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Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

Todd McShay has 49ers selecting CB Israel Mukuamu in ‘very premature’ mock draft

Aug 12, 2020 at 6:05 AM--

ESPN analyst Todd McShay released his admittedly "very premature" mock draft. The 2021 NFL Draft is still over eight months away, and there remains so much uncertainty with this particular class thanks to many conferences already announcing postponements of their sports programs due to the coronavirus pandemic. That means players slated to play this season may opt-out to focus on their NFL future if college football takes place in the spring.

Because of all this, McShay acknowledges that the draft landscape could change even more than usual. Last year, his way-too-early mock of the 2020 draft class featured just 10 prospects who ultimately ended up being selected in the first round. This one may feature fewer.

With that said, who does McShay have the San Francisco 49ers selecting? The draft order is based on projections from ESPN's Football Power Index (FPI), which has Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch selecting at No. 29 overall.

McShay projects the 49ers using that draft pick to add to what could be a very depleted secondary. Richard Sherman, Ahkello Witherspoon, Jaquiski Tartt, and K'Waun Williams are all among those scheduled to become unrestricted free agents.

The ESPN analyst has San Francisco picking up cornerback Israel Mukuamu of South Carolina.

"Niners defensive coordinator Robert Saleh loves length at cornerback for his physical single-high scheme," wrote McShay, "and Mukuamu is a 6-foot-4 press corner with arm length for days. His ball production was outstanding in 2019 with nine passes broken up and four picks, though he is still developing his recognition skills.

"Richard Sherman and Ahkello Witherspoon lead a pack of seven cornerbacks on this San Francisco roster playing on the last year of their deals this season. Mukuamu has the football sense to pick up the scheme quickly and make a big impact in his first pro season."

The selection of Mukuamu would make 2021 the third consecutive year that San Francisco has selected a player out of South Carolina. The 49ers made defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw a first-round pick this year and chose wide receiver Deebo Samuel during the second-round in 2019.

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