Todd McShay released his latest mock draft (In$ider) on Wednesday, two weeks before the 2013 NFL Draft kicks off. In this mock, McShay provided one player projection, but then looked at the three most likely scenarios for the team. It's behind ESPN's paywall, so we're here to break down what he has to say about the 49ers.
The first scenario dealt with the safety position. For the purposes of the mock, McShay projected Jonathan Cyprien to the 49ers with pick No. 31.
Scenario 1: Craig Dahl came in via free agency, but he's not the long-term answer. Cyprien has size and range and is a hitter, and if his recognition skills catch up to his physical tools, he will be a huge asset as a do-everything safety.
Earlier this morning, I updated the NN mock draft database, and safety was the most prominent position with 15 appearances. Jonathan Cyprien showed up five times. Safety and defensive line are the two easiest positions to mock to the 49ers given the need that exists. That being said, it is entirely possible the 49ers could decide to trade up to try and grab Kenny Vaccaro, or wait until their second round picks to grab a safety. This is a deep class, giving the 49ers multiple opportunities to fill the hole left by Dashon Goldson's departure.
McShay's second scenario looks at the defensive line.
Scenario 2: There is a need for a versatile defensive lineman in San Francisco. That would put Jenkins in play. He's mobile for his size, has a good motor and is versatile enough to add to the problems the Niners' defensive front can create for opposing offenses.
As I stated above, defensive line is an obvious selection as well. McShay sees Jonathan Jenkins as a possibility. In our mock draft database, defensive tackle was second on the list, and Jesse Williams was the most prominent player with eight appearances.
The final scenario is on the other side of the ball, as the 49ers consider additional weapons for Colin Kaepernick.
Scenario 3: If the 49ers look to the offense, the best available pass-catcher would be an option, whether that is Ertz or a value receiver like Keenan Allen or Woods.
It is fitting that this is the third scenario, because I think an offensive selection in the first round is rather unlikely. The 49ers can and probably will surprise me in a couple weeks, but I just can't see an offensive player this early, given the needs on the rest of the roster. I would expect a trade up or down before an offensive selection. I'm sure I'll be wildly wrong on this.