The folks at Mocking the Draft released their latest 2014 NFL mock draft, and they mixed in some trades in their 2-round mock. It includes the Atlanta Falcons trading up to get the Houston Texans No. 1 overall pick, and the Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs swapping picks 23 and 25.
In breaking down the 49ers picks, MtD hit on several positions of need. My level of interest in the 49ers picks in this mock declines as we move from top to bottom:
30. Jason Verrett, CB, TCU
Verrett is the draft's best cornerback, but he may not be the first one selected because of his size and maybe a perception of lack of upside. He would be the perfect choice for the 49ers, who lost Tarell Brown and Carlos Rogers.
56. Allen Robinson, WR, Penn State
Robinson is similar in many ways to the receivers San Francisco already has on its roster. He's able to high point the ball and get vertical down the sideline.
61. Joel Bitonio, OT/G, Nevada
Hey look, it's not a token injured player pick for the 49ers. Bitonio could be the ultimate utility piece for San Francisco. He can play guard or tackle, and provide some insurance if Mike Iupati leaves after next season.
You can complain about the picks, and I do find the Bitonio pick a bit odd, but I've always viewed mock drafts more in the context of positions picked. The players can be interesting, but it's a huge guessing game.
I'm going to chat with the Mocking the Draft folks at some point to see if they can put together a mock with a 49ers trade. While nothing is "guaranteed" to happen, we know the 49ers will make trades. They make them every year, and with 11 picks, they will do some wheeling and dealing.
I think most everybody here expects some trades, but I'm curious how many trades they expect to see, and where they'll be doing the maneuvering. The big one to watch is in the first round. Does the team move up to grab a Justin Gilbert or Mike Evans? Do they wait and see who slips to them at No. 30, or do they end up moving out of the first round to pick up some future picks?
Beyond the first round, the 49ers have two picks in the second round and three in the third round. I suspect we see at least one of those picks traded for a higher 2015 pick. If they can turn one of their seconds into a 2015 first round pick, I think they have to strongly consider it. It obviously depends on how much they like they players available at picks 56 and 61. I understand this draft is deeper than most, but getting future first round picks (particularly with the potential of turning a 2nd into a first) strikes me as a good thing.
And of course the 49ers can use other deeper picks to work their way up the draft board. They likely can package a third with their first to move up to the middle of the first round. They could potentially turn a 2014 fourth into a 2013 third. The options are extensive for the 49ers. The question is how they will take advantage of them.