Many think the 49ers will take this guy in the first round.

Many think the 49ers will take this guy in the first round.

How many mock drafts had the San Francisco 49ers selecting A.J. Jenkins before last April’s NFL Draft? None that I recall, which is why I’m hesitant to put too much stock into mocks … but they’re still fun to read. It’s also a good gauge of what positions the 49ers might target early on — after all, even though Jenkins wasn’t expected to get chosen that early, many mocks had the 49ers selecting a wide receiver.

So because I haven’t done nearly enough research to put together my own mock draft and there are a ton of sites who feel confident enough to publish one or several every season, I thought it might tell us something to go through the mocks that are out there to see what they think. The problem is there are way too many of these things, so I had to narrow it down some way.

So I went to Walter Football’s extensive list and went through the ones that have been updated since Sunday, April 7. These include everyone from guys like Rob Rang, Pete Prisco and Clark Judge to bloggers I had never heard of before. They all got consideration, because I’m not sure any of the so-called “experts” know any more than someone who studies this stuff for free.

I ignored the couple that got players’ names wrong, and the mock that had the 49ers trading up to get the Buffalo Bills’ pick (No. 8 overall) and drafting Tavon Austin. Fun idea, but too far-fetched to consider. This whittled the list down to 61 mock drafts, and I checked out who each one had the 49ers taking with the 31st and 34th picks. Just over half (33) of the drafts I examined went past the first round.

Here’s what I found:

***No. 31 Overall***

  • Jesse Williams (DT – Alabama): 10
  • Eric Reid (S – LSU): 7
  • Matt Elam (S – Florida): 7
  • Tyler Eifert (TE – Norte Dame): 6
  • Margus Hunt (DE – SMU): 5
  • Sylvester Williams (DT – UNC): 4
  • Datone Jones (DE – UCLA): 4
  • Johnathan Hankins (DT – Ohio St.): 3
  • David Amerson (CB – NC State): 2
  • Keenan Allen (WR – California): 2
  • Zach Ertz (TE – Stanford): 2
  • Johnthan Banks (CB – Miss. St.): 1
  • Jonathan Cyprien (S – Fla. Int’l): 1
  • Eddie Lacey (RB – Alabama): 1
  • Kawann Short (DT – Purdue): 1
  • Jarvis Jones (OLB – Georgia): 1
  • Desmond Trufant (CB – Washington): 1
  • John Jenkins (DT – Georgia): 1
  • Justin Hunter (WR – Tennessee): 1
  • Sheldon Richardson (DT – Missouri): 1

***No. 34 Overall***

  • Johnthan Banks (CB – Miss. St.): 6
  • Matt Elam (S – Florida): 5
  • Eric Reid (S – LSU): 5
  • Margus Hunt (DE – SMU): 2
  • Phillip Thomas (S – Fresno St.): 2
  • Jonathan Cyprien (S – Fla. Int’l): 2
  • Logan Ryan (CB – Rutgers): 2
  • Zach Ertz (TE – Stanford): 2
  • Kawann Short (DT – Purdue): 1
  • Sylvester Williams (DT – UNC): 1
  • Jarvis Jones (OLB – Georgia): 1
  • John Jenkins (DT – Georgia): 1
  • Cornellius “Tank” Carradine (DE – FSU): 1
  • Johnathan Hankins (DT – Ohio St.): 1
  • Brandon Williams (DT – Missouri Southern St.): 1

What have we learned?

– Almost everyone thinks the 49ers are going to draft defensive players with those early picks. Only 12 times were offensive players listed as going to the 49ers at No. 31, and only twice in the second round (Zach Ertz both times, which should make Ruthless happy).

– There seems to be a consensus that the 49ers are looking at defensive backs and linemen, which isn’t much of a surprise since the 49ers replaced Dashon Goldson with the decidedly not hawkish Craig Dahl and Justin Smith showed us he’s actually human by getting injured against the Patriots. Allowing a bunch of big plays in the Super Bowl also play a role.

  • Safeties were listed 29 times overall in the drafts I looked at, led by Matt Elam and Eric Reid, who garnered an equal number of mentions for both of the 49ers’ first two draft slots.
  • Defensive tackles were named 25 times, with Jesse Williams the most popular first rounder.
  • Defensive ends were slotted to go to the 49ers 12 times, led by Margus Hunt, a 6’8″ former track star (shot put and discus) from Estonia who ran the 40 in 4.60 seconds. By the way, Keenan Allen ran a 4.71 in his pro day today.
  • Cornerbacks also got the nod 12 times, with a lot of people thinking Johnthan Banks will go to San Francisco at No. 34.

– Not as many people had the 49ers taking Jonathan Cyprien as I would’ve assumed.

– The number of ways to spell Jonathan/Johnathan/Johnthan seemed to grow with this draft class.