Before you start reading this mock -- understand that this one is fully being compiled based on speculative predictions. Simply put, this mock (as all mocks should be) tries to guess at what McCloughlan intends to do. Keep that in mind.
Drafting simply for need is not a great draft strategy, and I do believe Scottie at the very least knows this, and will draft accordingly. Also...
Things to Consider and Why:
1. Hiring Greg Roman (Stanford's OL coach, who made freshman look like experienced seniors) as our new OL coach. While other coaches make more with less, Foerester produces less with more. We've seen our guys do worse than they ever have before this year.
2. Re-upping Dre Bly or Walt Harris, despite his age, for one more run. We know what Bly can do, and at the very least, Harris can be a great "extra DB" whether at CB or S -- much better than a horrid street-CB like Keith Smith. He'll be cheap, too. Think of him like an old Terrell Buckley, who signed with and helped out a lot of teams late in his career as that extra DB. I know Bly will not want to re-sign for as little.
3. Either retain Sims or Pashos as a back-up OT.
So without further adue, here we go:
2010 NFL DRAFT
1. Trent Williams-OT-Oklahoma, 6-5 318 5.30
I expect Anthony Davis and Russell Okung to be long gone by the time the 13th pick arrives, but at that point, I still expect Trent Williams to be here. While he showcase excellent versatility sliding over to left tackle this season as well as playing center in Oklahoma's Sun Bowl game, Williams noticeably was nowhere near as effective on the left side as he was on the right in previous seasons where he was absolutely dominant. What does that mean for us? Well it's great, because we don't need a left tackle. We need a right one, and Williams fits the bill. Trent shows good balance and a nice punch off the snap to keep defenders at bay. In addition, even against speed rushers, the majority of the time Williams keeps perfect position to get his hands on the defender (the long arms help) to keep them away from the QB. But most of all, Williams forte is run-blocking where he simply washes out opponents with ease, getting his hands deep inside their pads and driving them off the ball with tremendous power. Ladies and gents, Williams (barring a collapse at the combine) will amost surely be the pick if he's sitting here come April. Everyone in the world knows we need a tackle badly, and Williams would be arguably the best player on the board while filling a crucial need for the 49ers.
1. Mike Iupati-OG-Idaho, 6-5 330 5.20
Few, if any players were more dominant than Mike Iupati has been this season, who is hands down the best OG prospect right now, and a top 5 OL overall. He's a team captain, and he's got the look, the size, the strength, the power, the nastiness, the "everything" that you look for in an NFL player. This is why scouts have him tabbed as a 1st-round prospect, and in the second half of the 1st round, we should be in excellent position to select him. There are many big, big, linemen out there, but virtually none of them can move as well as Iupati does at his size. Many scouts see potential for him to be able to play tackle, but if you want maximum bang for your buck, place him at guard and you've got an absolute monster of a player on your hands. Watching him in each game is like watching a man take on small children in a wrestling match. Iupati manhandles opposing players, just throwing them to the ground as if they were mere ragdolls. Everything I see out of Iupati makes me believe he is among that rarest breed of offensive guards and that makes him a top 20 talent. Adding Mike Iupati would bring us a massive anchor at LG for years and years to come. If he's sitting here, it could be nearly impossible to pass on him.
2. Reshad Jones-S-Georgia, 6-2 212 4.45 * JR
Jones reminds me of a much thicker, stronger Sean Smith (drafted R2 by Miami), in that he has excellent hands to make the interception, but unlike Smith, he can lay the hammer on people. Jones is an absolutely outstanding "form tackler" and he wraps up and drives through his opponent just like you are coached to do. I love the way this kid plays. Jones has loads and loads of talent, but he needs to be coached not to gamble quite as much, as you will see him bite on fakes from time to time. Thankfully for us, disciplined play is Singletary's strong suit. Tack on the fact that Jones is not just a nasty hitter, but also a ball-hawk (9 interceptions over the last two seasons, 4 this year and 5 the year prior), you've got yourself a heck of a player who could be ready to start in his first year. With Lewis sustaining 3 concussions in one season, the chances that he makes it all the way through next year without an injury are very, very slim. We must, and likely will address this position early.
3. O'Brien Schofield-OLB-Wisconsin, 6-2 248 4.63
What's so special about Schofield? Easy. His greatest trait is his ability to disengage and shed the blocks of tackles playing End at 6-2 248 pounds for Wisconsin. Schofield already has extensive experience playing linebacker before, so he not only knows how to rush the passer, he also knows how to drop into coverage and play standing-up, making him a perfect fit as a 3-4 pass rusher. You saw in Wisconsin's Bowl Game against Miami that terrific coverage and incredible short-area quickness he possesses. Something that is important to note is that Schofield's fantastic numbers (24.5 Tackles For Loss, 12 sacks, 3 Forced Fumbles, 8 QB Hurries) all came against top-notch competition. He had 2 TFL against previously #4 ranked Iowa at that point in the season, and 2 sacks each against Minnesota, Miami, and Ohio State. This tells us he's no pretender, which could be concerns for guys like Lindsey Witten of UConn who seem to only be dominating lower-level competition. I believe if Schofield has a good showing at the combine, he might rise from his current 3rd round grade up into the middle of the 2nd.
