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OTC's First Mock of 2012

Draft grades are slowly starting to become clearer and clearer, although we still have All-Star games and the combine to come. There are some new names I expect to pop up at that time. Right now, I think most of us can agree the 49ers have pressing needs at OL, DB, OLB, and WR. It remains to be seen what we'll do in free agency, and I've seen everyone speculate that we'll sign a CB or WR in free agency, but there's no guarantee we decide to spend big. In any case, regardless of FA, competition brings out the best in players, and I wouldn't be surprised to see us go into the pre-season stacked at a couple positions. Anyways, here we go.

49ers to bring back:
QB Alex Smith - Goes without saying, really.
WR Morgan - Bring back one of the more trusted options by our QB.
WR Ginn - Valuable ST player. Don't overpay, but try to get him back.
CB Rogers - Best starting corner we have, currently. Lock him up for the near future.
FS Goldson - Franchise him if need be. We have no developing safeties and this year's FA and Draft crop are both weak. Next year's is quite good.
FS Spillman - Very valuable ST player and solid backup.
ILB Costanzo - Another valuable ST player.
OLB Brooks - he may not have all-star numbers, but he has very solid production and does a lot on the field that goes beyond the stats. He's very important to this team's defensive success.

49ers 2012 NFL Draft

1. Peter Konz-C-Wisconsin, 6-5 315 5.16
Konz is a guy that would immediately start on this team at RG, even if Snyder were to re-sign. I think the 49ers would have a hard time passing on a guy that could immediately upgrade one of the weakest areas of the team -- the interior of the line. How many times have we seen strong pass-rushing teams go right after the middle of our OL and blow up the center and RG for instantaneous sacks? Konz, bigger and stronger than Snyder, would stonewall such attacks. We are no longer a rebuilding team. Konz is the best center in this class and comes from a program that spits out some of the most well-coached and NFL ready linemen in the nation. He is a big reason that NFL prospects QB Russell Wilson and RB Montee Ball are able to have the success they have.

2. Andre Branch-OLB-Clemson, 6-4 260 4.77
Branch I believe would be a strong target for the 49ers as he is somewhat similar to Aldon Smith in that he brings the versatility of playing down on the ground and standing up, and he plays with great length and leverage which helps him push back opposing linemen. At Clemson he has lined up both at DE and OLB, so unlike Aldon, he already has a fair amount of experience dropping into coverage. If we lose Brooks, we'll need another starter, and Branch is someone who would be able to contribute early. Even if Brooks stays, we still only have 3 OLB. Branch brings both run-stuffing and pass-rush ability. With our team in need of more pass-rushers (Haralson is mainly used on running downs), Branch would make sense for us. This year, he finished his stellar year with 17 TFL and 10.5 sacks with 1 FF.

3. Stephen Hill-WR-Georgia Tech, 6-4 206 4.57
What do pretty much all our WRs have in common? They can block like madmen. But what are they missing? Downfield playmaking ability and the size to outmatch and outleap corners or safeties. Hill is a strong blocker coming from a run-heavy triple-option Georgia Tech system and he will come to the NFL raw with a limited route tree, but like Demaryius Thomas, he has playmaking ability and the physical stature of an NFL receiver. Knowing our tendency to look at potential, it wouldn't surprise me if we looked to grab Hill because of him being a fit already for what we want to do in the run game. I could see us thinking he could bring us what Edwards wasn't able to in the passing game. Despite being in an extremely run heavy system with a QB that is nothing to write home about, Hill put up 820 yards and 5 TDs on 29 catches, for an eye-popping nearly 30 yard average per catch.

4. Ryan Steed-CB-Furman, 5-11 190 4.52
Okay, so I'm guessing not many have heard his name, but don't be shocked if he starts getting talked about much more in the near future. Steed has been a straight-up playmaker his entire career at Furman with back-to-back-to-back years with four interceptions and 14 for his career, 3 of which he returned for touchdowns. He also had 4 forced fumbles over the past three seasons. Steed has already garnered enough attention to warrant participation in the Senior Bowl, where he will get his chance to shine among the best Senior prospects this year. The 49ers have no qualms looking into small school talent (Kilgore, Person) so I would not be shocked to see them select Steed. At this point, other small-schooler Trumaine Johnson will likely no longer be available, as his 6-2 200+ size and speed combo and production at Montana has recently shot him up into 2nd round consideration. Steed may not have that size, but he has good speed and compares very closely to another top CB in this class -- Vanderbilt's Casey Hayward. Steed has been a consensus AP All American selection in back to back years.

