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2018 NFL mock draft: Do you go offense or defense this high?

The 49ers could add a skill position player, could beef up the pass rush, or maybe trade down.

The San Francisco 49ers currently hold the second overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, with a decent chance it drops to third after their bye week. The 49ers are 1-9 while the New York Giants are 1-8. Winning percentage trumps all, followed by strength of schedule. Right now the Giants have a weaker strength of schedule, and thus would win that tiebreaker.

Whether the 49ers are picking second or third, they’re going to have a lot of serious options at their disposal. In Dan Kadar’s latest latest 2018 NFL mock draft, SB nation’s draft wizard has the 49ers going with Penn State running back Saquon Barkley. Dan had this to say about the pick:

Now that they don’t need a quarterback, expect the 49ers to be fielding calls from teams that do. The 49ers could conceivably have Garoppolo and more picks than they gave up for him if they trade off No. 2.

Guard may be San Francisco’s biggest need — and Quenton Nelson of Notre Dame is real good — but an interior blocker probably won’t get taken that high. You may not think head coach Kyle Shanahan would pick a running back this high, but Barkley is arguably the best prospect in the draft.

Dan’s top five is as follows:

1. Cleveland Browns: Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
2. San Francisco 49ers: Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
3. New York Giants: Sam Darnold, QB, USC
4. Indianapolis Colts: Bradley Chubb, DE, North Carolina State
5. Cincinnati Bengals: Connor Williams, OT, Texas

If the 49ers wanted to improve on defense, they could decide to beef up their pass rush in a big way with Chubb. If they didn’t want to go with Chubb or Barkley, they very well could decide to move down in the draft. It takes two to tango in a draft trade, but given the number of quarterbacks that could be viewed as top five or ten caliber, there is tremendous value there.

Of course, that’s where the difference between two and three could be notable. We don’t know how these specific quarterbacks are valued, but we know teams will push hard to land a quarterback they think could be their franchise savior. The 49ers could have a chance to add a serious haul of picks if they think Jimmy Garoppolo is their answer. Such a trade could be franchise-altering.