We have seen a lot of similar names mocked to the San Francisco 49ers in recent weeks, and MMQB founder Peter King is joining the crowd. King released his only 2016 mock draft late Sunday evening, and he has the 49ers selecting Oregon defensive tackle DeForest Buckner. Here's what he has to say about the pick:
The Niners would strike gold with this pick, because Buckner, at 6-7 and 291, might be the best overall player in the draft. I can also see GM Trent Baalke doing the same thing and take Notre Dame tackle Ronnie Stanley, who might be in the process of passing Tunsil on a few draft boards around the league.
There are two "surprises" in King's mock draft. He has the Dallas Cowboys drafting running back Ezekiel Elliott at No. 4, and then has the Tennessee Titans trading up to No. 5 to select Laremy Tunsil. Tunsil is likely to slip a little bit, and that could open the door to someone climbing up for him.
Around the same time King was doing his mock, SB Nation's Dan Kadar put together his own mock draft that also has Buckner to the 49ers. Kadar sees the Buckner pick as a no-brainer if he slips to No. 7. And right now, Buckner is getting the plurality of picks in our mock draft database. Among the 32 mock drafts in the database, 11 are picking Buckner and seven are picking Ronnie Stanley. Myles Jack and Paxton Lynch combine for nine of the picks.
Buckner and Stanley are becoming more frequently mentioned. Is one of them the inevitable pick, or will we see a surprise on Thursday?