5. Jaye Howard-DE-Florida, 6-3 303 5.02
Think Ray McDonald. SEC defensive players are always argued as the best in the nation, and Howard helps support that reputation. Explosive and versatile, Howard would help provide a strong rotation on our DL. Howard's play this year will be rewarded as he will get a chance to raise his stock in Mobile at the Senior Bowl. He finished this season with 10 TFL, 5.5 sacks, and 2 fumble recoveries (1 for a TD). If Howard is no longer available here, I would think Nevada DE Brett Roy should get STRONG consideration. Roy was a monster for Nevada (17.5 TFL, 10 sacks, 6 passes batted down) and could be considered a poor man's Justin Smith.

6. Robert Golden-FS-Arizona, 5-11 200 4.54
When you watch this kid play, you see a lot of WOW moments. Some are good "wow" .. some are bad "wow" .. His aggressive style can often pay those kinds of dividends. Golden is often considered overly aggressive which can lead to blown assignments. With proper teaching, he could become a really good player though, considering his violent hitting ability and sensational closing speed on the football. Golden would replace the versatility of Reggie Smith while at the same time being a tremendous upgrade in speed and tackling ability. He has starting experience at every position in the secondary, playing full seasons at free safety, corner, and strong safety at Arizona. Like Culliver, the 49ers could ultimately decide he should play CB instead of safety, but many scouts believe Golden's skill set suits him best where he can see the field in front of him. If you'd like to see some of the potential of Golden, you can view a video here:

7. Micah Pellerin-CB-Hampton, 6-0 195 4.49
Another small school corner who has been a lights out player at his level. He's a D-I transfer (from Southern Miss), and put up 4 interceptions this year to go along with 15 PBU's, which marked back to back years of 14+ pass break-ups. This year he stepped up his game in run support, chipping in 4.5 tackles for loss as well. Pellerin's clear potential and skill set are unlikely to go unnoticed, especially when coupled with the fact that he has NFL size and speed at 6-0 195 and expectations of clocking in the 4.4's. His outstanding career has bought him a trip to the East-West Shrine All-Star game coming up here soon and Pellerin could go much, much higher than this if he performs well there.


Depth Chart Quick-look:

WR - Crabtree, Morgan, Hill*, Williams, Ginn
OG - Iupati, Konz, Kilgore, Person
C - Goodwin, Konz

DE - McDonald, J.Smith, Dobbs, Howard*
OLB - Brooks, Aldon, Haralson, Branch*
CB - Rogers, Culliver, Brown, Steed*, Pellerin*
FS - Goldson, Spillman, Golden*
SS - Whitner, Colin Jones
Brilliant research as usual, Clock...and a pleasure to read.

Would love to have the draft unfold this way... Also seems like a draft approach that fits Baalke's style too.

  • Wodwo
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 8,104
I like this mock, it seems like you've got all the bases covered.

While I don't mind taking a lineman in the first, it just seems crazy considering how many high picks we've spent at the position. I like Konz from what I've read because of his versatility... he could play guard for now and replace Goodwin in the future.

I know this is a little off topic for a mock draft, but what do you think would be a better option: Signing a FA veteran guard and drafting a WR high or signing a FA vet WR and drafting a lineman high?

I've just been bouncing that thought around in my head. If your mock draft pans out, we're covered anyway, but I'm just curious what your opinion is.
So just to be clear you have us letting Grant walk without a tender? Also I thought we were using Person at OT not OG?

First Konz, if available ( I don't think he will be) would love the pick. Should he have any medical issues at the Combine? If Konz is gone who is you next guy? OLB in the 2nd is a good idea especially with the ? with Brooks, even if he is back we still need more guys. Any thoughts on Bruce Irvin? Hill I have seen ranked all over the place so without any combine numbers I cant argue the placement. Now going back to Grant any thoughts of looking for another ILB this year? Would it make sense to go after a guy who will be the primary backup or a #4 CB...somebody like Acho for instance? Howard is a solid pick and cant complain, we need the depth and a little competition for primary backup.

Any players you would stay 100% away from this year?
I have alot of respect for your input regarding the draft, but I have to admit I'm surprised at the lack of offensive weapons drafted. Depending on what kind of FA, we dont add another TE or starting quality WR via the draft.

