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Top Five Players at their Position for 2011: Pre-Season Picks

Before the season begins, it's important to know who to look out for. I'm not going to give you the common people's list, which the media or others may view as the "top" -- but rather, who really to pay attention to.

These are obviously going to change by draft time, but in regards to 49ers' possible targets, let's preview the upcoming draft eligibles and the best likely to be available. Here we go:

OFFENSE


Quarterback:
1. Jake Locker, Washington
2. Christian Ponder, Florida St.
3. Ryan Mallet, Arkansas*
4. Pat Devlin, Delaware
5. Jerrod Johnson, Texas A&M

Running back:
1. Mark Ingram, Alabama*
2. DeMarco Murray, Oklahoma
3. Montel Harris, Boston College*
4. Noel Devine, West Virginia
5. Kendall Hunter, Oklahoma St.

Tight End:
1. Weslye Saunders, South Carolina (his first name is indeed spelled like that)
2. Luke Stocker, Tennessee
3. Jeffrey Anderson, UAB
4. Charlie Gantt, Michigan St.
5. Mike McNeill, Nebraska

Wide Receiver:
1. A.J. Green, Georgia*
2. Julio Jones, Alabama*
3. Michael Floyd, Notre Dame*
4. Jonathan Baldwin, Pitt*
5. DeAndre Brown, Southern Miss*

Tackle:
1. Matt Reynolds, BYU*
2. Gabe Carimi, Wisconsin
3. Anthony Castonzo, Boston College
4. Lee Ziemba, Auburn
5. Marcus Cannon, TCU

Center:
1. Mike Pouncey, Florida
2. Stefen Wisniewski, Penn St.
3. Colin Baxter, Arizona
4. Ryan McMahon, Florida St.
5. Zane Taylor, Utah

Guard:
1. Rodney Hudson, Florida St.
2. John Moffit, Wisconsin
3. Benjamin Ijalana, Villanova
4. Justin Boren, Ohio St.
5. Steve Schilling, Michigan


DEFENSE

3-4 Defensive End:
1. Cameron Heyward, Ohio St.
2. Marvin Austin, North Carolina
3. Jared Crick, Nebraska*
4. Adrian Clayborn, Iowa
5. Allen Bailey, Miami

3-4 Nose Tackle:
1. Jerrell Powe, Mississippi
2. Kendrick Ellis, Hampton
3. Phil Taylor, Baylor
4. Anthony Gray, Southern Miss
5. Cory Grant, TCU

Inside Linebacker:
1. Don'ta Hightower, Alabama*
2. Chris Galippo, USC
3. Mike Mohamed, California
4. Quan Sturdivant, North Carolina
5. Korey Williams, Southern Miss*

3-4 OLB:
1. Robert Quinn, North Carolina*
2. Akeem Ayers, UCLA*
3. Von Miller, Texas A&M
4. Jack Crawford, Penn St.*
5. Adrian Robinson, Temple

Cornerback:
1. Prince Amukamura, Nebraska
2. Ras-I Dowling, Virginia
3. Patrick Peterson, LSU*
4. Rashad Carmichael, Virginia Tech
5. Kendrick Burney, North Carolina

Free Safety:
1. Deunta Williams, North Carolina
2. Raheem Moore, UCLA*
3. Robert Sands, West Virginia*
4. Chris Culliver, South Carolina
5. Blake Gideon, Texas*

Strong Safety:
1. DeAndre McDaniel, Clemson
2. Mark Barron, Alabama*
3. Jermale Hines, Ohio St.
4. Ahmad Black, Florida
5. Devonte Shannon, Buffalo

[ Edited by OnTheClock on Apr 29, 2010 at 14:45:05 ]
Adrian Clayborn
Mike Mohamed and Andrew Luck

Originally posted by ads_2006:
Mike Mohamed and Andrew Luck


I know everyone loves Luck.. but I'll wait for the first 4 games or so before I bump him up. He sits at #6 on the list for now.
Glad to see Christian Ponder high on the list. I think he has the tools to become an NFL QB.
Just give me a DT and a CB
i want a dominate DE opposite of justin smith in this draft either that or an OLB but id perfer a good 3-4 DE
Would love to pick up Pat Devlin at the end of the first round (even a trade-up if we thankfully go deep into the playoffs). Devlin probably has the best touch/mechanics of the entire top-5, he's a Joe Flacco waiting to happen!
Originally posted by OnTheClock:
Originally posted by ads_2006:
Mike Mohamed and Andrew Luck


I know everyone loves Luck.. but I'll wait for the first 4 games or so before I bump him up. He sits at #6 on the list for now.

Really? I would think he would atleast be as valued as Pat Devlin. He's got a terrific arm, accuracy, mobility, pocket presence, and leadership. If he improves on last year he should be the clearcut number 1.
Galippo might not even start for SC this year. He's in a dogfight for his spot with Devon Kennard, and right now Kennard has the edge. I think Galippo will end up starting, due to his experience, but it's going to be close.
That's alot of tarheels. Man, are they gonna actually show some better results on the scoreboard?

[ Edited by kronik on Apr 28, 2010 at 15:49:51 ]
we really need a CB (at least just to inject some youth) and I reckon a Dline or pass rusher with the first two picks.
Originally posted by kunged:
we really need a CB (at least just to inject some youth) and I reckon a Dline or pass rusher with the first two picks.

barring any major draft day falls or surprise play from some players this year
OTC, what is your take on QB Dayne Crist ND? I expect a great season from him, despite recovering from an acl injury.
Originally posted by Thorhawk:
Adrian Clayborn