The San Francisco 49ers’ five wins to close out the season saw them move from No. 2 in the 2018 NFL Draft to either No. 9 or 10, depending on the outcome of their coin flip with the Oakland Raiders. At No. 2, they likely would have had a choice of any player that was not a quarterback. At their current position, they still have a lot of choices, but it becomes a little more guess-work as to which non-QBs might go in the top eight or nine picks.
I recently updated our 2018 mock draft database, although the Combine coin flip will give us finality to where exactly the 49ers are picking. Like the 49ers, the Raiders will not be picking a quarterback in the first round, so picking 9 vs. 10 will have plenty of bearing.
In looking through the database, the most common name is Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson. We have 23 mock drafts right now, and he shows up in eight of them. It is worth noting that seven of those mocks are based on draft order since the end of the season.
Two mocks suggest the 49ers consider Texas offensive tackle Connor Williams. I’ve seen mentions of having him play guard until Joe Staley retires. The 49ers do need to figure out the long-term plan at left tackle. Staley is still playing at a high level, but he did also have some retirement thoughts during a rough patch early in the 2017 season. He seems renewed, but he’s at a point in his career where retirement is not too far off.
And let’s not forget that Trent Brown is in the walk year of his rookie contract. The 49ers can sign him to an extension this offseason, but coming off his shoulder surgery, it’s hard to know what the plan is. I don’t think we see the 49ers invest a first round pick in a tackle, but addressing the position sooner rather than later would not be entirely shocking.
Check out the full mock draft database.