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Saquon Barkley tops the first installation of our 2018 NFL mock draft database

We’re back with our annual mock draft database. There is a consensus on the 49ers pick for the time being.

The San Francisco 49ers have five games remaining on their schedule, and there is plenty to get excited about with Jimmy Garoppolo potentially making his debut soon. The season is a lost cause for playoff purposes, but the assessment for 2018 continues in earnest.

The 49ers will have a ton of cap space next offseason, and will be looking at several particularly high draft picks, including a likely top five and maybe top two draft pick. With that in mind, we’re back once again with the annual Niners Nation mock draft database. This marks the 11th year we have had our mock draft database. We started it for the 2008 NFL Draft, and we’re back once again for the 2018 NFL Draft. It’s kinda crazy!

NFL mock drafts do not hold much in the way of predictive value, particularly at this early stage, but they can be fun and occasionally useful exercises for figuring out team needs. And while media consensus does not mean much for the purposes of the pick, I find it interesting to see what the consensus is for people who don’t follow the team on a daily basis.

Our 2018 NFL mock draft database currently has 17 mock drafts included. Most mock drafts don’t get going in earnest until late December and into January once the draft order is determined. I don’t have an exact number of mock drafts I plan on reaching by the end of April, but I’ll add more as I find them.

The Cleveland Browns and San Francisco 49ers currently hold the top two picks in the 2018 NFL Draft, and so like last year, we’re going to include the top two picks. Right now, 12 of the 17 have the 49ers selecting Penn State running back Saquon Barkley. All but one have the Cleveland Browns selecting a quarterback, with the other selecting Barkley. That particular one also seemed to indicate they would switch to the quarterback position at their next update.

We’ll continue looking at individual mock drafts, but right now, this database might be a little more useful in showing the group-think of Barkley to the 49ers. That’s not to say it’s a bad pick. Kyle Shanahan and Bobby Turner have done wonders with late round and UDFA running backs, but if they think Barkley matches the hype, maybe they see him as a sufficient game-changer worth selecting at No. 2.