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Kiper, McShay dueling mock draft factors in Roquan Smith-Colts rumor

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The 49ers might need LB help, but what if Smith goes off the board?

The San Francisco 49ers have been linked to Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith quite a bit in recent weeks as the 2018 NFL Draft approaches. Reuben Foster’s future is uncertain due to his felony domestic violence charge, and the 49ers have acknowledged they need to factor his status into their draft plans.

However, while Smith and Virginia Tech linebacker Tremaine Edmunds are both mentioned in connection with the 49ers, what if they go before the 49ers pick? Edmunds has had some buzz with the Chicago Bears, and now, Smith is getting some buzz with the Indianapolis Colts. NFL writer Eric Edholm is the latest to hear the connection.

ESPN’s Mel Kiper and Todd McShay put together a “dueling mock draft” in which they alternate picks. Kiper had the 49ers first two picks, at No. 9 and No. 59 overall. McShay had the 49ers third picks at No. 70 and No. 74 overall. McShay grabbed Smith with the Colts pick at No. 6, and Kiper went with cornerback Denzel Ward to the 49ers at No. 9. Here are the four picks.

1(9). Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State (Kiper)
2(59). Brian O’Neil, OT, Pittsburgh (Kiper)
3(70). Uchenna Nwosu, OLB, USC (McShay)
3(74). Jordan Lasley, WR, UCLA (McShay)

In this mock draft, Edmunds and Florida State safety Derwin James are the two most notable players available alongside Ward at No. 9. Who would be your choice between Ward, Edmunds, and James?