49ers

2019 NFL mock draft: How Mel Kiper Jr. would use 49ers' first three picks

2019 NFL mock draft: How Mel Kiper Jr. would use 49ers' first three picks

After months of rumors and speculation, the NFL draft finally is almost here. 

As Kyle Shanahan, John Lynch and Co. enter Year 3 at the 49ers' helm, this will be a big three days for San Francisco starting on April 25. Every front office has their dream scenario going into the draft. Will the 49ers be able to see their wishes come true? 

If ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. was given the keys to the 49ers, here's who he would pick with the team's first three selections.

First round (No. 2): Nick Bosa, EDGE, Ohio State

If the Cardinals do indeed take quarterback Kyler Murray No. 1 overall, the consensus is the 49ers will go with Bosa

The former Ohio State pass-rusher visited both the 49ers and Raiders recently in a Bay Area tour. Lynch and vice president of player personnel Adam Peters also met with Bosa at the Buckeyes' Pro Day.

If the 49ers don't trade out of the No. 2 pick, Kiper says, "Bosa is the pass-rusher to target." Over 29 games in college, Bosa recorded 17.5 sacks and 29 tackles for loss.

Second round (No. 36): JJ Arcega-Whiteside, WR, Stanford 

In this scenario, the 49ers stay local and find the wide receiver they covet in the draft. Arcega-Whiteside is a king of the jump ball at 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds. 

As a senior, the former Stanford star hauled in a whopping 14 touchdowns to go with his 63 receptions and 1,059 yards. He also impressed at his Pro Day, running a 4.49 40-yard dash.

Third round (No. 67): Trayvon Mullen, CB, Clemson 

Kiper writes, "Mullen has first-round talent, but he had an underwhelming 2018 for the national champs." Both statements ring true. 

Mullen has ideal size at 6-2, 199 pounds. He only had one interception as a junior, though it came in the championship game, and only four in his college career. Here he is breaking down his interception of Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. 

[RELATED: How Cardinals trading No. 1 pick could affect 49ers]

While the interception numbers are low, Mullen didn't allow a touchdown. Mullen was also named Defensive MVP in the National Championship Game where he had six tackles, a sack and a forced fumble to go with his interception.

Deebo Samuel pleas for 49ers to re-sign Emmanuel Sanders in free agency

Deebo Samuel pleas for 49ers to re-sign Emmanuel Sanders in free agency

Before the 49ers officially had lost Super Bowl LIV to the Kansas City Chiefs, tight end George Kittle was already preaching they would be back next year.

But it didn't stop with him.

49ers players throughout the roster already are thinking of everything they can do to make another run at it, and that includes bringing back free-agent receiver Emmanuel Sanders.

Fellow wideout Deebo Samuel made it clear Wednesday on Twitter that he wants to see the 49ers bring back the 32-year-old veteran.

After coming over from the Denver Broncos via trade in October, Sanders excelled with the 49ers. He caught 36 passes for 502 yards and three touchdowns in the regular season, and added five receptions for 71 yards in the postseason.

But Sanders could have been an even more critical part of 49ers lore, had it not been for Jimmy Garoppolo's overthrown pass with less than two minutes remaining in Super Bowl LIV. But it was not meant to be.

Sanders has been open about his love for the team that had just barely missed the championship and has spoken out about those second-guessing him due to his age. 

The receiver laughed at the fact that he has been "flying past 23-year-olds," and exhorted that he still has plenty of good years left in him.

[RELATED: Sanders offers advice to teammates playing in first Super Bowl]

He also embraced the youth the other wide receivers brought to the team, such as Samuel and Kendrick Bourne. Sanders loved the loose vibes of the 49ers' locker room and assisted the younger players in prepping for the big moments of the Super Bowl. 

Deebo surely noticed that and knows he wants his teammate back for the team's quest to make another Super Bowl run next season.

Jeff Wilson Jr. explains why 49ers' running backs are egoless, tight knit

Jeff Wilson Jr. explains why 49ers' running backs are egoless, tight knit

The 49ers found the perfect answer for a running back by committee approach in 2019. There wasn't one star in the rotation, yet they had the second-most rushing yards in the NFL with 2,305. 

They all have the same thing in common: At one point or another, each of San Francisco's running backs have been counted out. They all have an underdog's mentality. And yet, they're all extremely unselfish. 

"In our room, if you check our pasts, all of us have a similar background," 49ers running back Jeff Wilson Jr. said Wednesday morning to Steve Wyche on NFL Network's "NFL All Access." "We all come from an undrafted past where we had to take the back road. And all that helps us because we know what each other's going through. If one person's going through it, then one person's been through it.

"And for me, I'm just now entering into it. All those guys have been through the same similar situations, so we feed off each other. I feel like that alone has helped our bond to become stronger." 

Wilson went undrafted in the 2018 NFL Draft. Raheem Mostert, the 49ers' leading rusher, went undrafted in the 2015 draft. Same goes with Matt Breida in 2017. 

Tevin Coleman (third round in 2015) and Jerick McKinnon (third round in 2014) were the only running backs in the 49ers' film room who once were drafted. McKinnon has missed the last two seasons with knee injuries, but Wilson still mentioned him among the group. 

Wilson played in 10 regular-season games in 2019 and rushed for only 105 yards, however, he scored four rushing touchdowns, good for third on the team. He also scored one receiving touchdown, and had a 20-yard reception in the 49ers' Super Bowl LIV loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. 

[RELATED: 49ers have solid running backs, but group lacks something]

While Wilson is a part of a deep running back group, he's using a message from Mostert to stay motivated. Mostert took him to breakfast when Wilson first joined the 49ers and told his younger teammate, "It's gonna be a long road. You just gotta keep your head down and know what you're capable of on the inside and never let nobody deter you from that, and you'll be fine."

That seems to be the message throughout the 49ers' running backs. So far, the perseverance has paid off for this group.