Alright, folks. Today marks the eve of the NFL Draft. Getting excited yet? I know I am. Well.. I think I've been at that point since the end of last year's draft. But anyways..
I've gotten a few messages requesting a new mock before the draft, and well.. I've decided to give in.
You pesky posters.
This mock will be based on projections from my Final Big 254 board found here: http://www.49erswebzone.com/forum/thread.php?num=154181
Per the numerous requests, here is my 49ers 2011 NFL Draft.
2011 NFL Draft:
1. (7) Prince Amukamara-CB-Nebraska, 6-0 206 4.38
What more can I say about Amukamara? He went into this season as my favorite CB, and he still is. Expectations have been high, and he's met them. A straight-up lockdown corner, Prince is incredibly fundamentally sound. He's a big, physical corner with the size and speed to match up with just about any receiver in the league, and he's a disciplined player which is something we direly need in our secondary. Quarterbacks have stayed away from him this year, which is why he lacks the INT numbers that other corners might have, but when QB's look his way, it's rarely a completion. Amukamara has 13 passes broken up this year and a sack as well. With Patrick Peterson likely off the board by the time we pick, Amukamara, the more polished player anyways, could fall right into our laps.
2. (45) Ricky Stanzi-QB-Iowa, 6-4 223 4.87
Stanzi has intrigued me for the longest time, and early in his career I saw the flashes of brilliance that many of the Hawkeye followers rave about these days. However, I can also say I saw -- especially last year -- a player whose season was riddled with poor decisions in several games. Last year, he had 17 TDs, 15 picks. This year, 25 TDs (at least one in every game) and only 4 INTs. He's got spunk, confidence, swagger and all the things synonymous with those words, to accompany his skill. His footwork this year is greatly improved compared to before and there's no question Stanzi has talent. The only question is this: Was his rebound this year a fluke, or just evidence of immense growth? Stanzi has the upside to star in the NFL, but his peak is really a high 3rd round grade. If the 49ers do not trade up to draft a QB in the 1st, I believe they will take Stanzi here (if he's the best remaining QB). Why? Because look who we have picking behind us -- Oakland, Jacksonville, Indy, KC, and Seattle. If you don't want to blow your chances, you don't dare trade down. Stanzi is going to need some time to get ready for the NFL, but time is what any QB we get this year will receive. I do not expect the 49ers to start a rookie QB, at least not early in the year.
3. (76) Sam Acho-OLB-Texas, 6-2 262 4.68
Obviously, at this point, the 49ers would have to consider drafting a pass-rusher and Acho I'd imagine should be high on the 49ers board. Sam is built much in the mold like Lamar Woodley, as an almost mirror image in size at 6-2 262. Acho surprised scouts with an incredible 3-cone time at the combine for a man his size. A 6.69 in the 3-cone showed Acho has some freakish agility for a 260+ pound guy, and he proved easily that he has the athleticism to play linebacker in the NFL. Acho, a consistent producer for Texas (back to back seasons with at least 13 TFL and 8 sacks) would be a nice fit in San Francisco. Other options we might consider would be local product Chris Carter of Fresno State or Justin Houston if he fell here due to the failed drug test.
4. (108) Denarius Moore-WR-Tennessee, 6-0 194 4.39
While there are a fair amount of other "West Coast Receiver" prospect out there like Pettis, Vincent Brown, and Greg Salas, I think the 49ers will pull the trigger on a guy with a skill set a little different than what we already have on our team -- someone with great speed and quickness. Moore brings a blend of blistering sub-4.4 speed with soft hands, excellent leaping ability to grab the ball at its highest point, and concentration to locate passes coming through traffic. With 47 catches for just under 1000 yards (that's a whopping 21 yard avg. per catch) and 9 TDs, I think Moore would be a good addition to this team.
4. (115) Shane Vereen-RB-Cal, 5-10 210 4.49
It is possible that Vereen does not make it to this spot, due to his great strength and speed measurables showcased at the Combine, but I think there's a good chance he does because of all the other top running backs in this class. Vereen is seen as more of a change-of-pace back who isn't quite as explosive on the field as his timed numbers would indicate. Still, he's an impressive prospect because of his great receiving ability and willingness as a blocker, and I think he will be a 49er target between the 3rd and 4th rounds.
