end up with pick numbers 10, 12, 56, 59, 70, 74, 128, 143, 184, 223 and 240. The Niners would have 6 picks in the first 3 rounds, so they might be able to possibly draft 4 starters with those 6 picks.
    Using the Draftek big board and trying to pick within 5 spots of the draft board, the Niners could select-
    10- Tremaine Edmunds, ILB
    12- Harold Landry, Edge.
    56- Sony Michel, RB.
    59- Mike Gesicki, TE.
    70- Donte Jackson, CB.
    74- Billy Price, C/G.
    128- Hercules Mata’afa, OLB.
    143- Allen Lazard, WR.
    184- Du’Vonta Lampkin, DT.
    223- Troy Apke, S.
    240- Mike McCray, ILB.

    1. Seb,
      As much as I like your idea, I don’t see the raiders making a trade for Foster. Sure, the idea of garnering Edmunds and Landry would warm my heart, but the raiders are still reeling from the Aldon Smith debacle. Foster may be to much of a gamble even for the sin city raiders.

      1. AES, you may be right, but there is a long history of former Niners becoming Raiders. Ronnie Lott, Jerry Rice, Plunkett, Romanowski, Kwallick, Newberry, Garner, Rathman, Woodson and Crabtree. The Raiders have a long history of accepting Niner castoffs, and Foster would fit right in with their mindset and culture.
        I agree that Aldon is a slow motion trainwreck, but he is his own worst enemy, and is an extreme case.
        Foster may be skating on thin ice, but he has tons of potential, and the Raiders desperately need help inside. Gruden just may be desperate enough to make such a deal, and the Niners would go a long way towards establishing the right culture by jettisoning Foster, and getting something for him before he possibly implodes. However, he may have gotten a wake up call, and hopefully can have a long productive career playing in the NFL. Maybe the Niners could sweeten the deal by eating some of Ward’s salary.

      2. AES
        Seb is a functional idiot. Do not engage with him; waste of your time.
        Guilt by association. His fantasies are not worthy of your consideration.

  30. I don’t think Cleveland can’t go wrong with Rosen, Darnold or Allen so I still think they will grab Barkley first then get Allen with their #4 with Rosen and Darnold going to either or the Giants and Jets..

    And I still think Nelson will be available at #9 with the Colts taking Chubb or Edmonds. They were pathetic pressuring QB’s last season. Terrible defense.. That needs fixing over everything else..

  31. Disagree with your analysis of the Draft.
    Giants signaled by releasing their Edge, they will draft Chubb. Browns will likely trade the #4 to the Bills who will pick a QB with the Browns an OT & Safety.
    Lynch trades down with the Cards – pick is McGlinchey the OT from Norte Dame. With Staley turning 34 & Brown a UFA end of season wanting LT money, this is the logical choice addressing it before it becomes a necessity.
    BTW I also like Landry or Edmunds at 9 also.

  32. I believe, one of these four blue chips makes it to 9 (BPA order). Chubb will not fall.

    1) Barkley
    2) Nelson
    3) Fitzpatrick
    4) Ward

    If none make it, we trade down or take Landry, Edmunds, or Smith. Hopefully, we trade down.

      1. That’s true, forgot him. Great player. I’m just not convinced he goes before of Landry, Smith or Edmunds. I watch Minkah and see a dude who is crazy special. Can play absolutely anywhere. Quicker and more fluid than Derwin. Derwin seems a bit stiffer to me.

    1. BTW – don’t sleep on Ward. Watched an interview and that kid. He is wired right. Super sharp, articulate, and doesn’t trash talk. True pro. IF all things are equal, that will sway a lot of teams.

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