San Francisco 49ers fans understand the relativity of stock-up, stock-down projections for their team’s top draft targets.
That's especially true when they involve wide receivers.
It was only two years ago that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell read the name “A.J. Jenkins” when announcing the 49ers’ first-round draft pick.
While not quite amounting to Bill Simmons’ utter befuddlement when the Cleveland Cavaliers selected Anthony Benefit No. 1 overall, Jenkins was in no way the expected opening pick for San Francisco at No. 30 in 2012.
More prominent pass-catchers, such as Coby Fleener and Alshon Jeffery, were purportedly among those within the team’s radar.
The speedy, but smallish, receiver out of Illinois really had no stock at all.
Well, except if you’re Trent Baalke—the 49ers’ enigmatic general manager.
The operative point here is that a host of fluid, internal and largely unknown factors affect prospect standings behind the scenes. They are inherent to the predraft process.
As plugged in as ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr., CBSSports.com’s Rob Rang and other NFL insiders really are, they can only know so much regarding a team’s draft-related inclinations and preferences.
But since they remain the reputable sources on the subject, we’ll pay heed to their analyses and predictions.
So, as it relates to incoming cornerbacks and wideouts—San Francisco’s greatest positional needs in 2014—who’s rising, and who’s falling?
Here now are the current stock-up, stock-down ratings for the 49ers' top five draft targets.
Note: The draft officially gets underway on May 8—that’s just three days from now in case you hadn’t noticed.