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Taking a look at Todd McShay’s positional top 10s and how they relate to the 49ers

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Todd McShay of ESPN put out his top 10 players at each position, and we go through some of interest.

NCAA Football: Big Ten Championship-Ohio State vs Wisconsin Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

In addition to posting his top 32 overall 2018 NFL Draft prospects, Todd McShay of ESPN also posted his top 10 players at each position, though it is absent significant write-ups on individual players. It’s still an interesting look at the overall draft class, especially for someone like me, who hasn’t done a ton of film study yet due to other NFL duties.

Of course, if you’ve done zero film study and don’t watch college football, a lot of the names will be a mystery and mean nothing to you.

As far as the big needs are concerned for the San Francisco 49ers, I think it goes cornerback, offensive guard, edge rusher, running back, wide receiver and linebacker.

Truthfully, I don’t consider running back much of a need because I’m a big believer in what Carlos Hyde can do with a competent quarterback behind him. I’m also a fan of Marquise Goodwin and think he’s good enough to make wide receiver a non-issue unless the 49ers really love someone in free agency. As far as linebacker goes, I’m unsure where they absolutely want Reuben Foster to play, but depending on how they feel about Malcolm Smith’s recovery, it may not be an issue at all.

Either way, these are the top 10 at the 49ers’ top three positions of need, at least as far as how I see the needs and how McShay views the prospects. Underclassmen are marked with asterisks.


1. *Denzel Ward, Ohio State
2. *Josh Jackson, Iowa
3. *Mike Hughes, UCF
4. *Isaiah Oliver, Colorado
5. *Carlton Davis, Auburn
6. *M.J. Stewart, North Carolina
7. Anthony Averett, Alabama
8. *Tarvarus McFadden, Florida State
9. Chris Campbell, Penn State
10. *Jaire Alexander, Louisville

Note, he has Minkah Fitzpatrick of Alabama listed as a safety despite calling him a “shutdown cornerback.” He’ll almost certainly be a cornerback, as far as I’m concerned.

For me personally, I’ve done some film review of the cornerback position and I don’t like many of them outside of Fitzpatrick, so this list doesn’t do a whole lot for me.


1. *Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame
2. Billy Price, C, Ohio State
3. *James Daniels, C, Iowa
4. Braden Smith, G, Auburn
5. Frank Ragnow, C, Arkansas
6. *Will Clapp, G, LSU
7. Mason Cole, C, Michigan
8. Scott Quessenberry, G, UCLA
9. Skyler Phillips, G, Idaho State
10. Will Hernandez, G, UTEP

He refers to Nelson as a “plug-and-play starter and exactly what you’re looking for in a starting NFL guard.” The exact opposite of what you’re looking for in an NFL guard? Zane Beadles and Laken Tomlinson.

Defensive End

1. Bradley Chubb, NC State
2. Marcus Davenport, UTSA
3. *Arden Key, LSU
4. *Rasheem Green, USC
5. *Sam Hubbard, Ohio State
6. Jalyn Holmes, Ohio State
7. Tyquan Lewis, Ohio State
8. Kentavius Street, NC State
9. Duke Ejiofor, Wake Forest
10. Dorance Armstrong Jr., Kansas

Outside Linebacker

1. *Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech
2. *Roquan Smith, Georgia
3. Harold Landry, Boston College
4. Uchenna Nwosu, USC
5. Obo Okoronkwo, Oklahoma
6. Lorenzo Carter, Georgia
7. *Malik Jefferson, Texas
8. Jeff Holland, Auburn
9. *Jerome Baker, Ohio State
10. Skai Moore, South Carolina

And since most mainstream outlets don’t separate edge rushers from general defensive ends and outside linebackers, nor do they spend much time thinking about 3-4 vs. 4-3, here are his lists for both positions. Roquan Smith is a name I continue to see, and I have to say I’m intrigued, but I have to see a lot more.

What do you guys think of his positional rankings? If you want to see the rest of them, they’re at the bottom of the article linked above.