I updated the Niners Nation 2015 NFL mock draft database this morning, and we have an interesting change from a week ago. Last week, we had 14 defensive line picks, five cornerbacks, a pair of offensive linemen, an outside linebacker and a running back. This week, offensive line gets a boost, with four OL picks.
We are looking at a very small sample size, but it is still interesting to follow the ebbs and flows of how people view the 49ers first round pick. Running back seems like a stretch in the first round, but other than that the positions listed make some semblance of sense. Even offensive line.
We have spent months now trying to figure out what the San Francisco 49ers will do with their first round pick, but I think most of us also assume Trent Baalke will figure out a way to throw us for a loop. Running back would be the biggest curve ball, but I think an offensive line pick would also have quite a few people saying, "WTF, draft ninja?"
And yet, it makes some sense given the 49ers current and future roster, and their offensive plans. Baalke and Tomsula have both repeatedly said the team is going to run the ball. The offensive line dealt with some significant injuries last year, and they are installing some young players at guard and center. Having depth makes sense, but even more important is the long-term stability on the interior of the line. The team will replace Mike Iupati this year, but there is also a good chance they will be replacing Alex Boone after this coming season.
The team has shown they do not invest heavily in the guard positions, so it makes sense to have a backup plan. Maybe Daniel Kilgore or Marcus Martin is that plan, but the investment in Kilgore is limited enough that if the right guy fell to them in the first round, they would jump on him.