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Daniel Jeremiah has 49ers picking a linebacker in 1st round of NFL Draft

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With Saquon Barkley and Minkah Fitzpatrick gone, the 49ers go with the top linebacker in Jeremiah’s first mock draft of the offseason.

There are only three more football games to be played before the 2017-18 season is truly a thing of the past. But, for all intents and purposes when it comes to the San Francisco 49ers, the season is well over. The Cleveland Browns, owners of the first pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, are on the clock.

Which means it’s time for mock drafts! These crop up at all points during the season, but the heavy hitter usually get to things right about this time. The one we’re looking at today is the mock from Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com, who has the 49ers going an interesting direction at No. 9 overall: Virginia Tech linebacker Tremaine Edmunds.

Edmunds is one of my favorite players in the draft. He has a rare blend of size, speed and athleticism. He would be a perfect complement to Reuben Foster at the second level of the 49ers’ defense.

I suspect a lot of 49ers fans won’t like this pick, primarily because folks around here are more focused on the addition of someone like Minkah Fitzpatrick, the top cornerback in the draft who also fills the team’s biggest need or Saquon Barkley, a seemingly generational talent at running back.

But both of those players are gone before the 49ers get on the clock in Jeremiah’s mock. He has Barkley going at second overall to the New York Giants and Fitzpatrick going at fourth overall to the Browns, who own the Houston Texans’ first-round pick.

That said, this mock isn’t taking trades into account, and only two quarterbacks are taken before the 49ers pick at No. 9 overall (or No. 10, pending a coin flip, which still feels really stupid to say). I’d expect we see some serious trade activity, especially in the top five picks.

Edmunds seems like a great player and he could be the best available at that point. We don’t know for sure if John Lynch is going to target need or if he’s going to go out and get the best guy who happens to be available. Time will tell.