clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Is new Mel Kiper mock draft already outdated by Darnell Dockett signing?

The San Francisco 49ers signed a notable defensive tackle on Thursday. What does this mean for their early picks in the upcoming draft?

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers landed Darnell Dockett this morning, as the one-time Arizona Cardinals defensive tackle decided to make his move within the NFC West. Dockett signed a 2-year deal worth $7.5 million, and will now compete for time on a defensive line that has a few questions marks. The team released Ray McDonald, and Justin Smith is considering retirement.

If I had to guess, I might see Smith returning knowing that a solid veteran has been added to the mix. Of course, Tank Carradine, Quinton Dial and Tony Jerod-Eddie all got extensive opportunities last year due to injuries and McDonald's release. Glenn Dorsey will also be in the mix for plenty of opportunities. If Smith returns for 2015, the line's depth will be in great shape, at least for 2015.

And with that in mind, we have an amusingly timed new 2015 NFL mock draft from Mel Kiper. The coiffed one has the 49ers selecting Oregon defensive end Arik Armstead. In discussing the move, he acknowledged the addition of Dockett:

Armstead to San Francisco would be a good balance of hitting an immediate need and the 49ers adding yet another player with high upside they can develop -- it's an area they've succeeded in consistently. The 49ers are staring at a situation where Ray McDonald is gone and Justin Smith is likely to follow -- and even if Smith continues to play it shouldn't be a ton of snaps. They do add Darnell Dockett, but he's 34. Armstead is big, powerful, athletic and raw, and while he won't be great right away because he's inconsistent and hasn't truly locked in a defined role, he's physically ready to help and should be able to provide a spark as a rotation player on the line.

What does the addition of Dockett mean for the 49ers draft needs? Smith (assuming he returns) and Dockett are nearing the ends of their careers. The team could always use more young bodies in the trenches, but do they wait past the first round to find a developmental option? Prior to the Dockett signing, I thought defensive line was a very strong possibility in the first round. What does it look like now with Dockett added into the mix?