The NFL Combine is just around the corner, getting started a week from Wednesday. The NFL Draft season began immediately after bowl season, and the Combine marks the next big marker on the way to late April. As such, mock drafts are going to pick up in frequency.
We can't review every single mock draft on the Internet, but it can be helpful to pull a small sample for analysis. Mock drafts involve a lot of guess work on specific players, but they can still provide useful information about assumed positional needs. I don't put a ton of stock in the player projections, but when we see a single position getting a lot of looks, there is something to be gained.
And so, we are back with the sixth annual Niners Nation Mock Draft Database. This year's database features 40 mock drafts, from a variety of resources. This year's version is improved as it is now set with sortable columns. You can sort by player and position, making it easier to see how things are projecting.
As it currently stands, defensive line is the most prominent position. 24 of the 40 mocks have the 49ers looking at defensive line in some form or fashion. Six project cornerback and five project safety. The most frequently mentioned player is Alabama defensive lineman Jesse Williams with seven projections.
The most random pick might be that of Alabama running back Eddie Lacy by Albert Breer. The 49ers could very well surprise people with their pick, but if Lacy is the "best player available" on their board at No. 31, I would expect the 49ers to trade down before selecting him. He brings a lot to the table, but the 49ers have enough other needs to address early on in my mind. But, I don't get paid the big bucks, so we'll just have to wait and see.
I'll be updating the database once a week, and potentially twice a week as we get into April. Again, this is not meant to be entirely representative of the Internet, but rather a snapshot for our own analysis.