Draft pundits have the Niners taking either Mac Jones, Justin Fields or Trey Lance to be the franchise’s quarterback of the future. Jones has been getting some buzz due to his accuracy and deep ball, but Fields and Lance project to have higher ceilings as pro quarterbacks.
Longtime NFL Draft insider Mel Kiper Jr. and his colleague Todd McShay released their latest three-round mock draft on ESPN.com and have San Francisco adding a cornerback in Round 2. For their latest piece, Kiper is making the picks at odd numbers, so he was tasked with making both 49ers’ selections.
Kiper went with Fields at No. 3.
You should know by now how much I like Fields. He has all the tools to be a superstar, and he’d thrive in Kyle Shanahan’s offense.
It is interesting to see Kiper go with Fields over Jones, whom he had the Niners taking in his previous mock draft. Kiper believes Fields is the second-best available QB prospect behind only Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence, who seems like a lock to go No. 1 overall to the Jacksonville Jaguars. McShay recently said that he thinks the 49ers should go with Lance because of his massive upside.
San Francisco also holds the 43rd overall selection and will likely look to add to the secondary. The Niners lost Ahkello Witherspoon in free agency, and longtime All-Pro Richard Sherman remains unsigned. General manager John Lynch inked Jason Verrett and Emmanuel Moseley and K’Waun Williams to new deals this offseason, but the 49ers are short on long-term options at the position.
To address this need, Kiper went with Georgia cornerback Tyson Campbell.
Campbell appeared in 31 games over the three seasons with the Bulldogs and finished his collegiate career with 89 tackles, an interception and 10 passes defended. Pro Football Focus has Campbell ranked No. 108 on its 2021 NFL Draft big board.
Here is the Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline’s summary on Campbell as a prospect.
Campbell possesses the size and underlying ball skills to start at the next level, but needs to continue to develop his game. He’s athletic and physical with the ability to line up in zone or man-off coverage. Campbell’s potential is enticing, and if properly coached, he could easily develop into a No. 2 corner on Sundays.
Campbell has the ideal size and has solid movement for a corner. He also has shown the ability to finish plays with only five missed tackles over his three seasons with Georgia. But Campbell will need to add some size and likely needs a season or two to refine his game if he will be successful at the NFL level.
Would you be happy if Fields and Campbell end up being the 49ers’ first two picks? Which other Day 2 corners would you like to see the Niners target at No. 43?