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Golden Nuggets: What if the 49ers listened to ESPN draft experts?

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An interesting breakdown on Niners first-round picks since 2010

Green Bay Packers v New York Giants Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

With the NFL planning to continue with the Draft as schedule from Aril 23-25, we will see whole bunch of different mock drafts from now until then.

ESPN’s draft experts Mel Kiper and Todd McShay will offer differing opinions on who the 49ers will pick at No. 13 and No. 31.

Eric Ting of SFGate put together an interesting piece looking back at who Kiper and McShay mocked to the Niners in the first-round since 2010, with Trent Baalke running the show from 2010 to 2016, before John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan took over in 2017.

Here is how things looks:

2010:

Kiper’s picks: Bryan Bulaga, Joe Haden

McShay’s picks: Jimmy Clausen, Joe Haden

Actual 49ers picks: Anthony Davis, Mike Iupati

The 49ers got things right in 2010. Davis and Iupati were key contributors to the team’s success under then head coach Jim Harbaugh.

2011:

Kiper’s pick: Blaine Gabbert

McShay’s pick: Blaine Gabbert

Actual 49ers pick: Aldon Smith

Yeah, thanks for that Kiper and McShay, although Gabbert eventually played for the Niners from 2014-2016, he couldn’t hold a candle to what Smith brought to the defense before personal issues derailed his promising career.

2012:

Kiper’s pick: Kevin Zeitler

McShay’s pick: Kevin Zeitler

Actual pick: A.J. Jenkins

Kiper and McShay would have had this right if Zeitler made it to the 49ers at No. 30. Jenkins is the worst first-round pick on this last and was eventually traded.

2013:

Kiper’s pick: Matt Elam

McShay’s pick: Zach Ertz

Actual pick: Eric Reid

Reid has had a solid NFL career after the Niners traded up to get him at No. 18. Ertz would have looked great with San Francisco, but every team with a first-round pick passed on him until he was taken at No. 35.

2014:

Kiper’s pick: Cody Latimer

McShay’s pick: Odell Beckham Jr.

Actual pick: Jimmie Ward

As Ting points out, Beckham wasn’t available when the 49ers took Ward, who has turned into a nice piece for the defense.

2015:

Kiper’s pick: Todd Gurley

McShay’s pick: Arik Armstead

Actual pick: Arik Armstead

Again, Gurley was off the board when the Niners took Armstead at No. 17, who finished with 10 sacks last season and got a fat new contract for his efforts. Gurley is now a part of the Atlanta Falcons.

2016:

Kiper’s pick: Laremy Tunsil

McShay’s pick: DeForest Bucner

Actual pick: DeForeset Buckner

Tunsil dropped down the draft after the video of him smoking weed with a mask on surfaced on draft day. Buckner was the right pick and had a great start to his career with the Niners. Of course, he was traded two weeks ago to the Colts for the No. 13 pick.

2017:

Kiper’s pick: Jamal Adams

McShay’s pick: Jamal Adams

Actual pick: Solomon Thomas

Both Kiper and McShay had this right. Lynch and Shanahan whiffed on Thomas, who will most likely never live up to his draft position. Adams is one of the best safeties in the game and would have looked amazing with the defense as it is currently built.

2018:

Kiper’s pick: Denzel Ward

McShay’s pick: Minkah Fitzpatrick

Actual pick: Mike McGlinchey

Ward and Fitzpatrick are undoubtedly difference makers for their respective AFC North teams, but good tackles are hard to come by. McGlinchey has been good over his first two seasons and will be the heir apparent as the stalwart of the offensive line when the beloved Joe Staley retires.

2019:

Kiper’s pick: Nick Bosa

McShay’s pick: Nick Bosa

Actual pick: Nick Bosa

All I have to say is that we all love Nick Bosa very, very much.


Here some more 49ers links from around the web:

Why Kentucky’s Lynn Bowden could fit 49ers’ offense (NBC Bay Area)

A Tom Brady homecoming might have been fun, but the 49ers came out winners (SF Chronicle)

49ers notes: Breida, Goodwin, Sherman (Pro Football Rumors)

Projecting the 49ers win total in 2020 (SI)

2020 NFL free agency: Who lost the most talent? (Bleacher Report)

Now what? The 49ers will look to address several areas in the NFL Draft (Branch)