NFL media took part in a conference call with ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper on Tuesday, and he had an interesting comment about the 49ers at No. 7.
ESPN's Mel Kiper doesn't see Oregon DL DeForest Buckner to #49ers because they got Arik Armstead last year. Mel: RT Jack Conklin fills void— Cam Inman (@CamInman) April 19, 2016
Mel Kiper said he likes value of OT at No. 7 over a top defensive prospect. He called MSU's Jack Conklin most underrated prospect in draft.— Joe Fann (@Joe_Fann) April 19, 2016
This is certainly an interesting angle on the situation. Armstead showed some serious skill last season. He needs to build on that with more playing time, but Armstead is moving in the right direction. However, Buckner would add considerable depth to the defensive line. This is a line that is going to need every body it can get to keep pace with Chip Kelly's offense.
While I do think they have talented players on the line, Buckner very well could emerge as the best player on this line. And even if not to that level, he's still a potential impact player that could boost a defense that has work to do to get back to where it was in 2012 and 2013.
The offensive line has plenty of problems of its own, but if Laremy Tunsil does not slip down to No. 7, I'd prefer DeForest Buckner over Ronnie Stanley. That also depends on Buckner actually getting to that point, so we can't assume anything. But if it comes down to Buckner or an offensive lineman, I'm taking Buckner.