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ESPN’s Todd McShay posts his Top 32 NFL Draft prospects for 2018

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It’s an interesting list. The 49ers will likely end up with one of the players on it, too.

Over at ESPN, Todd McShay posted his latest list of the top 32 prospects for the 2018 NFL Draft. The San Francisco 49ers pick either ninth or 10th in the first round, and could land any of the guys on this list, unless a pick comes out of left field.

There aren’t any big surprises on the list, either. Superstar running back Saquon Barkley of Penn State is ranked first, followed by the top two quarterbacks in Sam Darnold of USC and Josh Rosen of UCLA. Fortunately, those quarterbacks are of little interest to the 49ers.

One player that has been mocked to the 49ers a few times is Bradley Chubb, a defensive end out of NC State, and he comes in ranked fourth on McShay’s list. I’m not too familiar with Chubb, and will be watching more film on him in the near future, but it’s interesting to see that McShay says he “isn’t an elite pass-rusher,” which is odd given his proficiency at doing just that in college.

The 49ers need a top-tier pass-rusher, and if Chubb doesn’t fit that bill, I can’t see them taking him. Chubb is ranked fourth, ahead of Minkah Fitzpatrick, who McShay lists as a safety despite referring to him as a shutdown corner. In the previous iteration of these rankings, Fitzpatrick and Chubb were swapped spots.

Of those two, I’d much rather have Fitzpatrick. But another cornerback, Denzel Ward of Ohio State, is ranked sixth after previously being ranked 10th. A pair of outside linebackers, Tremaine Edmunds and Roquan Smith, are ranked seventh and eighth, respectively. Edmunds was previously ranked 31st, while Smith was 19th, so McShay has had a pretty significant change of heart.

The first offensive lineman on the list is Quenton Nelson, a guard from Notre Dame. Then a big man, Vita Vea, a defensive tackle from Washington, rounds out the top 10.

There isn’t a wide receiver on the list until Calvin Ridley, ranked 16th overall, a drop of three spots. And McShay doesn’t list another running back until No. 27, Sony Michel out of Georgia, and then Derrius Guice out of LSU at No. 30.

McShay also listed his top 10 players at each position, something we’ll discuss in another post a bit later.