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ESPN mock draft has 49ers passing up Justin Fields at 12

© Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

It’s mock draft season folks and it’s already extraordinarily dumb.

ESPN’s Todd McShay’s latest mock draft can only be described as bizarre. Aside from the expected No. 1 overall pick in Trevor Lawrence, it just gets weirder and weirder.

McShay, for some reason, doesn’t incorporate potential trades into his mock drafts, which becomes part of his flawed rationale for his selection for the 49ers.

His first 12 picks are as follows:

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars – Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson*
  2. New York Jets – Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon*
  3. Miami Dolphins (via HOU) – DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
  4. Atlanta Falcons – Zach Wilson, QB, BYU*
  5. Cincinnati Bengals – Rashawn Slater, OL, Northwestern
  6. Philadelphia Eagles – Micah Parsons, ILB, Penn State*
  7. Detroit Lions – Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU*
  8. Carolina Panthers – Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida*
  9. Denver Broncos – Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, ILB, Notre Dame
  10. Dallas Cowboys – Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama*
  11. New York Giants – Gregory Rousseau, DE/OLB, Miami-FL*
  12. San Francisco 49ers – Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech*

The Jets, Lions, Panthers, Broncos and 49ers all pass on Justin Fields. Suuuure.

Here is the astonishingly weird logic McShay uses, in which he says, effectively, that if Fields actually did fall this far, which he won’t, he would be a good choice by the 49ers. But he goes with a corner, which is obviously a position of need, but which pales in comparison to getting a free franchise quarterback:

“The 49ers’ pass defense was a strength this season, ranking fourth in yards allowed per game (207.9). But here’s the list of pending unrestricted free agents at cornerback: Richard Sherman, Jason Verrett, Ahkello Witherspoon, K’Waun Williams and Dontae Johnson. Injuries hurt San Francisco all over this season, but there isn’t a bigger question mark on the team going forward than at corner. Enter Farley, a 2020 opt-out with terrific ball skills. He had four interceptions for the Hokies in 2019.

Could the Niners make a change at QB? Of course, especially if Justin Fields were actually to fall this far. (He is dropping in this mock mainly because there aren’t any trades.) Jimmy Garoppolo is only under contract for two more seasons, has very little guaranteed money still owed to him and has battled injuries during his time with the 49ers.”

Some things you just can’t explain.


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