Mel Kiper Jr. released his latest mock draft over at ESPN, and as with many other mocks, the coiffed one has the 49ers addressing their three biggest needs. Kiper is not the be-all, end-all of draft prognosticators, but that does not mean he doesn't raise some interesting points with his analysis.
In his fourth mock, Kiper has the 49ers selecting defensive end Margus Hunt in the first round, and then safety Matt Elam and tight end Gavin Escobar in the second round. Although the 49ers have some flexibility with what they can address in the draft, defensive line, safety and tight end are three of the biggest needs. You may not agree with the players, but the positions make sense.
While we have had plenty of discussion about Zach Ertz as a potential 49ers tight end, Kiper is a fan of Escobar. He conducted a conference call yesterday, and had expressed his thoughts on Escobar:
"Escobar is an interesting guy. I've liked him. You look at his skill set and how it translates to the NFL, I think ideally at 6'5½", 6'6", 250 to 255 pounds, he runs well. He plays fast too many times. He's got the hands. He's got the natural receiving skills.
"I think he's in that late second-, early- to mid-third-round discussion. The 49ers could look at him at 61. There's a couple teams, Tampa Bay could look at him in the third-round mix. There are some teams that could be looking at tight ends. Seattle even in the third round."
Escobar measured in at 6'6, 254 pounds at the NFL Combine. Two weeks ago, Tre put together a scouting report on Escobar. Based on Tre's comments, I have to say I would really like seeing Escobar in a 49ers uniform. His weaknesses strike me as either non-issues or things that the team can improve. For example, he is more of a bulldozer and less of a speed guy. I can live with that given that the 49ers would not be looking for that from their No. 2 tight end.
Additionally, he is not the greatest blocker in the world. Fortunately, he would be joining a team with a phenomenal blocking tight end in Vernon Davis, and the coaching staff to improve it.
Thoughts on a haul of Hunt, Elam and Escobar?