Okay, the draft is Thursday, and not a minute too soon. Now, I must say that I still think our 49ers take a WR in the first. However, I do think we could go defense in the fist also. I also don't think that Baalke will be trading up or down unless the deal is ridiculously in our favor, which could – and has – happen given the new rookie scale. So here it is:
1st – Stephen Hill. No change for me here. I just think the WR spot cost this team way too much in 2011 to think that Manningham and Moss could solve it. BUT, if Baalke go defense I think it will be DT/NG Dontari Poe (if he falls) or DE Andre Branch. I think DE is a strong possibility given the age of Justin Smith. Plus, the 3-4 needs a run stuffing 2-gapper. I like Soap, but behind him there's nothing in that like that.
2nd – George Iloka, FS, Boise St. I still think FS is a need behind Goldson, especially if he wants Ft. Knox like I think he wants. Iloka could learn for a year and start next season if Goldson decides not to sign next season. But if we don't get a WR in the 1st we get one here in Alshon Jeffery, Mohamed Sanu, or Brian Quick, in that order of availability. I think all three of those guys can come in and compete for the #2 spot. Would like Reuben Randle here but I think he'll be long gone at this point.
3rd – Josh Kaddu, OLB, Oregon. This is one mean, intense and extremely physical kid. NFL LB written all over him. "Killer instinct" is attached to him. He would be a perfect for our style of defense. And I think he's gonna be a ST ace. With Haralson reaching the low-end of his career I think it's a good idea to draft a kid like Kaddu to groom. If Kaddu isn't available then we go CB Alfonzo Dennard here. I had us taking RB Robert Turbin at this spot. But I think with the addition of Jacobs I don't think we have to address this position at all in this draft.
4th – Chris Greenwood, CB, Albion. Don't sleep on the D-III schools (remember Pierre Garcon from Mount Union?). He ran 4.34 at Michigan's Pro day. He impressed a lot of scouts at the East-West Shrine game. He's a very teachable and coachable big physical corner who can match up better against the NFL's big WR's.Decent in man coverage, but will need to be coached up. Ton of upside. He's gonna make somebody's team. Why not ours. We can never have enough good corners. If not him then CB Chase Minnifield of Virginia.
5th – Jacquies Smith, DE, Missouri. With Justin Smith's age we are going to have to address this position in this draft. Missouri is turning into DE U and the 49ers can pluck another good one here.
6th – Akiem Hicks, NT, Regina University, Canada. An absolute monster, 6-4 5/8, 318. I think he's a diamond in the rough. Not much American intell on him accept he has passion for the game, swallowing tackler, will have to learn to play with better leverage, and he's very raw. Really good at shedding blockers. Huge upside. If V. Fangio and Jim Tomsula can gets their hands on this kid they can mold him into a real force. Could turn into a lighter Gilbert Brown with good coaching. Sopoaga is 30. So we need to begin grooming his replacement. Again, the 3-4 needs a run stuffing 2-gapper to be successful.
7th – Sean Richardson, SS, Vanderbilt. One of the faster safties in the draft (4.52-40). VERY good in run support. Hard hitter. Always finds himself around the ball. Will need to learn to play better in space in the NFL. Would be a great backup to Whitner.
This addresses our needs. I doubt we trade down. But we could trade up because we just don't have many positions open. About 43 or so positions are basically locks. But if the draft went like this I think all 7 make the team. I really don't think that OG is as big a need as many think. We addressed that in last year's draft, so I have faith in JH's ability to develop Kilgore into the starter. I think Kilgore surprises many this season. You may notice this is heavy on the D side of the ball. But other than WR, which I think we address in this draftt, I really think the O roster is pretty set as well, with depth on the OL, RB, QB and soon to be WR. With a true offseason and returning coaching staff this offense is set to take major strides this season. I think our defense needs depth at many positions. Plus, with the league handcuffing the D so much depth on D is becoming massively important.