JJ Arcega-Whiteside

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.

Sun Bowl: Why 49ers, Raiders fans should watch Stanford vs. Pittsburgh


Sun Bowl: Why 49ers, Raiders fans should watch Stanford vs. Pittsburgh

The 49ers and Raiders are both in need of a big wide receiver who is a reliable target in the open field, and especially the red zone. 

And they can look no further than their own backyard. 

When Stanford squares up with Pittsburgh on the morning of New Year's Eve in the Sun Bowl, both Bay Area teams should be watching Cardinal wide receiver JJ Arcega-Whiteside. 

JJ Arcega-Whiteside, WR (Stanford)

Stanford (8-4) didn't live up to expectations this season by any means. The Cardinal came into the year ranked as the No. 13 team in the country in the preseason AP Top 25 poll. Perhaps the biggest bright spot was Arcega-Whiteside. 

Standing at 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds, the senior is a touchdown waiting to happen. Throw it up and he'll go get it. 

Going into the Sun Bowl, Arcega-Whiteside is third in the FBS with 14 touchdown receptions in 11 games played. He's done so in one or two games less than the two players ahead of him. 

Arcega-Whiteside was also Pro Football Focus' fourth-ranked wide receiver in college this year. 

On Day 2 of the draft, Jimmy Garoppolo or Derek Carr could get the touchdown target they desperately need.

Here’s how 49ers and Raiders fans can watch Stanford play Pittsburgh in the Sun Bowl:

When: Monday, Dec. 31, at 11:00 a.m. PT
TV Channel: CBS
Live Stream: CBS Sports App