- Bill Williamson, ESPN Staff Writer
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We held our NFL Nation mock draft this week on ESPN.com and on SportsCenter.
I took Florida State receiver Kelvin Benjamin for the 49ers at No. 30.
But that was not my intention. I tried to trade up. I tried a lot. Spanning picks 15-28, I made nine inquiries. Nine of them. I never truly came close to executing a deal. There was some potential with Kansas City at No. 23. But I wasn’t giving up the No. 30 pick.
I think the 49ers would like to draft twice in the first round, so that was my goal. I wouldn’t worry my lack of trade success will translate into trouble for the 49ers finding a trade partner Thursday night. I think the actual decision makers may be more willing to move back than the folks I was trying to convince.
Honestly, I don’t love the Benjamin choice, but he was really the only way I thought I could go. I would have been much more satisfied if he was my second first-round pick and I was able to get a cornerback earlier. Even without a trade, I thought I might get TCU cornerback Jason Verrett, but his slide ended at No. 28 to Carolina. Yes, I talked to Carolina about a deal, too.
At No. 30, in addition to Benjamin, I considered Vanderbilt receiver Jordan Matthews and Fresno State receiver Davante Adams as well as Auburn pass-rusher Dee Ford. In the end, I went with Benjamin, whose size and skill can translate into big NFL success.
But, overall, I leave this exercise disappointed. I wanted to get a cornerback and a receiver. But no one would play with me.
We held our NFL Nation mock draft this week on ESPN.com and on SportsCenter.I took Florida State receiver Kelvin Benjamin for the 49ers at No. 30.But that was not my intention.