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Free agency has already dated Mel Kiper’s mock draft

The 49ers’ top needs still provide some intriguing options.

The San Francisco 49ers have several notable needs heading into free agency and eventually the 2018 NFL Draft. Guard, linebacker, running back, and cornerback are among the areas that the team will address at some point.

The last position remains a need even with the signing of Richard Sherman this past weekend. The team will not go after a Trumaine Johnson or Malcolm Butler, but they need more depth behind Sherman, Ahkello Witherspoon, and K’Waun Williams.

Free agency is going to date 2018 NFL mock drafts by the end of Wednesday, and some already can be tossed in the trash heap of history. Three weeks ago, Mel Kiper put together his most recent mock draft, and he had the 49ers selecting Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward.

I would not be at all surprised to see the 49ers add another cornerback in the draft, but I would be stunned if it happened on day one. I could see a day two pick maybe, or a day three pick definitely, but not the first round.

The NFL free agency tampering period opens this afternoon, and mock drafts will change drastically as we learn who is signing where. SB Nation’s Dan Kadar posted his latest mock draft this morning, and he has the 49ers selecting Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson.

The only reason Nelson could slip this far — and there’s an outside shot he could — is because of positional value. If he was a tackle, he’d be a top five lock. But as a guard, his value is diminished slightly.

The 49ers have a big need at guard, but the New York Giants are reportedly set to do whatever it takes to land the biggest guard in free agency, Andrew Norwell. The 49ers could still land another guard in free agency, but if not, the position will be among the biggest priorities when the draft arrives.

In the meantime, we’ll see how quickly mock drafts change between now and Friday!