The NFL Combine is officially in our review mirror, which means we are one step closer to the 2013 NFL Draft. The next step in this process features Pro Days, which began today with Purdue and UTEP. They will kick into high gear next Monday, featuring Pro Days Monday through Friday for the rest of the month. NFL free agency gets going March 12, which will obviously have a big impact on draft boards as we head into April.
I updated the Niners Nation mock draft database today, in order to better reflect the post-Combine world. Some remain a bit outdated, and I am going to look into some replacement mocks for those (feel free to offer suggestions). However, we're getting a better idea of what people see for the 49ers.
Mock drafts are tough to figure out prior to the start of free agency, given that team needs could change a decent amount. For the 49ers, if Dashon Goldson re-signs, safety moves down the list a bit. If he walks, safety becomes a significant priority. Defensive line is a priority no matter what, but if the 49ers find a nose tackle in free agency, it becomes more of a defensive end issue. There are a whole host of possibilities.
In looking at the 40 mock drafts we sample, the top position projected is defensive line (covering defensive ends and defensive tackles) with 19 mocks. The next group is cornerback with 13 mocks.
What I found more interesting is that 36 of the 40 mocks project the 49ers to select a defensive player. This has been a common discussion, and it is not particularly shocking to see. But will Trent Baalke and company surprise us? If Delanie Walker leaves in free agency, tight end becomes an intriguing position to watch early in the draft. I don't expect a first round pick on a tight end, but Baalke has surprised us before.
I know some folks have suggested wide receiver as a possible first round pick, but does that depend on players falling to the 49ers and impacting their potential "best player available" state of mind?