2014 NFL mock draft: Senior Bowl week brings Mocking the Draft's latest

Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

The Senior Bowl week of practices is quickly coming to a close. We break down SB Nation's recent mock draft leading into the week.

Senior Bowl week is rapidly coming to a close with the game set for Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. PT on NFL Network. The game itself has some value, but the real value for scouts comes in the week of practices leading up to the game. We'll have more practice reports, and also a look at who the 49ers visited with over the course of the week.

For now though, I thought we'd take a look at Dan Kadar's latest mock draft over at Mocking the Draft. Dan is down in Mobile for the week, so it will be interesting to see how this mock compares with his next. For this one though, he has a rather intriguing pick for the 49ers:

30. San Francisco 49ers: Stephon Tuitt, DE, Notre Dame

When the 49ers pick, they'll be weighing the fifth- or sixth-best wide receiver or another piece to add on defense. In this scenario, the best cornerbacks are gone. Conversely, the best 3-4 defensive linemen are available. Tuitt would enter an ideal situation in San Francisco where he'd be part of a rotation.

He is not the first person to mock a defensive lineman to the 49ers. Tank Carradine's absence this season combined with Justin Smith's advancing age makes it somewhat convenient for the NFL Draft crowd to at least ponder the 49ers defensive line in mock drafts.

And yet, with so many other areas of need, I just don't see it happening. Free agency will tell us a lot more about the 49ers actual needs, but as of now, cornerback, safety and wide receiver are high on the list. Tarell Brown, Eric Wright and Perrish Cox are all free agents, and Carlos Rogers seems destined for either a restructured deal or his outright release. Donte Whitner is a free agent and might just be too pricey to stick at strong safety. And Anquan Boldin's return remains entirely up in the air. It sounds like the 49ers want him back, but at what price?

The 49ers showed how valuable defensive line depth can be as they were able to rotate Tony Jerod-Eddie and Demarcus Dobbs behind Justin Smith and Ray McDonald. In 2014, they conceivably would have Ian Williams and Tank Carradine on the 53-man roster. A returning Williams boosts Dorsey's value. Williams is mostly a nose tackle, while Dorsey can play the nose and the end positions.

This is not to say the 49ers can ignore line depth, but it seems like a low enough priority that you'd rather invest those more significant draft assets in upgrade the secondary or wide receiver corps.

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