San Francisco 49ers: Stanley Jean-Baptiste

49ers three-round mock

April, 22, 2014
Apr 22
I plan on revealing a full seven-round mock draft for the San Francisco 49ers, who have 11 picks, on the day the draft commences.

For now, I am going to take a stab at the team's picks in the first three rounds; no NFL team has more. Yes, these choices are subject to change:

Summary: This is defense heavy, but with needs at cornerback and at pass rush, it may be necessary. Jason Verrett and Stanley Jean-Baptiste would be a strong cornerback combination for now and for the future. Verrett is a strong slot presence and Jean-Baptiste a bigger cornerback. Paul Richardson would fill the need for a speed receiver. Shayne Skov and Trent Murphy would be the first Stanford players taken in the Jim Harbaugh era. Harbaugh and 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio coached Skov and Murphy on the Farm. Skov could help fill in for NaVorro Bowman now and be a piece for the future. Murphy could be a developmental pass rusher to help the team navigate through the Aldon Smith situation. Ward is a potential standout at safety.
Mel Kiper Jr. isn't as sold on this NFL draft class as a whole as some others around the league are. Kiper, who has been evaluating draft prospects for 35 years, thinks there are some holes.

However, some good news for the San Francisco 49ers, Kiper does believe with the masses in this regard -- he thinks the receiver and cornerback positions are stacked and those positions just happen to be the two biggest need areas for the 49ers.

In a near-hour conference call with NFL Nation reporters, Kiper repeatedly talked about the virtues of the two positions. I asked him if he thought the 49ers, who have a surplus of picks and few needs, should trade way up in the first round to get a receiver, such as Texas A&M's Mike Evans or a cornerback such as Oklahoma State's Justin Gilbert.

Kiper said he thinks the 49ers, who have the No. 30th pick in the first round, can play the draft any way they feel comfortable. "They can go either way depending on their board," Kiper said, "or they can stay put and get both."

Kiper says some options for the 49ers at No. 30 include receivers Odell Beckham Jr. of LSU, Brandin Cooks of Oregon State and Kelvin Benjamin of Florida State.

Also, Kiper is a believer in TCU cornerback Jason Verrett, who is recovering from a torn labrum. Verrett is small, but a supreme slot cornerback, Kiper said. Other cornerbacks, who the 49ers may be able to get in a trade early in the second round, include Nebraska’s Stan Jean-Baptiste and Utah's Keith McGill. Both are bigger cornerbacks, which the 49ers covet.