Mock draft season is quickly approaching full swing, and Todd McShay has joined in the action. The ESPN draft analyst released his first 2016 NFL mock draft, and he has a familiar name going to the San Francisco 49ers. McShay has the 49ers in the No. 5 slot, and has them selecting Cal quarterback Jared Goff.
The 49ers are actually in the sixth position of draft order, with the Baltimore Ravens and Detroit Lions ahead of them, and the Dallas Cowboys behind them, due to strength of schedule. This will change dramatically over the next three weeks, both in overall record, and in SOS.
Goff is the second quarterback off the board in McShay's mock draft, following Paxton Lynch at No. 2. McShay has North Dakota State's Carson Wentz as the third quarterback off the board, at No. 30 to the Arizona Cardinals. The four picks ahead of the 49ers are DE Joey Bosa, QB Paxton Lynch, DT Robert Nkemdiche, and DB Jalen Ramsey. Here is what McShay had to say about the 49ers pick:
This is assuming the 49ers move on from Colin Kaepernick in the offseason. I think Goff would benefit from returning to school for his senior season to get bigger and stronger, but I get the sense that's not going to happen. He got into some bad habits with his mechanics behind an O-line that did not protect well, but when his feet are right, he can be deadly accurate. With a high football IQ and great work ethic, I have faith he will put in the time to get better.
If the 49ers are going to draft Goff, they are going to need to shore up their offensive line in a big way. Quarterback is not off the radar, but I would actually expect them to draft an offensive lineman earlier than a quarterback. They have some options at the offensive line position, particularly if Anthony Davis does in fact return as expected, but this year has shown us how important that group is to running a functional offense. But really, a lot of positions are on the board for the 49ers first round pick.