The conclusion of the Super Bowl means the 2018 first round draft order is just about set. The only thing left to figure out is the coin flip between the San Francisco 49ers or Oakland Raiders for picks No. 9 and 10. After that, comp picks will determine the final third through seventh round draft order.
In the meantime, ESPN’s Todd McShay is back with his second mock draft of the offseason. Mock drafts before free agency are fairly useless for predictive purposes, but they give us an idea of where some things might shake out.
McShay has four quarterbacks going in the top six picks. If the Denver Broncos, New York Jets, Cleveland Browns, or New York Giants land Kirk Cousins, we can cut out one of those quarterbacks with ease. The Broncos and Minnesota Vikings seem like two of the favorites, but we have a month to wait on that.
McShay has the 49ers selecting Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward. Iowa cornerback Josh Jackson has been mentioned in connection with the 49ers, but McShay has him dropping to the Pittsburgh Steelers at No. 28. McShay has Central Florida cornerback Mike Hughes going No. 18, and the second pure cornerback off the board. He has Alabama defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick going No. 7.
McShay points to the 49ers not needing a quarterback, and explains that Ward is, “the best man-to-man cover corner in this draft.” He would like to see more starting experience from Ward, but his raw skills moved him quickly up the draft board.
It is interesting to note some of the talent that slips past the 49ers pick. He has the Oakland Raiders selecting Virginia Tech linebacker Tremaine Edmunds at No. 10, the Miami Dolphins landing Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson at No. 11, and Washington landing Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith at No. 13. These three may or may not be on the 49ers draft board, but they would certainly fit some needs.
Cornerback is arguably the team’s biggest need, but if some of this talent was there at No. 9/10, would it make sense for the 49ers to jump on it?