A year ago today, we were a week removed from the 2013 NFL Draft. The 49ers had their haul of draft picks and undrafted free agents, and we were moving on to rookie minicamp and the eventual OTAs. While it was easy to look at the immediate future, and the coming season, our friends at Mocking the Draft made sure to keep the next year's draft on the periphery of our radar.
Shortly after the 2013 NFL Draft wrapped, Matthew Fairburn put together his first 2014 NFL mock draft. He took plenty of time between the first one and his next one, but it makes sense to at least throw something out there right after the draft. People will quickly move on, but it is an interesting frame of reference for when you get to the real mock draft season the following winter and spring.
Fairburn's first mock for the 2014 NFL Draft included a lot of the names that remain in the mix, but as is always the case that early, there are several names that have climbed or dropped rather precipitously. The highest rated dropped in that mock was probably Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd or Oregon tight end Colt Lyerla. Fairburn had Boyd mocked at No. 9 to the Philadelphia Eagles, and Lyerla at No. 31 to the Denver Broncos. Obviously the Eagles improved under Chip Kelly, and found their potential quarterback of the future. However, with this first mock, the specific teams really don't matter. In this case, Fairburn had Philly drafting in the top ten, had Houston picking No. 25, and had Atlanta picking No. 28. We won't talk about the projected No. 32 pick for the 49ers.
Speaking of the 49ers, Fairburn had the 49ers drafting Dominique Easley to close out the first round. Easley was viewed as a first round pick before tearing his right ACL. He has worked his way back into the mix of day 2 picks, but odds are pretty likely he does not get drafted in the first round. Of course, there is a chance the 49ers still end up grabbing him with one of their picks, so that would be kind of an amusing coincidence.
When the draft wraps up later this week (YES, it's later this week!), we'll be doing plenty to get ready for the coming season, but I promise that we'll have a look at what will surely be an absurdly early look at 2015 mock drafts!