The NFL Draft is inching ever closer. In about two-and-a-half weeks, the 49ers will begin selecting their nine draft picks, assuming no trades go down to shift that balance.
With the first round — that the 49ers aren’t slated to participate in — scheduled for April 28, ESPN draft analyst Jordan Reid did a full, seven-round mock draft for all 32 teams.
That’s a fairly absurd endeavor, but he attempted to match talent, league-wide player evaluations and team needs to each selection.
For the 49ers, it begins at pick 61 in Round 2.
Round 2, Pick 61: Cam Jurgens, C, Nebraska
Reid calls Jurgens “one of my favorite team-player fits” who could be a plug-and-play starter from the get-go. He believes “Jurgens’ gap-to-gap style is a perfect fit in Kyle Shanahan’s scheme.”
Jurgens is on the smaller side for his position which is not a disqualifier by any stretch in Shanahan’s offense, which prioritized agility and angles.
Jurgens tested well athletically, running a 97th percentile 40-yard dash at 4.92 seconds and was at the 51st percentile with 25 bench press reps. That could be considered encouraging given that he’s 8th and 20th percentile, respectively, in height and weight among offensive linemen at nearly 6’3″ and 303 pounds.
One long-term cause for optimism with Jurgens is that he’s coming out after two years of school, meaning he’s younger and has less wear and tear than some of the senior or graduate players who are similarly viewed as being NFL ready from the start.
Round 3, Pick 93: Nick Cross, S, Maryland
This is the second time Cross has been mocked to the 49ers by ESPN. Todd McShay had him as the team’s 61st overall selection last week and there seems to be a consensus building that Cross would be an excellent fit in the secondary, whether that’s as a complement to Jimmie Ward or as his long-term replacement.
Here’s Reid’s assessment:
“The 49ers are in need of help on the back end, and Cross is an underrated prospect in a loaded safety class. As a traditional single-high, high-post safety, he provides a unique presence on the third level.”
Round 3, Pick 105: Marcus Jones, CB, Houston
Reid continues the theme of the 49ers adding to their secondary, but it’s not to target an outside corner. He highlights Houston nickel corner Marcus Jones, who was a standout special teams player.
Primarily a nickel corner on the next level, Jones was a touchdown waiting to happen in college. Whether it was as a return specialist or creating turnovers, good things seemed to always occur when he was around the football. The 49ers should create some competition at the nickel spot, and Jones is a serviceable option with the potential to make an impact defensively and on special teams.
Given the investment the 49ers made in special teams this offseason with Ray-Ray McCloud, safety George Odum and linebacker Oren Burks, adding another special teams ace to the mix is absolutely within reason.
For the rest of the mock, Reid goes pick-by-pick without the detailed explanations of the first three rounds. Here’s the rest of his mock:
Round 4, Pick 134: Thomas Booker, DT, Stanford
Round 5, Pick 172: Tyler Badie, RB, Missouri
Round 5, Pick 187: Bo Melton, WR, Rutgers
Round 6, Pick 220: David Anenih, EDGE, Houston
Round 6, Pick 221: Ryan Van Demark, OT, UConn
Round 7, Pick 262 (final pick, Mr. Irrelevant): Brock Purdy, QB, Iowa State