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Pre-SB Mock

Mock focuses as much as FA signings as on draft picks. Assumes a 3rd rd. comp pick. For draft positions I'm using Matt Miller's big board. I'm not using it for my picks, but just as a guage of where a player is expected to go. While his big board isn't the absolute truth, it does offer a fair blueprint.

Cut/don't re-sign
  • Ice - weakest link of the d-line. Getting old, and doesn't justify his contract
  • Goldson - I love him one play, and then he completely blows his assignment the next. Wants top safety money, and he's not a top safety
  • Carlos Rogers - Good player, but when you're cap strapped, players need to justify their salary. He doesn't.
  • Haralson - see salary vs. production comment above
  • Randy Moss - I don't see this as a niner choice. I think this was Randy's last go
  • Teddy Ginn - I actually like his return skills, but he gives us ZERO on offense
  • Leanord Davis - Get younger. Looney time
  • Perish Cox - He's just not good
  • (a few others: Hagans, McBath, Brock)

Trade
  • Trade Alex Smith to a team drafting in the top 15 (Oak?) for a '14 2nd round pick and '13 4th round pick. Coaches and GMs have little desire to lose their job due to Matt Cassel and Mark Sanchez.

Resign (mostly frugal signings, assuming players take a fairly small contract. With one exception)
  • D. Walker - He can't catch, but he really offers a lot of versatility, and Kaep has a strong connection with him. Versatility is key to this offense.
  • Larry Grant - Played well in '11, and I'm a big fan as a result. He won't require a huge contract, but may opt to leave to fight for a starting spot. Key on special teams.
  • RJF - Great backup, and versatile. Top backup money
  • Tavares Gooden - Low contract, and a key special teams contributor.
  • Kaep - Almost forgot...Kaep may be outplaying his $600K salary

FA
  • Jairus Byrd (S) - This is where the Goldson money goes. He's a top safety, and on a team where player careers are ruined. Big improvement. Seamless transition to playing with Whitner again. He's better than Goldson... by a significant margin.
  • Philip Adams (CB) - drafted by Baalke in the 7th rd just a few years back, Adams had a nice season with Oakland. While they may try to resign him, he may want to sign on with a winner instead. Could compete for the #3 spot.
  • Leodis McKelvin (CB/PR) - seems like I'm trying to rebuild the Bills' secondary here. But Leodis is a player who came out of college with a ton of potential, drafted early in the 1st, and never reached that potential because of crappy coaching in Buffalo. He's also an EXCELLENT return specialist, and would fill in for Ginn. Could compete for the #3 CB spot, be the main returner, and if developed well by the coaching staff, could be a major steal. Still a young player.
  • Josh Johnson (QB) - With Alex being traded away, he is a logical backup. He could again compete for the #2 job, especially since he's more fit for the offense we now run than Tolzein.
Possible FA Consideration
  • Mohamed Massaquoi (WR) - Bad production recently drives down his cost, but looking at season by season regression, one can't help but attribute it to coaching. Could be a good value, and improves WR depth. In a way replaces Moss.

Draft
1. Margus Hunt (DE)- He is raw, but has as much upside as anyone in this draft. Since JS still has a few elite years in him, Hunt can sit and learn for a bit. With the ability to sit, the D-line coach here, and the talent on defense around him, this player will be in an environment to flourish. Could be the next JJ Watt with proper development... ok, noone is actually JJ Watt, but still. Fixes the D-line depth issue, brings in another pass-rusher for passing downs, and sets us up for a smooth transition in the dreaded, post-Justin Smith days.
2. Brandon Williams (NT) - This small school prospect is very intriguing, and also has a ton of upside. He has absolutely dominated the lower level of competition he's faced, and would be ready to start pretty early in his NFL career. Could compete in training camp with RJF for the start. This is a player we may have to trade up for come draft day, if he performs well at the combine. Some have pointed out that we don't play a ton of base downs, and I think Sopoaga is a large reason for that. I think the team knows that he is the weak link on the d-line, and choses to minimize him. Williams could Anchor the line and actually draw double teams.
3. (from CAR) Brandon Jenkins (OLB) - Thought of as a 1st round pick before his season ended pre-maturely, Jenkins offers good value here, and could be a situational pass rusher. Very good college production.
3. (trade up along with 5th and 7th rd. picks) Dennard Robinson (WR) - I love this pick for our team. Getting excited thinking of what G-Ro could dial up with Dennard and Kaep on the field at the same time.
3. (comp) Dustin Hopkins (K) - Considered the top kicker this year, Hopkins could go as early as the 4th. Since our pick is late, we use the extra comp pick to over-draft our biggest need (BY FAR!)
4. Blidi Wreh-Wilson (CB) - Another big corner to add to the mix. Positive reviews out of Mobile so far. Competes with Adams and McKelvin for the #3 spot. Could eventually be a starter.
4. (From Alex trade) - Trade for a '14 3rd rd. pick. Alex now nets a 2nd and 3rd in '14.
5. (From Indianapolis, used in Robinson pick)
5. Joseph Fauria (TE) - The UCLA TE is a huge red zone target.
6. Marquis Wilson (WR) - Big time player before quitting earlier this year due to issues with the football program. Dropped many rounds, but the skill is still there. Adds to depth and competes for a spot.
7. (Comp) OL Depth
7. (Comp) OL Depth
7. (Comp) OL Depth

