Initially, I had thought that all of the Niners picks were too many, but this mock is focused on letting some of the aging veterans walk and filling the gaps with rookies for depth. This team needs to keep its core, but it definitely needs some young depth. Some of the players who will walk in FA may return compensatory picks in 2014
Lost in FA:
Alex Smith: 2014 3rd, upgraded to 2nd for performance
1st Round: Sharrif Floyd
Florida DT 6-3 303 5.17
Floyd played DE at Florida. He's not very fast, but he's got power to help set the edge and collapse the pocket.
Alternate pick: Kawann Short
Purdue DT 6-3 315 5.16
I think the Niners would have to trade up to get him.
2nd Round: Bacarri Rambo
Georgia FS 6-0 210 4.54
I really want Brandon Williams here, but I don't think Rambo will be there in the 3rd. The Niners defense did not record nearly as many INT as last year. Rambo has issues, but he is a true ball hawk. I'm imagining Rambo and Goldson in the back field.
3rd Round (Panthers): Aaron Colvin
Oklahoma CB 6-0 182 4.47
The Niners have been successful drafting CB later in the draft, but I think they need to commit to upgrading their secondary. I'd love to get a taller CB but I like Colvin's game.
3rd Round (Niners): Joseph Fauria
UCLA TE 6-7 255 4.82
Huge target that can help move the chains and help improve red zone success.
Alternate pick: Travis Kelce
Cincinnati TE 6-5 260 4.68
3rd Round (comp): Stedman Bailey
West Virginia WR 5-10 195 4.49
I really want a tall WR, but Bailey is a play maker. The Niners don't have time to let another WR develop on an AJ Jenkins time line. Bailey is polished and could be ready to step in and contribute.
4th Round: Michael Buchanan
Illinois DE 6-5 240 4.75
There is a good chance he's gone before this pick. The Niners need some depth at OLB, and Buchanan seems to have a game that could contribute.
5th Round: Joe Kruger
Utah DE 6-6 280 4.89
Many fans like Hunt due to his freak athleticism and incredible potential. Kruger's performance at the combine many raise him much higher than a 5th round pick, but if he's still on the board, he seems like a decent player to roll the dice on.
Alternate pick: Baker Steinkuhler
Nebraska DT 6-5 290 4.98
5th Round: Brandon Kaufman
Eastern Washington WR 6-4 214 4.58
Taking Bailey earlier is possible because there are so many tall WR in this draft. Kaufman played against sub-par competition, but he also had big games against teams like Washington, Washington State, Idaho and Nevada. Kaufman averaged six receptions for 116.25 yards and scored three touchdowns in these games.
Alternate pick: Rodney Smith
Florida St. WR 6-5 219 4.63
6th Round: Braxston Cave
Notre Dame C 6-3 305 5.18
I'm not sure if Cave is any better than the project centers that the Niners already have on their rosters. I'm also not sure if he'll fall so far in the draft. But if he's there, this is a low risk/decent reward pick.
6th Round: Cierre Wood
Notre Dame RB 6-0 215 4.48
Many sites rank Wood as one of the most under-rated RB in this draft. The Niners need a bigger back to challenge Dixon for a roster spot. I looked at smaller, faster FB as an option to fill this spot, but I didn't see anyone who could fill a Toby Gerhart type role.
7th Round: Gilbert Pena
Mississippi DT 6-2 338 5.42
This is very, very late to be taking a NT, but hopefully a starter will be found in FA. Pena is a big, wide body. He'd have to compete with Williams on the depth chart.