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2018 NFL mock draft: 3 rounds to get ready for college football Week 8

If the 49ers land Kirk Cousins, the team’s top pick is suddenly a lot more interesting.

NCAA Football: Penn State at Northwestern Jim Young-USA TODAY Sports

The college football season rolls along today, with Week 8 upon us. There are eight undefeated teams remaining in the polls, and seven of them are in action this weekend. The biggest matchup of the day features 6-0 and second ranked Penn State hosting Jim Harbaugh and the 5-1 Michigan Wolverines in east coast prime time. It’s just a slightly huge matchup.

For today’s college thread, I thought we’d use a fairly sizable 2017 NFL mock draft to get the ball rolling. The folks at Draft Wire put together a three-round mock draft. It was published prior to Thursday Night Football, but that has no bearing on the 49ers draft position. Here are the 49ers five draft picks. I’ve listed the player names, positions and teams, and then their opponent and game time for today’s college schedule.

1(2). Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State - vs. No. 15 Michigan, 4:30 p.m. PT, ABC
2(34). Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M - BYE
2(54). Isaiah Oliver, CB, Colorado - @ No. 15 Washington State, 7:45 p.m., ESPN
3(66). Mason Cole, OL, Michigan - @ No. 2 Penn State, 4:30 p.m., ABC
3(71). Bryce Love, RB, Stanford - BYE

I’m still not entirely sure I see them going running back at No. 2 overall, but I certainly wouldn’t say there’s no chance it happens. The explanation for the pick assumes they sign Kirk Cousins. If they were to sign Cousins, that opens the door for them to do virtually anything with their top pick.

Kyle Shanahan has done plenty with late round and UDFA running backs, but I doubt he’s ever had quite this much say in the draft. He had plenty of say in Washington while working for his dad, but I don’t imagine it was quite like what he has now. Maybe getting a stud running back high in the draft is what he’s always wanted to eventually do.

That being said, I would be surprised to see them draft Barkley, and then draft another running back on day two. You can never have enough depth, but if the 49ers do not sign Carlos Hyde to an extension, I would think Matt Breida would continue to serve as the complement to Barkley.