5. (141) Richard Sherman-CB-Stanford, 6-3 195 4.53
Bill Walsh loved big, tall, physical corners and Sherman is just that. He had a terrific Pro-Day, clocking a much better than expected low 4.5 time, with a 37 inch vertical. He has a reputation as a bit of a gambler who can be fooled by receiver moves too easily and misdirection, but his physical tools and production at Stanford could convince teams he can be coached up into a solid starting player. Sherman, a converted WR, racked up 4 interceptions and 13 pass break-ups this season, along with 1 TFL and 2 forced fumbles.
6. (174) Anthony Sherman-FB-Connecticut, 5-10 242 4.74
Sherman is arguably the best fullback in this class. While not an elite pass-catching back, he certainly has skill in this area, he just wasn't used much in this way. It's his blocking that sticks out the most, and in a WCO it is imperative that we have an exceptional blocking FB. UConn runs a run-dominated offense, and we know this by their former prospects Donald Brown, Andre Dixon, and now Jordan Todman this year. Sherman helped pave the way for Todman to have an exceptional year this year, and at the combine blew all the other FB prospects away in the strength category, putting up 32 reps on the bench. Sherman would be a terrific fit for our team.
6. (190) Akeem Dent-ILB-Georgia, 6-1 242 4.76
It's very possible that Dent could see a late rise just before draft day, but if he's here, I think the 49ers would strongly consider him. With McKillop trying to come off multiple torn ligaments, I don't think we can depend on him as the TED of the future. Spikes has little time left and is FA who may not even return. Dent would bring us an explosive player who fits the TED bill very well. He played the ILB position in Georgia's 3-4 defense, after all. Dent is overshadowed by some of the other prospects from the Georgia defense, but he posted outstanding workout numbers in Indy at the combine -- a 37 1/2 inch vertical and 10'3" broad jump, along with impressive agility drill times -- showing he can be an explosive player at the next level. Some scouts even believe he could play OLB on some teams.
7. (211) Jake Kirkpatrick-C-TCU, 6-2 300 5.31
Kirkpatrick's experience could have him develop and play at both the center and guard positions on this team. We all should expect the team to look for a replacement for Rachal in case he still underwhelms this year, and one should expect that replacement would be a G/C type of player. Kirkpatrick was the 2010 Remington Award Winner, which goes to the Top D-I Center in all of college football.
7. (231) Mana Silva-S-Hawaii, 6-1 206 4.43
It's surprising that it took Silva's Pro Day for him to get more attention, where he lit it up with explosive numbers across the board, including a 40-inch vertical and 23 reps on the bench. Silva has posted a whopping FOURTEEN INTERCEPTIONS over the past two seasons, with 8 coming this year. We like to carry at least five safeties on the team, and those eye-popping totals and tremendous athleticism will get him drafted -- if not by us, then by someone else.
7. (239) Anthony Gray-NT-Southern Miss, 6-0 330 5.18
I don't think we can go out of this draft without taking someone to work in at nose tackle. He had a solid year this year with 6 TFL, and 1.5 sacks, and would be a strong developmental guy as a clogger in the middle.
7. (250) Lazarius Levingston-DE-LSU, 6-3 292 4.86
I think Levingston is one of the most under the radar players among late-round prospects. He's a very athletic kid for his near 300-pound size, and played well in his role at LSU. The 49ers landed former LSU DL Ricky Jean-Francois some time ago, and I think they look at another LSU lineman for depth here.
And if you don't wish to read my reports:
1. Prince Amukamara-CB-Nebraska, 6-0 206 4.38
2. Ricky Stanzi-QB-Iowa, 6-4 223 4.87
3. Sam Acho-OLB-Texas, 6-2 262 4.68
4. Denarius Moore-WR-Tennessee, 6-0 194 4.39
4. Shane Vereen-RB-Cal, 5-10 210 4.49
5. Richard Sherman-CB-Stanford, 6-3 195 4.53
6. Anthony Sherman-FB-Connecticut, 5-10 242 4.74
6. Akeem Dent-ILB-Georgia, 6-1 242 4.76
7. Jake Kirkpatrick-C-TCU, 6-2 300 5.31
7. Mana Silva-S-Hawaii, 6-1 206 4.43
7. Anthony Gray-NT-Southern Miss, 6-0 330 5.18
7. Lazarius Levingston-DE-LSU, 6-3 292 4.86
[ Edited by OnTheClock on Apr 27, 2011 at 12:29:41 ]