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Brian Billick mocks Quenton Nelson to the 49ers, has surprise at No. 1

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The draft crush of many fans falls to No. 9, according to Brian Bilick.

We’re into draft week and that means the mock drafts are going to be coming in strong. Former NFL coach Brian Billick did one of his own on the NFL Network, mocking Quenton Nelson to the San Francisco 49ers.

Here’s what Billick had to say about the pick:

You got to protect your number one asset. What’s your number one asset? Jimmy Garoppolo. So you’re going to go with the guard from Notre Dame. This guy has got everything. He’s got the size. He can get up to the second level. What I like about him, he’s got those heavy hands you talk about for defensive players. He’s got what Chuck Noll calls that six-inch punch where he can dominate a defensive lineman in close-quarters.

Quenton Nelson has been a draft crush of many, this writer included, however many wonder if his power-blocking style can fit in Kyle Shanahan’s zone-blocking scheme. The draft itself is a bit all over the place, but definitely not out of the realm of impossible.

Billick offers a big surprise at the top of his mock draft. He has the Cleveland Browns selecting Penn State running back Saquon Barkley, and then picking quarterback at No. 4. This seems unlikely, but it does raise one possibility. If the Browns are equally (or close to equally) enamored with three of the quarterbacks, it actually makes a lot of sense to pick a non-QB first. If they take a quarterback No. 1, there is no guarantee they get Saquon Barkley or Bradley Chubb, or any other non-QB at No. 4. But if they pick a non-QB at No. 1, they’re guaranteed a QB at No. 4. But again, this assumes they like three or more of the QBs relatively similarly.

Here’s the first 10 picks:

1. Cleveland Browns - Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
2.New York Giants - Sam Darnold, QB, USC
3. New York Jets - Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
4. Cleveland Browns - Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
5. Denver Broncos - Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State
6. Indianapolis Colts - Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech
8. Chicago Bears - Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia
9. San Francisco 49ers - Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame
10. Oakland Raiders - Minkah Fitzpatrick, S, Alabama

What do you think of this draft?