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Todd McShay 3-round mock draft goes WR first for 49ers

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The ESPN analyst makes picks based on him being GM. I’m not so sure about some of these 49ers picks.

One week ago, Todd McShay and Mel Kiper put together a dueling mock draft in which they made two rounds of picks for the 2018 NFL Draft. The mock draft was described as a prediction of what they thought each team would do. They both had the 49ers selecting Alabama defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick in the first round. In the second round, Kiper had the 49ers selecting Memphis wide receiver Anthony Miller, while McShay had the 49ers selecting Louisville offensive guard Geron Christian.

A week later, McShay is back with a three-round mock draft in which he takes a different approach to the picks. He refers to it as his “Grade A” mock draft, and says he is making the picks as if he were the general manager of each team. Rather than predicting who the 49ers will take, he is offering the players he thinks the 49ers should draft to net an A in draft grading.

The 49ers have four picks in the first three rounds, and McShay has the following selections, followed by his analysis of the haul.

1 (9): Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
2 (59): Jessie Bates III, S, Wake Forest
3 (70): Josh Sweat, DE, FSU
3 (74): Anthony Averett, CB, Alabama

San Francisco was staring at a top-five pick with a 1-10 record, but the 49ers will gladly take their current position with Jimmy Garoppolo now set at QB at riding a five-game winning streak to end the season. This is a little high for Ridley, who isn’t a true NFL No. 1 wideout, but he’s the clear top wide receiver in this class and a smooth route runner. He gives Garoppolo another young receiver to grow with. Bates had a terrific combine and could help replace Eric Reid on the back end. Sweat has a ton of talent, but is raw. He’ll help add depth to a strong defensive line. Averett is an underrated cover corner.

Jimmy Garoppolo could use more weapons, but I am skeptical the 49ers are prepared to invest a first round pick in the wide receiver position. There is a long-term need, but I am still inclined to think they look deeper in the draft at the position. It is interesting to note that Harold Landry drops all the way to pick 37 in McShay’s mock draft. The top eight include Sam Darnold, Bradley Chubb, Josh Rosen, Saquon Barkley, Denzel Ward, Quenton Nelson, Minkah Fitzpatrick, and Roquan Smith.

That second round pick is going to be an interesting one. Following their pick at No. 9 overall, the 49ers don’t pick again until No. 59. There will be talent that can contribute right away, but barring a trade down from No. 9 or up from No. 59, it’s going to be interesting to see if the long wait could impact them in the first round.

How would you grade McShay’s three-round haul for the 49ers?


How would you grade McShay’s 3-round mock draft haul?

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