I've updated our 2014 NFL mock draft database, and while the three sets of positions remain the same, cornerback has moved into the lead. I added one more mock, and now 12 of the 27 mocks have cornerback as the 49ers No. 1 pick, with wide receiver second with eight selections, and defensive line third with seven selections.
The NFL Combine is less than a week away, with the first players arriving next Wednesday February 19. This is the first event since the close of the all star games where talent evaluators and players are all together. Every team will be on hand to break down what hand size, 40 time and Wonderlic means for a given prospect's draft stock. Some players will climb, and some will fall.
Of course, what this means is that we might start to see the first signs of serious movement in mock drafts. I don't expect huge changes, but we'll see some names rise and fall in the first round, which impacts the players we see the potential 49ers. This step comes three weeks before free agency gets under way. We won't see huge shake-ups with free agency, but it will mix things up a little bit more.
For a team like the 49ers, cornerback likely remains on the table without a lot of regard for free agency. I suppose the 49ers could re-do Carlos Rogers' deal, and then re-sign Tarell Brown, Eric Wright and Perrish Cox, but I don't imagine any of us see all those moves happening. It seems pretty apparent that the 49ers will be in the market for a younger cornerback.
The most prominent selection among the 12 mocks suggesting cornerback was Ohio State's Bradley Roby. The 5'11 cornerback brings serious speed and athleticism to the position. He's not the biggest guy out there, but seems to have plenty of confidence to go with his speed. It sounds like he had some inconsistencies this season, which could be what has him slip-sliding down a bit. He'll get a chance to show off his athleticism at the Combine, but if he slides to the 49ers, it will be because of the film.
Here are a few scouting reports. We'll have our own scouting report after the Combine.