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Another day, another debate over who the San Francisco 49ers are drafting with the third overall pick. In Mel Kiper Jr.’s latest mock for ESPN, he has the 49ers drafting Mac Jones at No. 3, pinning the selection on buzz around the league.
In his view, Jones is solid, “but not spectacular.”
“It’s hard to ignore the Jones-to-San Francisco buzz within the league. Every sign two weeks out from the draft points to general manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan being infatuated with Jones. I think he’s the quarterback they traded up nine spots to take. Is he the perfect fit for Shanahan’s offense? Only time will tell. Jones is my fourth-ranked quarterback and is No. 12 on my Big Board, and I’m not sure I see a superstar when I watch him on tape. He’s solid — and extremely accurate — but not spectacular. Lynch and Shanahan are obviously taking the long view here, and this decision is going to be discussed and debated for years.”
Recently, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said that despite the buzz around Jones, he believes very few people actually know who the 49ers are going to select, as they’ve been tight-lipped regarding the selection.
But the more interesting part of Kiper Jr.’s mock is who he has the 49ers selecting in the second round. The two positions that stand out at that juncture are corner and wide receiver, with almost no depth behind Jason Verrett and Emmanuel Moseley, and the need to replace Kendrick Bourne (don’t bet on Mohamed Sanu being the guy).
Kiper goes with Tyson Campbell, the corner out of Georgia.
“Before the 49ers made the trade up to No. 3, I thought corner was the most likely position to target at No. 12. And they can still get a good one in Round 2. Campbell played a lot of press coverage for the Bulldogs, and he was inconsistent, but I’d bet on his upside. San Francisco let both Ahkello Witherspoon and Richard Sherman walk in free agency.”
With both quarterback and corner addressed, receiver is the main outstanding need, with all other positions something of a luxury, leaving the option to truly go after the best player available.