The Senior Bowl is in our rear view mirror, which means mock drafts are dealing with their first real shake-up of draft season. Barring a prospect doing something stupid (always possible), the next shake-up will occur during and after the NFL Combine. That will be followed by free agency and prospect visits/workouts, which means one more shake-up. Little things will happen along the way to individual players, but those are the major events for purposes of viewing mock drafts.
Dan Kadar posted his latest 2015 NFL mock draft Monday morning, and it has some modest changes. The wide receiver position in particular sees Kevin White bumped up a couple spots, meaning three wide receivers are going before the San Francisco 49ers pick at No. 15. With White, DeVante Parker and Amari Cooper off the board, Dan went with Florida State defensive tackle Eddie Goldman. Here is what Dan had to say about the pick:
Should the top three wide receivers be off the board, should San Francisco goes for the fourth best player at his position or a potentially high impact defensive lineman who can play inside and outside? Florida State utilized Goldman's athleticism working him around the line. New 49ers head coach Jim Tomsula could do the same - and have insurance in case Justin Smith does retire.
Wide receiver has been the focus for a lot of people, but defensive line would not be a surprising first round pick this year. If Justin Smith retires, the odds go up considerably. Of course, the 49ers could be perfectly happy with options that include Glenn Dorsey, Ian Williams, Tony Jerod-Eddie, Quinton Dial and Tank Carradine, among others. This draft would potentially tell us just what the 49ers think of that group.
Even if Smith were to return, the 49ers could still decide to find a guy for the future. If Smith returned and they went defensive line in the first round, that would certainly tell us something significant about the various current defensive line prospects. Obviously a lot of this depends on what Smith decides to do. It has been a few weeks now since the season wrapped. I don't really know when we can expect Smith to make a decision, but I could see something next week or the week after. We'll see.