ESPN is running out of mock draft ideas, so on Thursday, they had Mel Kiper and Todd McShay do a head-to-head mock draft. Kiper handled the first pick, McShay had the second, and they alternated from there, running a full three rounds. They were operating as if they were GM of each team, as opposed to who they project at each pick.
Kiper ended up with the first two picks for the San Francisco 49ers, and McShay had the third pick. The 49ers picks ended up as follows, along with their explanation for each pick:
1 (7). Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State
I've been a fan of Conklin's for a long time, and with a glaring need at right tackle I'm getting a really good one here. Sorry -- it's way too high to take a quarterback with the top two gone.
2 (37). Sterling Shepard, WR, Oklahoma
One of my favorite players in the entire draft. I don't know who the QB will be, but the pass-catching situation just got better.
3 (68). Cyrus Jones, CB, Alabama
Jones has experience working as a nickel CB and also adds value as a punt returner (four TDs in college).
The Conklin love is not just confined to Kiper. ESPN's Louis Riddick also did a mock draft on Thursday, and he had Conklin mocked to the 49ers. Kiper had the OTs going Tunsil, Conklin, Stanley, while Riddick had the OTs going Stanley, Conklin, Tunsil. That's certainly something. I would be a little bit surprised to see the 49ers go with Conklin that early. If they went Buckner at No. 7 and Conklin somehow slipped, maybe they take a look at him. But I don't see it happening at No. 7.
The reasoning for the Jones pick was a little odd. Jimmie Ward is the 49ers nickel back. They could use more cornerbacks, but corners who can play better outside seem like they could provide a little more value to the team.
Other than that, what do you think of these selections?