4. Brandon Carter-OG-Texas Tech, 6-6 344 5.42
One of the best guard prospects (who actually has spread pass-blocking experience) who could be had in the middle rounds is Brandon Carter. He was a team captain, but was later stripped of it because of some off-the-field problems. Carter is a guy who I believe is a lot like Vernon, who under Singletary could capture his full potential. His "character issues" could very likely have him landing somewhere around here. Carter is a massive man and extremely strong and carries himself with a nasty mentality. A pile moving mauler for sure, Carter was pretty much the only player to shut down Ndamukong Suh this year, and when you watch him play, he moves deceptively well for a 340+ pound man. While he's not as great of a prospect as his former teammate Vasquez, who was drafted by the Chargers, I believe he could quickly develop into a terrific all around lineman with more good coaching. The one other thing I love about Carter is that despite his size, he doesn't tire out at the end of games.
5. Corey Peters-DE-Kentucky, 6-3 295 4.95
It's simply common sense to expect us to draft an End prospect considering our FA signing Evans did next to nothing, as well as uncertainty surrounding Balmer's season ending injury. Hopefully he can recover, but adding a tremendous talent like Peters, a guy who has room to rise even further, would be highly beneficial for us. Peters stood out in every game I saw him in, displaying fantastic quickness off the snap, as well as a terrific motor and hustle on every play. Peters fires off the ball and has a great first move to create penetration and get into the backfield. To add, Peters is a very smart player, and will get his hands up in passes lanes to knock down passes if he can't get to the QB in time. All these things put together, I believe Corey Peters would be a great fit here. Peters' numbers on the year (this is a tackle, mind you) were 12 TFL, 4 sacks, 1 FF, 5 passes batted down.
6. Joe Pawelek-ILB-Baylor, 6-2 240 4.83
Remember a guy from last year named Nick Reed? Pawelek is much like Reed. Simply a blue-collar kind of guy who gives it his all every game, always showing non-stop hustle out there. Joe plays far faster that he times and although he is not a pass-rusher, his excellent discipline, good tackling, and on-the-field speed make him a highly probable target for the 49ers looking for Ulbrich's special teams replacement. The 49ers always target guys like this in the later rounds, players to fit roles (see: Larry Grant, Bear Pascoe, Curtis Taylor, Ricky Jean-Francois, Marcus Hudson, Bajema, etc.) so that leads me to believe they may already been looking at him. Pawelek picked off six passes last year and had 6 TFL. This year he has modest numbers at 2.5 sacks, 4 TFL, 1 INT.
7. Oliver Young-WR-South Carolina State, 6-0 196 4.47
Yes, I know. "Finally" a kick returner. Not only has Young proven to be an extremely dangerous threat as both a punt and kick returner, he's also a heck of a receiving prospect, and that bodes well for his chances of being drafted. Young has already reportedly garnered interest from 49ers scouts and I would not doubt for a second that we pull the trigger on him late. Young had a fantastic year, racking up 65 catches for 995 yards and 12 touchdowns. In the return game, Young was terrific as well, putting up 218 yards on 12 punt returns (18.2 average) and 548 yards on 21 kick returns with a TD (26.1 average). To sum it all up, Oliver "Tre" Young is a willing blocker and a sure-handed receiver who is an absolute game-breaker in multiple facets of the game. He's a guy we need here, and as I said, 49ers scouts have already reportedly spoken with him. So don't be surprised if Young winds up on our team this April. I'd be ecstatic to have him here.
7. Kevin Thomas-CB-USC, 6-1 190 4.49 (Projected Compensatory pick)
Like we typically do, I can absolutely see Scot waiting until the later rounds to go after a corner. He loves to take defensive backs in the later rounds and develop them and this year, if either Bly or Harris are re-signed, the chances of him doing it again become even greater. I believe Thomas might be on the 49ers radar as one of those developmental guys. Thomas is a tall rangey corner, similar in size to Shawntae Spencer, with good recovery speed to get back and break up the pass. As well, he's also not afraid to get involved in run support and is a pretty smart player. Thomas has plenty of tools to work with and had fairly decent production this year, although he had no picks (last year he had three with one returned for a TD), he broke up 11 passes and put up 2.5 TFL, 1 sack, and 2 forced fumbles. Not bad at all for a late-round guy.
OTC's Quick-Look Projected Depth Chart:
OT - Staley, Sims, Williams*, Snyder
OG - Iupati*, Wragge, Rachal, Carter*
WR - Crabtree, Morgan, Hill, Jones, Young*
DE - Sopoaga, McDonald, Smith, *Peters, Balmer (DE/NT)
OLB - Lawson, Brooks, Haralson, Schofield*
ILB - Willis, McKillop, Pawelek*, Spikes
CB - Clements, Spencer, Bly, Brown, Thomas*
S - Jones*, Goldson, Lewis, R.Smith
[ Edited by OnTheClock on Jan 9, 2010 at 11:28:12 ]