Mel Kiper Jr. is back with his second 2013 NFL mock draft for the first round.
We'll run through the projected picks for NFC West teams, beginning in reverse order and working our way forward. I'll include snippets from Kiper's analysis, followed by my own thoughts.
Kiper's give: The current construct of the Niners' roster really offers them a great chance to maximize value, and getting a player like Jenkins this far down the board would represent a lot of value.
Sando's take: Kiper's previous mock draft had the 49ers taking another massive defensive lineman, Sharrif Floyd of Florida, with the projected 30th overall choice (they wound up with the 31st choice). The defensive line should be a priority for the 49ers this offseason as they seek to maximize investments in linebackers Aldon Smith, Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman. Defensive ends Justin Smith and Ray McDonald have each logged more than 2,000 regular-season and postseason snaps over the past two seasons. Only three players have logged more than them over that span. Smith will be coming off triceps surgery. He turns 34 in September. McDonald is younger (28) and has not started for nearly as long, but he's also had chronic knee problems in the distant past. Ideally, the 49ers would be getting quality snaps on their defensive line from 2008 first-rounder Kentwan Balmer. That choice did not work out. That choice shows why the 49ers should not reach for a defensive lineman in the first round simply to fill a need.