Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Kiper has 49ers selecting Justin Fields in mock draft with McShay

Apr 20, 2021 at 10:55 AM--

It's time for ESPN's annual joint mock draft by analysts Mel Kiper and Todd McShay (h/t to Dalton Johnson of NBC Sports). The two take turns projecting the selections for each NFL team through the first three rounds. While most "experts," including McShay, are still predicting Mac Jones of Alabama to head to the San Francisco 49ers at No. 3 overall, Kiper ended up making the pick for the Bay Area team.

Of course, this mock draft doesn't feature what Kiper and McShay envision each NFL team doing with their respective selections. It is what they would do with the pick. So, had McShay ended up selecting for the 49ers, he has made it clear that quarterback Trey Lance of North Dakota State is his third-ranked quarterback and would probably be the selection.

As expected, Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson go off the board with the first two selections. That leaves Kiper to select quarterback Justin Fields of Ohio State for the Niners.

"You should know by now how much I like Fields," Kiper explains. "He has all the tools to be a superstar, and he'd thrive in Kyle Shanahan's offense."

Kiper later has the New England Patriots trading up and selecting Jones at No. 7, and then the Denver Broncos adding Lance at No. 9.

In the second round, Kiper has San Francisco adding cornerback help with the selection of Tyson Campbell of Georgia.

"Campbell had an inconsistent college career, but teams are looking for high-end traits here," wrote Kiper. "The 49ers let both Ahkello Witherspoon and Richard Sherman walk as free agents."

McShay makes his first selection for the 49ers in the third round, at No. 102 overall. He, too, has San Francisco adding some help on the defensive side of the football with the selection of defensive tackle Daviyon Nixon of Iowa.

"The 49ers had one of the NFL's best run defenses last season," explained McShay. "They drafted Javon Kinlaw in the first round last April, so let's go back to the defensive tackle well to give him a partner on the inside and keep the run D a strength. Nixon is very disruptive and is a good fit as a 3-technique in the San Francisco 4-3."

The 2021 NFL Draft begins on April 29 from Cleveland, Ohio.

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