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We recently ran a poll asking San Francisco 49ers fans to vote for their favorite 2013 49ers draft pick. Between April 25th and 27th, the 49ers selected eleven players in the NFL Draft. That number is large considering that the 49ers, who are coming off of a Super Bowl appearance, already have a stacked roster. So the training camp battles this offseason should be very interesting. Below are the top 5 fan favorite selections by the 49ers.
#5 - TE Vance McDonald of Rice
2.99% of votes
McDonald was mostly used as a slot receiver during his college career with Rice. During his senior year, 28 of his 36 receptions were for first downs.
Gil Brandt, who is based in Texas and is the former Dallas Cowboy's Vice President of Player Personnel, recently said that he ranked McDonald as the second best tight end in the NFL Draft. He had only Notre Dame's Tyler Eifert ranked higher. "This is an excellent athlete. He's big, and he's fast and I thought he was the second best tight end out there," said Brandt.
There was some confusion among fans when the 49ers moved down 6 spots from 2 to 8 in the second round, passing on Stanford tight end Zach Ertz and then taking McDonald with the 23rd selection in the second round. By many, Ertz, who was taken by the Philadelphia Eagles right after the 49ers' original pick, was considered the next best tight end available.
During his career with the Owls, McDonald had 119 receptions for 1,504 yards and 15 touchdowns. He will likely replace Delanie Walker, who left for the Tennessee Titans in free agency.
#4 - WR Quinton Patton of Louisiana Tech
10.86% of votes
Patton has already made a good impression on his new head coach and has quickly become a fan favorite. Earlier in the week, after being drafted by the 49ers on Saturday, Patton flew from Nashville to San Francisco and was headed to the team's Santa Clara facility when he decided to give the 49ers a call and let them know that he was almost there. Patton was so excited to join his new team that he paid for the whole trip himself. The problem was that he was not allowed to join the team until the rookie mini-camp. Had he made it to the team's facility, he would not have been allowed to participate. Patton had to be told to turn around.
While his eagerness nearly cost him some time with his new team, it made him one of Jim Harbaugh's favorite rookies. "The fact that he would buy his own ticket, fly out here, just speaks volumes about him," said Harbaugh.
In two seasons with the Bulldogs, Patton had 183 receptions for 2,594 yards and 24 touchdowns. In 2012, he earned first-team All-WAC honors and second-team All-American honors with his 104 catches for 1,392 yards and 13 touchdowns.
With Michael Crabtree and Anquan Boldin set as the likely starters for the 49ers, Patton will have to compete with Mario Manningham, Kyle Williams, and A.J. Jenkins for playing time.
#3 - FS Eric Reid of LSU
21.39% of votes
Four years ago, Reid was recruited by Jim Harbaugh at Stanford. Instead, he decided to go to LSU where he would become a two-time All-American. Last Thursday, with the 18th overall selection in the NFL Draft, Harbaugh was finally able to reel in his safety.
The 49ers became light at the safety position when Dashon Goldson decided to leave the team for greener pastures and signed a big contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Reid, a big and physical safety, will try to fill the void on defense.
In each of his three years with the Tigers, Reid had 2 interceptions and combined all 6 for 104 return yards.
Reid was a member of the Southeastern Conference academic honor roll. When it came time to walk onto the Radio City Music Hall stage after being drafted by the 49ers, he carried his daughter up with him to meet the Commissioner of the NFL.
#2 - DE Cornellius "Tank" Carradine
27.14% of votes
Carradine's NFL Draft stock dropped after he underwent surgery on his right knee in November to repair a torn ACL. "There's nothing wrong with my knee, and there are no long-term things that I think will go wrong with my knee because I'm healthy," said Carradine after being selected by the 49ers on the second day of the 2013 NFL Draft.
At his pro day, Jim Tomsula, the 49ers' defensive line coach, had dinner with Carradine. After trading down from the second pick in the second round to the eigth pick, the 49ers selected Carradine. The team is expected to be cautious with him and probably will not have him participate on the field until training camp.
Carradine signed with Illinois out of high school, but was forced to enroll at Butler Community College due to academic issues. After two years, he was heavily recruited and eventually decided to attend Florida State to finish out his college career.
49ers General Manager Trent Baalke has said that Carradine, who now weighs in at 290 lbs, would play along the defensive line and not at outside linebacker.
During his two years with the Seminoles, Carradine had 94.5 tackles and 16.5 sacks.
#1 - RB Marcus Lattimore of South Carolina
32.08% of votes
Lattimore is one of the more intriguing selections in the 2013 NFL Draft. Largely considered to be the most talented running back available, he suffered two devastating injuries during his college career at South Carolina. In 2011, he tore his left ACL and in October of 2012, he suffered a dislocated right knee and three torn ligaments against Tennessee. Both injuries prematurely ended each of his seasons. The latest injury hurt his NFL Draft stock and he fell to the end of the fourth round, where the 49ers selected him.
Lattimore is widely seen as a possible replacement for an aging Frank Gore. The 49ers are so loaded at running back, that if Lattimore were unable to play this season, the team would be just fine. In fact, his own goal was to be ready to put on pads again in 3 to 4 months. However, the 49ers want him to slow down and make sure that he gets 100% healthy. With Gore, Kendall Hunter, LaMichael James, and Anthony Dixon already on the roster, the 49ers have no need to rush Lattimore back onto the field.
It was Gore that encouraged Lattimore after his latest injury. "He knew he could come back from what he had and he worked hard and was determined. He told me to keep that positive mindset, and that's what I've been doing these past five, six months," said Lattimore.
Lattimore had 2,677 rushing yards on 555 attempts and 38 rushing touchdowns during his 3 years with the Gamecocks. Despite his two injuries, his 38 rushing touchdowns and 41 total touchdowns are both school records.
Which 49ers selection are you most excited about? Leave a comment and let us know.