The 2016 NFL Draft is just under three months away, and we already have mock drafts going into overdrive. Most mocks are one round, with some stretching out to a second round. NFL.com draft analyst Chad Reuter decided to get a little nuts and put together a four round mock draft. We have not even reached the NFL Combine, Pro Days, or team visits, but why should that stop us?
Reuter went with a balanced approach for the 49ers, going with two offensive picks and two defensive picks. There is the potential for early impact, but also some developmental talent that could raise questions. He did not include potential comp picks, which means we do not get the potential second 4th round pick the 49ers might get for Chris Culliver's departure in free agency.
Reuter's four picks included, in order, Ole Miss wide receiver Laquon Treadwell, Louisiana Tech defensive tackle Vernon Butler, Miami (Fl) cornerback Artie Burns, and Oregon quarterback Vernon Adams Jr.
The 49ers have needs at all four positions selected. At wide receiver, Anquan Boldin is a free agent, and the team does not know what DeAndre Smelter will bring to the table. On the defensive line, Ian Williams is a free agent, and Glenn Dorsey is going to require some time to fully recover from his ACL tear. At cornerback, the young talent showed some things, but the team seemed to take a long time sorting through who was worth what exactly. And quarterback? It's tough to tell right now. Even if Colin Kaepernick returns, the team seems likely to add a prospect to develop as a longer-term option.
There will be plenty of disagreement over the specific players taken in this mock draft. Personally, I don't focus on names in the early going. There is certainly a lot of value in considering prospects for the seventh pick, but after that, so much can change things. I look at mock drafts as a chance to evaluate the 49ers positional needs. And even those will change to some degree once the first month of free agency has wrapped.