The college football national championship game goes down Monday evening, after which we fully enter into the NFL Draft season. This coming weekend, the Shrine Game and the NFLPA Bowl go down, with the Senior Bowl scheduled for the following Saturday. The value of both games comes in the week of practice leading up to them, and we'll have coverage about the weeks of practice.
In the meantime, Dan Kadar has his latest 2015 NFL mock draft up at Mocking the Draft. In his first few mock drafts he has looked wide receiver for the San Francisco 49ers. This week, he shook things up a bit. He elected to project Clemson defensive end/outside linebacker Vic Beasley to the 49ers. Here is what he had to say about the pick:
This may not fit a big need for the 49ers, but Beasley would be just too good to pass up with the 15th pick in the draft. No pass rusher in this year's class has his first step and ability to close on the ball carrier. With the top three wide receivers gone - and in an effort to mix up this mock draft a little more - Beasley would give them another weapon to get after the quarterback.
I generally look at mock drafts for the position rather than the player. In the case of Beasley, IF the 49ers decided they were going to go pass rush early, Beasley is a guy that would need to pack on some pounds. He is currently listed at 235 pounds.
The 49ers pass rush situation has some question marks, but also has a lot of talent. Aldon Smith will start on one side. The question then is most likely whether it will be Ahmad Brooks or Aaron Lynch starting on the other side. Brooks has a sizable cap figure for 2015, and the discussion has been that he will probably be out the door. We don't know for certain, but given Aaron Lynch's performance for much of last season, it might make sense to clear out the cap space.
The 49ers will also be looking at potentially no Dan Skuta. He emerged with the best season of his career, but is also a free agent. Good timing, Dan! If he is gone and the 49ers are left with Lynch and Aldon, do they go early for another pass rusher? I do think they add another option, but my guess would be that they look for a veteran that can provide special teams help. Essentially they will look for a cheaper version of Dan Skuta.