Tonight the 8-1 San Francisco 49ers will head to Baltimore to take on the Ravens. The most interesting story line in this game is probably the fact that the opposing head coaches are brothers. But this is NFLMocks.com where we’re thinking draft the whole year. What kind of players would i expect the 49ers to draft if the draft were today.
The 49ers have a pick in each round, though with the free agent losses of David Baas, Franklin, Manny Lawson and the discount signings of Donte Whtiner and Braylon Edwards I am guessing the 49ers end up with some fairly nice compensatory picks. Maybe two fourths or something.
I’m going to assume the 49ers are picking in the mid to late twenties.
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1st round: Dwight Jones, WR, North Carolina
I think there are two real good options here for the 49ers based on the talent level of this class. They can end up with the bottom end of the tier one for cornerbacks, or the top end of the tier two for wide receivers. In this scenario I go with a WR. The 49ers don’t have a long term investment in Braylon Edwards and Michael Crabtree hasn’t been great this year.
Jones is a big bodied guy who can make plays down the field while Michael Crabtree controls the short to intermediate part of the field. Jones doesn’t have game-breaking speed, but he’s a good player, probably the fourth best WR in this class and the last WR that has good #1 WR potential.
Baron is a versatile a offensive linemen who played of tackle at Alabama, but has also stepped in and has excelled at other positions along the line for the Crimson Tide. The 49ers offense is heavily dependent on the play of it’s offensive line to succeed with Alex Smith at quarterback. With the success the 49ers have had this year too they aren’t going to get a better developmental prospect than Colin Kapernick so they’ll pass there. Jones is the selection if he’s available because he can play anywhere along the line and be a really good guard and above average tackle in the league if he has to step in any point anywhere along the line. This is also a big value pick.
3rd Round: Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington Huskies
Trufant has tremendous upside and is likely to come back next season to the Huskies. If he doesn’t, he could be a coup at this point. He’s an aggressive and talented player who has blazing speed and play making ability. He has to improve his consistency, but Harbaugh should be able to coach him up.
If Trufant returns I was thinking Iowa State cornerback Leonard Johnson who is a under the radar tough and physical cornerback.
4th Round: Brandon Lindsey, OLB, Pittsburgh
It’s possible Lindsey goes higher than this, but he hasn’t had a huge year this year and is still a bit of a conversion project as a 34 OLB. Aldon Smith is clearly the future at one of the OLB spots for the 49ers (in 34 looks) but is Ahmad Brooks a keeper on the other side? I’m not sure. I think Brook is also a free agent. The 49ers don’t have many outside linebackers on their roster so they will be selecting one at some point.
5th Round: Kenjon barner, RB, Oregon
Frank Gore is the man, Kendall Hunter looks very promising as well, but neither player can generate the kind of mis-mathces that the speedy Kenjon Barner can. Barner is a talented player in his own right who is always outshone by teammate LaMichael James. Anthony Dixon has shown some ability, but with Gore’s penchant to get nicked up by injuries and with the run game being so important to the 49ers they can’t afford to not have terrific depth.
A very productive, but undersized linebacker who is all hustle. Harrell will bring depth to the 49ers defensive line. You can never have too much depth along the defensive line.
7th round: Kyle Wilber, OLB, Wake Forest
The 49ers are a pretty good team, but have no depth at a few positions, one of those positions is outside linebacker. It would not be surprising to see the 49ers take multiple outside linebackers in this draft. Wilber hasn’t put up the kind of production you would like to see from a prospect, but he has some upside as an OLB and special teams guy.
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