Our friends at Mocking the Draft put together their latest 2014 NFL mock draft, and they've taken a different angle this time around. They projected out the first 32 picks, but then for each team, they also suggested "other options". While mock drafts in general can hold limited value when we're talking about 32 picks, looking at things from a broader perspective always helps.
For this week's mock draft, Dan Kadar mixed it up and had the 49ers selecting Vanderbilt wide receiver Jordan Matthews. Here is his rationale:
This just feels right. Matthews is a distant relative of 49ers legend Jerry Rice. Like Rice, Matthews may not have the greatest speed, but he's a precise route runner with good hands. While that profiles similar to what Anquan Boldin can do for San Francisco, it's apparent the team needs a third wide receiver. Matthews is a safer choice than some of the boom-or-bust wide receivers who are left.
Matthews has popped on and off the radar at the end of the first round, and I find myself wondering if he might slip into the second round. If you're the 49ers and you see a group of receivers you like suddenly available at the end of the first round, maybe you try and slide down into the top of the second? The 49ers have a lot of flexibility in this draft. Personally I think they move up in the first round to pounce on some specific talent, but with the potential desire to add some 2015 picks (my own speculation), they could let the draft really come to them.
In the listing of "other options", Dan included wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin, cornerback Bradley Roby, and defensive lineman Stephon Tuitt. I suppose that no matter what, he's gotta include a defensive lineman in there! Give the mock a look and see who is sliding which way. I think the way this mock falls, I would expect some kind of maneuvering by the 49ers. Although, I suppose I expect that in most cases this year.