The San Francisco 49ers will almost assuredly be drafting a wide receiver or cornerback early in the 2014 NFL draft. There is really no question as to need. The question, then, is which players will be available when the 49ers draft, and who they would have to move up to get. That’s a tougher problem to solve.
Mock drafts can be hard to parse, sometimes. You see one expert guaranteeing a player is a top-10 selection, while another questions whether the same player will even crack the first round. The odds that any expert will nail a pick precisely are very low. The most accurate draft around last season only hit 12 out of 32 first-round picks right.
Therefore, the best way to use mock drafts is in bulk. If a consensus develops around a player in a certain range, then you can feel fairly confident that they’ll be drafted somewhere around that slot. Maybe the precise team and position combination won’t be right, but you’ll at least have a gist of where a player is going.
With that in mind, I looked at 20 mock drafts, from CBS, ESPN, NFL.com, Sporting News, Rotoworld and Sports Illustrated. From there, I found the average draft position for the top players in the draft.
With this information, we can have a rough consensus ranking for the top players in the draft and also a clearer picture of who might fall to the 49ers, who they might have to trade up for and how far they might need to go to do so.
In this article, we’ll look at the potential first-round wide receivers.