The 2018 NFL Draft is at last upon us. Last May I released a fun and hopefully entertaining Way-Too-Early 2018 Mock Draft. In that mock draft I had the 49ers selecting quarterback Sam Darnold. Clearly, a lot has happened since that initial mock draft. The 49ers will not be one of the many teams trying to obtain a hopeful franchise quarterback. However, that doesn’t mean they wont be involved in the quarterback derby. By involved, I mean a potential opportunity to trade out of the ninth overall pick should one of the big four quarterbacks begin to drop.
The San Francisco 49ers, as of today, will enter the draft with nine total selections, including four selections in the first three rounds. Today, I am going to offer my final mock draft. This mock will center around the 49ers and their draft needs.
Round 1 (Pick 9) - Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia
I was going back and forth with this selection all week, but ultimately I do believe that John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan are entering this draft prepared for life without Reuben Foster. When all is set and done, I believe the 49ers will stay put at nine and select Smith. Smith is the best linebacker this draft class has to offer. The 49ers are thin at linebacker and should Foster be shown the door, addressing the position will be a must. Smith is a sideline-to-sideline athletic machine, with incredible football instincts and ability to anticipate the play in running and passing down situations. As for Tremaine Edmunds, I love Edmunds ceiling more than I love what Edmunds can contribute on day one. A top 10 pick should be a day one starter, and that is exactly what the 49ers will get from Smith. Smith has the speed, instincts, and playmaking ability to be an all-pro and future leader of this defense.
Round 2 (Pick 59) - Carlton Davis, CB, Auburn
One of the best press corners this draft has to offer. It will be interesting to see if Davis falls to the 49ers at the backend of the second round. Davis has the height and arms the 49ers desire in their defense. This past season he led Auburn with 11 pass break-ups to go along with an interception, and 36 stops. His size and length are a major plus and his ability to slow down a receiver and knock them off their route was evident throughout his collegiate career. Davis plays with toughness and confidence, and reminds me of a cornerback the 49ers recently signed from an arch rival.
Round 3 (Pick 70) - Kemoko Turay, Edge, Rutgers
The 49ers must upgrade their ability to rush the passer. Turay has a natural blend of speed and and explosive power to track down and disrupt the passer. He has lateral quickness along the edge and closing burst with clean tackles. Moves fluidly and comfortably in space and his range allows him to stay involved when the play is extended. This past season Turay had 65 tackles, 7 for a loss, four sacks, two fumble recoveries, and a forced fumble. Turary would be a nice fit at the LEO position.
Round 3 (Pick 74) - Anthony Miller, WR, Memphis
One of my favorite wide receivers in college football this past season. Anthony Miller is an explosive pass catcher with reliable hands. In the last two seasons for Memphis Miller had 191 receptions, 2,896 yards, and 32 touchdowns. I did a write-up on Miller earlier this year, and if I had a pro comparison for him it would be Antonio Brown of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Miller would be a perfect addition to a growing receiving corps and give Jimmy G a reliable and explosive target. Miller went from a walk-on to a sensation at Memphis, and could be the spark the 49ers seek in their offensive attack.
Round 4 (Pick 128) - Sean Welsh, Guard/Center, Iowa
The 49ers would be wise to add depth to their offensive line and protect their 135 million dollar quarterback. The position has question marks, and Welsh can come into training camp and compete right away for one of the starting guard positions. He also serves as insurance at the center position should anything happen to Weston Richburg.
Round 5 (Pick 143) - Mark Walton, RB, Miami (FL)
The 49ers will look to continue to build depth behind recently signed Jerick McKinnon. Walton is a change-of-pace back who can come in on third downs and rotate when needed. Has strong, reliable hands, who will drop his pads and isn’t afraid to take on initial tackles and hits. His hands are so reliable that he didn’t fumble over his last 274 attempts. Has demonstrated his ability to block on passing down plays. In a year where the running back class is deep the 49ers get great value on day three.
Round 6 (Pick 184) - Dorian O’Daniel, LB, Clemson
The 49ers continue to build their linebacker depth with Daniel. A unit that was once feared across the NFL is slowly but surely building itself back up with or without Foster in the picture. Has great instincts and anticipation for where the play is going to occur. Had 2 pick-six returns. Has value as a strong special teams contributor. While he may not be a day one starter he has the potential to grow and move up the depth chart.
Round 7 (Pick 227) - Christian Campbell, CB, Penn State
The 49ers signed Richard Sherman and the best case scenario is that he returns to pro-bowl status and is a force for the 49ers for the next few seasons. However, if that is not the case the 49ers would still be wise to invest additional draft capital at the cornerback position. Campbell as great size for the position 6’1” and 33 1/2 inch arms. Campbell is a project who has potential to grow into a possible future starter at the next level.
Round 7 (Pick 240) - Vyncint Smith, WR, Limestone
Personally, I really hope this is the pick and Smith develops into a professional receiver. He is 6’3” and ran a 4.36 and jumped 39 1/2 on the vertical. Yes, he played in division two and right now he is a better athlete than receiver. However, who better to develop him than Shanahan? The 49ers need to continue to add depth a wide receiver. For a late seventh round pick, I’ll take my chances.
Mock Draft Recap
In this final mock draft I don’t have any trades, however the places I could see the 49ers moving is the first round (Trading down), and moving up into the second round with two 3rd round selections at their disposal.
Wide Receiver (2)
Running Back (1)
As always, thank you for reading. In all likelihood the draft will be as unpredictable as it usually is. However, what would draft season be without mock drafts along the way!
Who is YOUR first round pick for the 49ers on Thursday night? Do the 49ers go defense or offense? Thoughts on my final mock before the draft? Please share in the comments below!
Happy Draft Week!