I get that Konz will help our line and our run game, and usually I like upgrades on the line, but we Need another playmaker so bad. Picking WR in the 1st isn't always the smartest move, but we really need an Alshon Jeffrey type of WR or best DB in the 1st.
not sure if i like the first 2 picks. i think we need to get positions of need in round 1 and 2. i dont think C and OLB are high on the list.
OLB is very arguable imo, too. I think that OTC took him with the assumption that Brooks wont be with us anymore. Like he stated, even with Brook we would have 3 starters, one of them is not a pass-rusher (Haralson). If we can get an upgrade over Haralson in terms of pass-rushing ability AND a guy who can defend against the run very well, go get him.
Plz dont forget that Haralson was a weakness in previous seasons. Who said that he isnt one anymore? If we can improve our OLB-Corbs, we will be a terror for every QB in this league.

But I dont see an argument against a Center or a Guard. OTC is absolutely right about the pass protection-weakness in the interior of our o-line. Neither Goodwin and especially nor Snyder are strong in that area at all. I have seen a lot of pass-rush against our o-line through the middle and I dont want to see it again. If Konz can upgrade Snyder, we will have to pull the trigger.
Good Guards and Centers dont grow on trees, WRs and CBs do, especially in this draft.
[ Edited by communist on Jan 10, 2012 at 6:56 AM ]
Originally posted by niners9:
not sure if i like the first 2 picks. i think we need to get positions of need in round 1 and 2. i dont think C and OLB are high on the list.

We really need to solidify the Oline because there are ? at C and RG. We don't know how much longer Goodwin can go, and Konz would be a good upgrade at RG over Snyder. Also, we do need a WR, but the type we need can be had in the later rounds. I really like this mock!
i want sanu in first round get hill in later rounds

crabtree and sanu will be a solid duo

then have morgan and KW on slot

thats a solid receiving core

  • dj43
  • Moderator
  • Posts: 25,844
While I believe WR is the greatest need, Konz is such a good player that if he were there when the 49ers pick I would not be terribly disappointed if they chose him. As OTC notes, a lot of the pass protection problems this year have come from the front of the pocket collapsing back into Alex. If Konz isn't there, then a big WR is a rather obvious pick if the value is right.

One area in which I disagree is in the secondary: Due to rule changes and the development of tall receivers, I believe it is imperative that the 49ers begin to draft taller DBs. Seattle has already done that and though they have not fully developed their guys, they are set up well to defend against the new wave of tall, athletic wideouts. The suggestion that the DBs in this mock being "only" 6' or shorter does not square with the way I see other teams going on offense. In a passing league with so many of the best receivers being 6'2" or taller I believe size should be given stronger consideration.
A center in the first? Is he really that much better than anyone else available late in the first?

Goodwin is locked up for two years, has been very steady, and he improved as the season wore on,

Kilgore will be ready next year, at center or guard;

Snyder will likely be resigned, and that Stanford kid (Beeler?) might also be available and a year more mature. Center and/or guard doesn't seem to be much of a need.

Plus, Baalke's two OL picks from last season, Kilgore and Person, have had a year in the system and a year in the weight room--I'm betting he goes with them over another draft pick--UNLESS Konz is that much better than anyone else. (In which case he's not likely to be there late in the first.)
This draft is on point. Goodwin needs to be replaced ASAP.
Originally posted by lamontb:
This draft is on point. Goodwin needs to be replaced ASAP.


goodwin has been solid as of last couple games

same with snyder

G is not a first round need

WR and CB are

we have a subpar WR core compared to all of nfl

we are one more CB away from being an elite defensive unit
Originally posted by oldninerdude:
Goodwin is locked up for two years, has been very steady, and he improved as the season wore on,
Who said that? You? He was ok, at best. He will regress due to his age.
Kilgore will be ready next year, at center or guard
I hope that you are right. I prefer double-dipping.
Snyder will likely be resigned, and that Stanford kid (Beeler?) might also be available and a year more mature. Center and/or guard doesn't seem to be much of a need.
It doesnt seem for you but for some other guys like OTC, lamontb or me. I dont want to wait for "maturity" or "ready to start" any longer. That team is in win-mode now. We need reliable starters. Snyder is not reliable, I dont know anything about Beeler, Kilgore or Person either. Perhaps on of Kilgore/Person will be released before the regular season starts b/c their improvement is slower than one thought.
Plus, Baalke's two OL picks from last season, Kilgore and Person, have had a year in the system and a year in the weight room--I'm betting he goes with them over another draft pick--UNLESS Konz is that much better than anyone else. (In which case he's not likely to be there late in the first.)
Enough said, I think.
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