QB- Kaep, JJ, Tolzein
RB - Gore, Hunter, James, Dixon
FB - Miller
OT - Staley, Davis, draft pick, draft pick
OG - Iupati, Boone, Looney
C - Goodwin, Kilgore
WR - Crabtree, Manningham, Dennard, Jenkins (maybe), Williams, Wilson
TE - VD, Walker, Fauria
DE - JS, McDonald, Hunt, Dobbs
NT - Brandon Williams, RJF
ILB - PW, Bowman, Michael Wilhoite, Gooden, Grant
OLB - Aldon Smith, Brooks, Brandon Jenkins, Darius Fleming
S - Byrd, Whitner, CJ Spillman, Trenton Robinson
CB - Brown, Culliver, McKelvin, Adams, Wreh-Wilson
K - Hopkins
P - Lee
LS - Jennings
KR - LMJ
PR - McKelvin
[ Edited by RollinWith21n52 on Jan 22, 2013 at 8:26 AM ]
I have found myself rooting for us to draft Denard Robinson. Seems like he could be a dynamic slot WR with deep speed as well. I haven't looked closely at our financials, but I have a really hard time seeing us let Rogers go. Just sounds crazy to me.

Finally, Byrd is probably a bit of an upgrade in coverage, and that move would make us a bit younger... but I think you underrate Goldson. That dude is good. I see him sticking around long-term.
I'm not a fan of the Robinson pick that early, but the Hunt pick makes up for it. Fauria will go earlier, IMO.

Swap Goldson with Goodwin and you got a deal. If Goldson does get away, Byrd would be my target.
I get why people like Goldson. Like I said, I see him on some plays and want him to be a niner forever, but then he blows an assignment in coverage and he's gone. He does set a tone for the defense in many ways, however. I don't think he's the best safety in the NFL, but I will admit that no one hits harder, and it's impressive to see. I see Byrd as an upgrade, and will likely want similar money. It just seems that a team that has been more than happy to pay its great players is very hesitant with him, and I think they have reservations about paying top 5 money to a non top 5 player. He's very good, but not a top 5 safety.
Originally posted by strickac:
I'm not a fan of the Robinson pick that early, but the Hunt pick makes up for it. Fauria will go earlier, IMO.

Swap Goldson with Goodwin and you got a deal. If Goldson does get away, Byrd would be my target.

Robinson + Kaepernick + Greg Roman = completely off-balance defense.
Originally posted by RollinWith21n52:
Robinson + Kaepernick + Greg Roman = completely off-balance defense.

IMO, we need another WR that can outmatch CBs. Robinson is a great athlete, but a project at WR. Later in the draft for a guy like that.
lol at Alex getting a 2nd this year AND 4th next year. Everyone and their mama knows we're gonna cut him. Why give up draft picks for him?

Even if a team wanted to trade for him to lock him up, you'd be looking at a 4th rounder at best.
We don't save hardly anything cutting Carlos Rogers.
Originally posted by A-broken-Mir:
lol at Alex getting a 2nd this year AND 4th next year. Everyone and their mama knows we're gonna cut him. Why give up draft picks for him?

Even if a team wanted to trade for him to lock him up, you'd be looking at a 4th rounder at best.

Not what history says about trading for QBs. Look at what Kolb got. Alex had a 104 passer rating this year, and he has 2 years remaining on a very low contract for his level of performance. If teams wait for him to get cut they'll have to pay him much more.
Originally posted by SFrush:
We don't save hardly anything cutting Carlos Rogers.

I'm not familiar with his contract situation. Can you explain?
Originally posted by RollinWith21n52:
Originally posted by A-broken-Mir:
lol at Alex getting a 2nd this year AND 4th next year. Everyone and their mama knows we're gonna cut him. Why give up draft picks for him?

Even if a team wanted to trade for him to lock him up, you'd be looking at a 4th rounder at best.

Not what history says about trading for QBs. Look at what Kolb got. Alex had a 104 passer rating this year, and he has 2 years remaining on a very low contract for his level of performance. If teams wait for him to get cut they'll have to pay him much more.

This. Teams would much rather trade for Alex and his affordable contract than bid for his services in free agency. That said, I don't think we'll get a 2nd from him, at least not in this draft (Kolb was traded in 2011 for a 2012 2nd rounder). Bad teams are willing to take that 2nd round hit, but to lessen the blow, they push it out a year.
Jairus Byrd is a beast. Buffalo ain't letting him go anywhere.
Alex Smith trade for a 2nd AND 4th rounder?

Blidi Wreh-Wilson in the 4th?

Dustin Hopkins in the third?
Originally posted by RollinWith21n52:
I'm not familiar with his contract situation. Can you explain?

49ers would save only about $300,000 by cutting him. He's not going anywhere.
Kaepernick cant renegotiate his contract until after his 3rd year.
Goldson is absolutely a top safety in this league and should be paid accordingly, we can basically use Alex Smiths money and give it to Goldson
Didnt Josh Johnson signed with the Cleveland Browns?