The coiffed one at ESPN has dropped his latest 2014 NFL mock draft. Mel Kiper released his third mock draft of the 2014 draft season and he has the San Francisco 49ers drafting Virginia Tech cornerback Kyle Fuller. In the first two mocks, Kiper had the 49ers draft LSU wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr., and then Jarvis Landry.
The 49ers aren't thin in too many spots, but cornerback certainly qualifies, and they could use someone coming in ready to contribute. Fuller has been good during the evaluation process and now seems like a reasonable option this high. With Eric Reid and Antoine Bethea on the back end, CB will be a priority in the draft.
For those wondering, he mocked out the following cornerbacks ahead of Fuller: Justin Gilbert - 15, Darqueze Dennard - 20, Bradley Roby - 25. He also has six wide receivers: Sammy Watkins - 7, Mike Evans - 10, Brandin Cooks - 17, Odell Beckham Jr. - 18, Marqise Lee - 23, Kelvin Benjamin - 26. And finally, he has two safeties: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix - 13, Calvin Pryor - 22.
This pick is officially up in the air in light of the 49ers options remaining in free agency. Signing Chris Cook or re-signing Tarell Brown would not remove cornerback from the 49ers long-term needs, but it could shake things up a bit from the draft perspective. Chris Culliver is coming off a torn ACL, and is entering his walk year, so cornerback is far from a sure thing. But the 49ers roster would be relatively "complete" insomuch as they would have viable starters at every position. They could certainly improve in areas, but they would have the flexibility to pick and choose exactly how they want to operate.
I remain convinced the team will make some trades, so mock drafts have a little less value in that regard. Any team can make a trade, but the 49ers have the assets to move around just about wherever they want, and Trent Baalke has shown the kind of aggressiveness to make this happen. They could move up to grab Justin Gilbert, or they could move back into the second round if they see talent slipping.
One area where trading could prove key is in adding 2015 draft picks. This is a deep draft, so the 49ers don't want to miss out on quality talent. However, with an excess of picks, why not try and turn their late second into a 2015 first? Who knows if they can find the partners for it, but with people slobbering over this year's class, maybe they can take advantage of a desperate team?