Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports
We take a look at Mel Kiper Jr.'s first mock draft of the 2013 NFL Draft season, focusing on the 49ers pick.
The coiffed one, Mel Kiper Jr., has spoken! Kiper posted his first mock draft of the 2013 NFL Draft, and he has the San Francisco 49ers selecting Florida defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd. I posted an open thread for East-West Shrine Game practice discussion, and this could certainly fit there, but I figured folks would want a chance to discuss Mel and only Mel!
Mock drafts are beginning to heat up, and sometime soon I'll get our annual mock draft database together for your perusal. Kiper's mock follows that of NFL Network's Albert Breer, who had the 49ers selecting running back Eddie Lacy. That was a fairly random pick, while Kiper's choice of position is a bit more pertinent. The 49ers do have a long-term need on the defensive line because Justin Smith will not play forever (ignoring all evidence to the contrary). Here is what Kiper had to say about Floyd and the 49ers:
At some point, San Francisco has to assume that the ageless Justin Smith might finally need a breather, and Floyd is the type of versatile defensive lineman who profiles well as a 3-4 defensive end. Florida moved Floyd to the inside during his sophomore season, but he was back at defensive end this season, and just kept getting better. Like Smith, he's a powerful player who can push the pocket with power and will free up other pass-rushers, while making tackles for loss on his own.
Mock drafts are as much for discussion as anything else. When we're talking about Harbaalke in particular, they have proven to be a bit unpredictable. As last year's mock draft database shows us, most people are providing at best an educated guess, at worst, a shot in the dark. But, it does help us focus in the discussion a bit, so that's something.
Thoughts on Mel Kiper's initial projection?