Todd McShay has released his latest mock draft and he has some interesting happenings related to the 49ers. In projecting out two rounds, McShay has the 49ers drafting defensive tackle John Jenkins in the first, Zach Ertz with pick No. 34 in the second round and safety Jonathan Cyprien with pick No. 61 in the second round. Here are his comments about Jenkins in the first:
I've become a big fan of Jenkins during film study. He was a little heavy in 2012, but even at 350-plus pounds he moved better than expected, played with a nonstop motor, and got more in involved in backside pursuit than a lot of 250-pound defensive ends I studied. I'll bet on a guy like that any day. Jenkins has also shed some weight during the draft process, and many feel he is maturing and coming into his own after a tough upbringing. He's not the space-eater his size would seem to indicate, but he can play nose tackle or end in the 49ers' 3-4 scheme and add to the problems their defensive front can create.
None of these mocks are projecting trades so it is hard to take them beyond face value, but this would seem to be a pretty solid haul for the 49ers. They would be addressing three of their biggest needs, adding a potential versatile defensive lineman, a second tight end and a potential starting safety.
I have been seeing more and more projections featuring Jenkins to the 49ers late in the first. Jenkins is a big boy, coming in at 6-3, 346 pounds. While the 49ers do not use their nose tackle as much as their four lineman nickel front, Jenkins would seemingly be a guy who could be utilized both as the nose tackle AND as part of their interior tackle rotation when they go to the nickel. There is some discussion of him being able to work as a defensive end as well, but you could argue that would just be a bonus.
Ertz would bring great pass-catching skills, but he would need to work on his blocking. Delanie Walker was inconsistent as a pass catcher, but was one of the best blockers on the 49ers. That is an area the 49ers need help on with that second tight end. If they think they can work with Ertz on his blocking, all the better. If not, they could wait a couple rounds on the tight end.
Cyprien is a bit of a surprise, slipping as far as he does in this mock. McShay has him as the fourth safety off the board. He has Kenny Vaccaro going to the Cowboys No. 18, Matt Elam to the Bengals at No. 37 and D.J. Swearinger to the Packers at No. 55. This safety class could feature guys all over the place, but do we really only see one going in the first?