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NFL mock draft database: Considering defensive linemen in the first round

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The San Francisco 49ers have question marks along their defensive line heading into 2015. Would a defensive lineman in the first round, over wide receiver or cornerback surprise anybody?

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I updated the Niners Nation mock draft database last night, and as would be expected, there are not many significant changes. The NFL Combine is still two weeks away, which means any real shake-up these next two weeks would be due to off-field issues showing up.

In the meantime, wide receiver remains the popular pick for most of our mock drafts. One of the interesting positions, at least in my mind, is defensive line. Two mock drafts have the San Francisco 49ers selecting Kentucky defensive lineman Alvin Dupree, one has Texas defensive lineman Malcom Brown, and one has Washington defensive lineman Danny Shelton.

If Justin Smith decides to retire, that would likely push defensive line a little further up the priority list. However, if he does return, it's not like he would be expected to stick for much longer. The team has a plethora of defensive linemen, but there are plenty of question marks. They'll be getting Glenn Dorsey and Ian Williams back from injuries. They've given Quinton Dial, Tank Carradine, Tony Jerod-Eddie some run. And of course, they have Kaleb Ramsey, Lawrence Okoye and Mike Purcell as guys to develop.

There are numbers on the roster, but with Ray McDonald gone, and Justin Smith either gone, or not too far from gone, they need to figure out where they stand, and quickly. Would anybody be all that surprised if the team went defensive line in the first round?