ESPN draft analysts Mel Kiper and Todd McShay have been offering up their own NFL mock drafts over the past three months, and on Wednesday, they moved on to dual mock drafts. They went two rounds, and managed to draft the same person for the San Francisco 49ers with both picks!
In the first round, they each have the 49ers selecting Stanford defensive end Solomon Thomas. They both recognize the 49ers need for a quarterback, but they see the team waiting on it and instead looking for more of an impact player. Here’s what each had to say about the pick:
Kiper: “I think San Francisco will wait on a quarterback (maybe Kirk Cousins in 2018?). Outside of the Browns, the 49ers have the worst talent on their roster from top to bottom, and picking Thomas would beef up their defense. He's a different player than the D-linemen the 49ers have taken in the first round the past two years (DeForest Buckner and Arik Armstead) and has double-digit sack potential.”
McShay: “The 49ers don't necessarily need to force it and spend the No. 2 pick on a QB after picking up Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley in free agency. What they need is more impact players, and Thomas is the total package off the edge, with size, quickness and power.”
In the second round, both analysts had the 49ers selecting Connecticut safety Obi Melifonwu. Here’s what each of them had to say about the pick.
Kiper: “Melifonwu might have been the biggest athletic freak at the combine, running a 4.40 40 and posting a ridiculous 44-inch vertical and 11-foot-9 broad jump. Both leaps ranked as the best of any prospect at the combine. Melifonwu has moved all the way up from the fourth-round grade I gave him during the season. He's a potential Day 1 pick now.”
McShay: “You took the words (and the pick) right out of my mouth, Kiper. I have Melifonwu as my No. 33 overall player, but he could go higher if a team falls in love with his athleticism.”
Lance Zierlein broke him down over at NFL.com, and he described him as an effective downhill tackler, but a question mark in coverage. Zierlein says he can matchup with tight ends, and will make a living closer to the line of scrimmage. If the 49ers make this kind of pick, they would seemingly have Jimmie Ward in mind for the deeper centerfield role.