Yesterday, we covered Curt Popejoy’s three-round mock draft for the draft wire. Today, Jeff Risdon has submitted his own with three weeks left until the draft.
Popejoy selected a corner, edge, and wide receiver in his mock. Let’s check out Risdon’s selections:
Pick 99 - Mekhi Garner, CB, LSU
Standing at 6’2, Garner played five years at LSU. His strengths are in his tackling and his smarts on the field. Garner plays well in run defense and shows the ability to shed blocks.
The concerns are with his lack of production defending passes. In 2022, Garner had zero passes defended and zero interceptions. While he shows great instincts in zone coverage, making plays on the ball has been an issue.
At pick 99, the 49ers would select a player that would be depth and need some development.
Pick 101 - Ivan Pace, Jr., LB, Cincinnati
In Trevor Sikemma’s initial three-round mock for PFF, he selected Pace, Jr. at pick 102.
Pace has a nose for the football and plays fast, especially in the run game and blitzing. Coverage isn’t his strength, but he is very physical, even at his size.
He would fit right in with the physical nature of the 49ers.
Pick 102 - Chandler Zavala, OL, North Carolina State
This pick is a bit of a head-scratcher, considering Zavala played 339 snaps at LG in 2021 and 744 in 2022. Aaron Banks has a stranglehold on the position.
Unless the thinking is moving Zavala to RG and kicking Spencer Burford out to RT, I’m not understanding this pick.
Having said that, Zavala played in 12 games in 2022 and finished with an overall grade of 76.0, per PFF. In 422 pass block snaps, Zavala allowed one QB hit and three hurries. In 2021, Zavala played in five games and allowed four hurries in 193 pass block snaps.
PFF graded him with an 86.5 grade in pass block and 73.4 as a run blocker.
Zavala is by no means a bad player, but I’m just struggling to see the fit with this pick. It goes to show you how difficult making mock drafts is for teams you don’t cover regularly.