We’ve been doing seven-round mock drafts every Friday, and we’ll keep that theme going today. The selection at No. 3 will get old. I’m not budging. In the draft, if you have a chance to get an elite player, you do it. Since the 49ers are in a position to grab one, and I’m acting as the de facto GM, it’ll be QB1b.
As always, we’ll be using PFF’s mock draft simulator.
No. 3 - QB Justin Fields, Ohio St.
What trait does Kyle Shanahan love the most in a QB? Nobody knows, but based on history; it’s accuracy. You’re getting a quarterback who hits receivers in the facemask, whether that’s on a 15-yard comeback to the far-hash or a 50-yard post throw down the field.
Here is a QB, in three quarters:— KP (@KP_Show) April 9, 2021
- throwing with anticipation
- making 3 unblocked defenders miss in a row
- throwing a 25-yard fadeaway comeback on the $$
- hitting a seam route 40 yards down the field with touch
- extending a play organically with his natural strength pic.twitter.com/6niShJb1nE
The more I watch Fields, the more I think it’s the pick. I saw a game from 2019 where Ohio State marched down throwing quick RPOs. Fields was throwing the ball outside of the numbers and on time. It wasn’t anything special, but, at the same time, it was a thing of beauty.
In that same game, Fields made four unblocked defenders miss in the pocket. He’s the pick. Speak it into existence.
Trade! San Francisco gets: Pick 27 Baltimore gets: Picks 43, 155, 172, 180 -
EDGE Kwity Paye, Michigan
Jaelan Phillips went off the board, as did Georgia’s Azeez Ojulari and Penn State’s Jayson Oweh. Before the run of edge rushers took off, we moved up for a guy who will help right away.
Paye looks like a superhuman. He ran a 4.54 40-yard dash and had a 6.35 3-cone. Paye is explosive and can bend the edge, which is precisely what we’re looking for. The drop-off from Paye to the next group of edge rushers is steep, so I don’t mind giving up multiple picks for a player who I believe complements Nick Bosa to a tee.
Paye lacks a pass-rushing arsenal, but that’s what I’m paying Kris Kocurek for. Paye doesn’t have to be an all-star out of the gate. He needs to be productive and knowing all of the 1-on-1 opportunities he’ll get. I wouldn’t be concerned about the speedy edge rusher producing.
No. 102 - CB Paulson Adebo, Stanford
This feels too good to be true as I believe Adebo is a second-round talent. Sitting out a year could hurt him, but Adebo is athletic as any cornerback in the draft and has the best ball skills in the past couple of years. If the ball is in the air, there’s a strong chance Adebo will get a hand on it.
We can groom him during his rookie season, and eventually, Adebo turns into a starter. If Demeco Ryans wants to blitz more, getting a cornerback that is comfortable playing both press and off-man coverage is imperative. Three picks. Three starters. At three premium positions.
No. 117 - WR Ihmir Smith-Marsette, Iowa
We’ve got a Stanford pick checked off, and now it’s time to select a Hawkeye. Smith-Marsette is a burner. Don’t be fooled by the school he went to. Instantly, he’s the best return man on the team since Tedd Ginn. For those of you that haven’t seen him play, check these highlights out:
An Ihmir Smith-Marsette appreciation post: Iowa’s most explosive player in a long time pic.twitter.com/mMs0oxME7Y— Iowa Nostalgia (@RetroHawkeyes) December 24, 2020
He ran a 4.43 40-yard dash with an eye-popping 1.47 10-yard split and jumped 37” in the vertical. He is only 181 pounds, but in Kyle Shanahan’s offense, ISM can be in the slot and on the move, so free releases will be aplenty.
No. 194 - CB Shemar Jean-Charles, App. St.
I’m restocking the cornerback cupboard with two players known for taking the ball away at the collegiate level. Jean-Charles might be a tad undersized, but his confidence and aggression more than makes up for his measurements.
At worst, I have a special-teamer. At best, I have a cornerback who could replace K’Waun Williams in the slot this year. Jean-Charles is a better fit for Ryans’ man-scheme. He’s comfortable playing off-coverage as well. I’m not shying away from a player who broke up 17 passes and was an All-American.
The theme of this mock has been consistent: get uber-talented players who performed at a high level in college. No projections.
No. 230 - Jermar Jefferson, Oregon St.
Shanahan gets his Alfred Morris in the seventh round. Jefferson, at 206 pounds, had one of the worst pro days athletically. He ran fast, at 4.55, but every other metric was well below average.
I’m in the seventh round, and I’m getting a running back who might have better vision than any other back in the draft. Jefferson’s patience as a runner should appeal to the 49ers. While he may not be the best athlete, his burst through the hole is evident.
Jefferson is your prototypical one-cut runner that excels in Shanahan’s system.