2014 NFL mock draft: Pre-NFL Combine mock draft still has 49ers and defensive line

The NFL Combine gets going later this week, which means this is a sort of bench mark for mock drafts. We look at SB Nation's latest mock draft, and the 49ers pick.

Over at SB Nation, Matthew Fairburn and Dan Kadar collaborated on their final pre-NFL Combine mock draft this morning. One the NFL Combine gets going, we really get into the swing where mock drafts could really start to change. The Combine will send people climbing and falling. Then free agency will alter some team needs. That is followed by individual player workouts through March and likely into April, and then the 2014 NFL Draft finally gets here in May.

In their latest mock, Matt handled the even picks, while Dan covered the odd picks. Matt had the 49ers selecting Minnesota defensive tackle RaShede Hageman.

Justin Smith isn't getting any younger, and the 49ers always recognize the need to add depth on both lines of scrimmage. Ra'Shede Hageman is a player with technique and motor questions, but he has a unique build and excellent strength. He could probably move around San Francisco's 3-4 front a bit, too.

I'm still not entirely sure what to make of defensive line picks in the first round. It sounds like Hageman is a guy with a lot of versatility, but I just don't see how the 49ers go defensive line in the first round. You want to be prepared for the future, but with concerns in the secondary and potentially long-term at wide receiver, I'm just not seeing it.

The 49ers head into the offseason with their defensive line depth chart looking something like this:

LDT: Ray McDonald, Tony Jerod-Eddie, Lawrence Okoye
NT: Glenn Dorsey, Ian Williams, Quinton Dial, Mike Purcell
RDT: Justin Smith, Demarcus Dobbs, Tank Carradine, Christian Tupou

There will be plenty of competition behind McDonald and Smith, but given the return of Tank Carradine to the field, do the 49ers really invest another early round pick in one of the strengths of the team? Of course, with all this in mind, that means the 49ers will make this kind of pick, and still leave us all wondering what is going on.

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