At the time this post goes up, the NFL Draft is officially 35 hours away. That means we're getting through the last updates of mock drafts around the Internet, which also means people are getting antzy and starting to change their minds. In our latest edition of the 2011 Niners Nation 49ers Mock Draft Database, the latest big gainer is UNC outside linebacker/defensive end Robert Quinn. As of last Friday night he was appearing in four mock drafts. Today he finds himself in eight mock drafts. It's a small sample size, and we all know mock drafts have to be taken with a grain of salt, but it's still an interesting change as the last minute approaches.
Quinn is a guy who has stuck around in projections and discussions even though I think it's reasonable and important to question where he is at in light of his season-long suspension. Even if a rookie salary scale is put in place, the 49ers are going to be investing a fair amount of money in this pick. Aside from just the money is the loss of an impact player if they had gone in a different direction.
If the 49ers are going to select Robert Quinn this year, they better be as certain as they can be that he's going to be fine in 2011. The 49ers are at a critical stage in their development and can't afford to blow top draft picks. Although, if they moved back a few spots to get some picks, it suddenly makes a potential Quinn selection at least a little more interesting. How sold are folks on Quinn as an impact player in his rookie year, as well as his long-term potential as a pass rushing outside linebacker?
In the meantime, I'm thinking I'll do one more look at the database tomorrow morning, but I don't expect a whole lot of changes. I'd imagine Mel Kiper and Todd McShay will roll out their final mocks, which should be interesting considering they were both wrong on both 49ers picks last year. We'll see what else is out there tomorrow morning.