ESPN's Todd McShay put together his latest NFL mock draft, and he has hopped on the Margus Hunt bandwagon. He has the 49ers grabbing the SMU defensive end because he does not see them reaching for a cornerback in this scenario, and they can take their time developing Hunt. McShay's analysis:
The Niners need a cornerback, but there isn't one who would be worth taking here. Hunt is a project with a ton of upside. He's older, but he's a physical freak. At 6-8⅛ he ran a 4.6 40-yard dash.
In the final few game tapes of the 2012 season, I can see the light starting to come on. In San Francisco, he could develop at a good pace and wouldn't be forced into action too early.
If the Niners don't choose Hunt, they could look at safeties D.J. Swearinger or Matt Elam. Nose tackle Brandon Williams, a small-school prospect who is rising, wide receiver Quinton Patton or Trufant also could fit for the Niners.
McShay's pick joins a growing group of people who think the 49ers will grab Hunt with their first round pick. Check out our mock draft database for the full rundown.
Hunt is a relative football novice, having not started playing football until he arrived at SMU. Hunt will turn 26 shortly before the start of training camp. That is a bit concerning given that he could be a project of sorts, but at the same time, it sticks him right in his physical prime. He may not be looking at a ten-year pro career, but if he can unlock his potential, it would certainly not be a wasted pick.
For now, six people out of our 40 mocks are projecting Margus Hunt to the 49ers. It means little for what to actually expect in late April, but it's interesting nonetheless. The bandwagon is slowly picking up speed.