ESPN's Mel Kiper posted his fourth 2014 NFL mock draft, and it is a mix of the same but different. He stuck with wide receiver, cornerback and interior offensive line, but he mixed up the names a bit. This time around, he has the 49ers selecting Vanderbilt wide receiver Jordan Matthews in the first round, then Rice cornerback Phillip Gaines and USC center Marcus Martin in the second round. Here is what he said about the picks:
30. San Francisco 49ers | Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt
The return of Anquan Boldin isn't enough for me to consider the wide receiver depth chart in San Francisco complete, and an experienced, projectable, reliable pass-catcher with underrated explosiveness both before and after the catch could provide some early impact for the 49ers. Matthews had been maligned for his lack of top-end speed, but his senior tape combined with a 4.46 40-time in Indy tells a different story, and it's hard to get past the fact that everyone knew Vandy wanted to get Matthews the ball, and nobody could keep him covered -- even in the SEC.
56. San Francisco 49ers (from KC) | Phillip Gaines, CB, Rice
If the fit is there, I could see the 49ers going with a corner in Round 1, but athletes at Gaines' level qualify as a good value at this stage. At this point the 49ers have needed help at WR and CB.
61. San Francisco 49ers | *Marcus Martin, C, USC
The 49ers have a clear need at center, and Martin should capably fill the hole. He's an impressive athlete among peers even at a position where some athleticism is assumed.
Martin remains a regular, which I have to assume means there is no way the 49ers draft him. Right? However, we've got a new mix of wide receiver and cornerback. Jordan Matthews isn't a shocker, but he hasn't been connected to the 49ers nearly as frequently as other receivers. In this particular mock, the wide receivers going ahead of No. 30 include Sammy Watkins, Mike Evans, Odell Beckham Jr., Brandin Cooks, Kelvin Benjamin, Marqise Lee and Cody Latimer.
Latimer is the most surprising in that group, but this placement is due to his recent lightning quick climb up draft boards. Coming off an injured foot, Latimer put together a strong Pro Day, running a sub-4.4 40 and seemingly showing that his foot was close enough to 100 percent. There was some chatter of him as a sleeper, but it seems like that status is quickly changing.
Phillip Gaines is an interesting one. He is projected by some as a fourth or fifth round pick. He is projected by others as a second round pick. We are reaching that point where the draft prognosticators have found the guys they like. Yesterday, we discussed Matthew Fairburn's preference for Andre Hal in the SB Nation mock draft. Everybody is going to have differing opinions on a lot of players. When you're picking that far down in a fairly deep draft, there will be a lot of disagreement. Everyone thinks they're right and the other person is wrong, but everybody is going to have their hits and misses. We'll see how it plays out.