ESPN NFL Draft analyst Todd McShay posted his latest 2015 NFL mock draft, marking his fourth such venture. The first three such mock drafts had the San Francisco 49ers looking wide receiver in December and early February. He made an abrupt change in late February, going with defensive lineman Arik Armstead.
McShay decided to stick with the defense in his fourth mock draft. This time around, he has the 49ers drafting cornerback Trae Waynes. McShay mocked out four cornerbacks in the first round, with Waynes the first to go. He also had Marcus Peters to the Green Bay Packers at No. 30, Kevin Johnson to the New Orleans Saints at No. 31, and Byron Jones to the New England Patriots at No. 32.
Here's what McShay had to say about Waynes and the 49ers:
The Niners added Torrey Smith in free agency as a wide receiver who can stretch the field vertically, but they could still look to upgrade at wide receiver or along the offensive and defensive lines. But perhaps their most pressing need is at cornerback, having lost Chris Culliver and Perrish Cox in free agency. Waynes is a solid value here as the top-ranked corner on our board. He displays very good technique and straight-line speed (4.35 40-yard dash) for the position, and is at his best in press-man or Cover-2 alignments.
Waynes is starting to more consistently appear as the first cornerback taken, but where he is taken is all over the place. For example, at NFL.com, all four mock drafters have him going before the 49ers. One has him going as high as No. 7, one has him at No. 11, and two have him at No. 14.
And that is part of the issue with mock drafts. People have different perceptions of player talent and team needs. It is possible cornerback is the team's top need, but we don't know how the 49ers feel about their current group of cornerbacks. The addition of Shareece Wright and the return of Chris Cook could be a sign they are not totally sold on the group, or they could just be additional depth moves.
I do think the 49ers come away from the 2015 NFL Draft with a cornerback, but I'm a little skeptical it is a first round pick. But of course, plenty of you all could be correct, and I could be wrong. Only one month until we find out!