2016 NFL Mock Draft: February edition
7th Pick – San Francisco 49ers (5-11)
Eli Apple – CB
Ohio State – Redshirt Sophomore
6-1, 200 Pounds
Most of all fandoms will not agree on the Chip Kelly hiring, let me go ahead and remind you, before you get into that offense that won Kelly games, you need to address a defense that needs help. I get the need for help on the offensive line, and for good reason. The 49ers should not be starting Eric Pears or Trenton Brown at right tackle. Honestly, I think a major overhaul is needed. Let’s focus on the fact that the 49ers gave the starting cornerback job to Kenneth Acker and Tramaine Brock, not a good combination. That’s the reason I gave the 49ers a corner instead of a possible quarterback or offensive lineman.
Eli Apple plays with a high intensity, being apart of the Ohio State championship winning team of last year, he showed big upside with his ability to take away the opposite teams best receiver. Apple is solid at his core, seems very agile, and could be a day one starter for the 49ers. Eli seems very talented at locating the ball at the highest point, finds ways to shadow a receiver all throughout the game, and uses his hands very well. Although, he has been very unable to craft his game quite yet, he is a very raw player who needs some help in the back-end. That’s why the 49ers need a veteran in free agency.
If not for a great linebacker corps (mainly Navarro Bowman and Aaron Lynch) and solid quarterback play (Blaine Gabbert), the 49ers would have probably only won 2 or 3 games last year. They need a rebuild year, but seem very impatient with giving Chip Kelly and Trent Baalke too much time. I think Eli Apple could be a star in the league, just needs a little assistance in the development.
Player Comparison: Sean Smith – Kansas City Chiefs
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