Yesterday morning, NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock took some time to conduct a conference call with media. The NFL Combine kicks off tomorrow, and Mayock provided a glimpse into his thoughts on a variety of players. Yesterday, we discussed his thoughts on the 49ers wide receiver position.
In the question about the 49ers wide receiver position, Mayock was also asked about the team's defensive line. He had a few comments about finding some defensive line help for the 49ers:
As far as the defensive line are concerned, I agree with you. There are some really good kind of nose tackle, five‑technique guys out there right now. If San Francisco has a couple aging guys at that position, though they're really good players.
So when you start getting down toward the end of the first round at that five technique, Datone Jones from UCLA is a late one to a mid‑two. Margus Hunt from SMU, you might get him in the second round. But he's a big, impressive kid that I think down the road will be a heck of a player. They're the logical guys.
And William Gholston in the second or third round also from Michigan State in that 3‑4 to play defensive end.
Defensive line remains prominent in our mock draft database. Of all the positions I could see the 49ers drafting with their top pick, defensive end is the one that would be unlikely to change as a possibility because of free agency. The 49ers could lock up Dashon Goldson, and add some more wide receiver help, but looking for a long-term answer after Justin Smith is something that would seem most likely to be found in the draft.
It would leave the 49ers in a position where their top pick could once again be sitting much of the time, but with the right guy, I would think he could potentially work his way into the rotation as a backup defensive lineman. Part of that will also depend on how the 49ers address nose tackle, whether it be the same as last year, or some changes from Isaac Sopoaga and Ricky Jean-Francois. As always, there is a lot of time and opportunity for changes.