Post-Senior Bowl Update
Predicting comp picks in Round 4 and Round 7.
Predicting early 3rd round pick in exchange for Alex. My justification for this is that desperation will set in for some teams. This is a weak QB class, new GM's and current GM's who could be on the hot seat will face pressure to get some stability at the position, having a guy with extensive pro experience, who has been playing the best football of his life is a bargain for a 3rd round pick. It could go higher depending on how things go, but I think an early 3rd round pick is fair for a solid NFL quarterback with many years left. The opposing argument that teams will wait for Alex to be released is flawed, as the 49ers potentially would not need to release him this offseason and I've seen that written in other articles, additionally if you wait for a guy to be released, you can't control his salary nor the destination he ends up in ultimately, there'd be more than a few teams interested in his services, so buy trading a 3rd round pick, you get an established quarterback, know how much he will be earning and don't have to compete with anyone else for him, to me, that is quite worth it. In this mock I predict that either KC, Oakland or Cleveland will trade for Alex.
Predicting Goldson to be re-signed.
Round 1-Datone Jones-DE-UCLA-6'4"280. After his performance at the Senior Bowl, I'm totally on board this bandwagon. He showed a tremendous combination of athleticism and technique. He can stand to add more weight but size-wise he is the closest to Justin Smith when he came out of college, bigger even actually. He can stop the rush but also has a great ability to rush the passer which I think is crucial, this defense has been most effective with Justin Smith reliably getting penetration and requiring a double-team to stop him. All the tools are there for him to be a dominant player, next season he could be a regular rotational DE, subbing in for Smith and McDonald throughout the game, allowing this team to maintain their pass rush which is tremendously important, we've see what this defense looks like when the pass rush is hindered, the need to get to the quarterback is most crucial.
Round 2-Brandon Williams-NT-Missouri Southern-6'2",341. Williams proved he can hang with top competition at the Senior Bowl. He has the tools to be a pro-level NT and really isn't very far off from Jonathan Jenkins in terms of overall talent. He might move up quite a bit more depending on the Combine results, especially with a few more teams going to be running the 3-4 next season and looking for an NT. If the 49ers could pull off snagging Williams AND Jones, I'd be ecstatic, that is the future of the defensive line right there, with both guys being able to develop under Tomsula and being slowly brought into eventual starting roles.
Round 3(AS Trade)-Quinton Patton-WR-Louisiana Tech-6'0", 205. Likely he won't be here, he may even move up into the early 2nd round. I'm basically hoping that his numbers will be off enough at the Combine to scare some teams away. He's a phenomenal prospect and perhaps the most game-ready WR in this draft. Comes with leadership ability, tenacity, not great speed but very deceptive quickness and an ability to make cuts without really slowing down, he has tremendous hands and is an eager blocker. I've been on board this bandwagon for awhile, I'm convinced he's going to be an outstanding player in the NFL.
Round 3-Leon McFadden-CB-San Diego State-5'10, 193. Playmaking corner, not great size but very fluid, outstanding closing speed, feisty, loves to compete, plays with confidence, would replace Tramaine Brock, could contribute on special teams and eventually replace Tarell Brown on the defense.
Round 3-Bacarri Rambo-FS-Georgia-6'1", 215. His stock fell some with the Senior Bowl but I still like him as a prospect quite a lot. He's very aggressive, loves to hit, plays the centerfield role very well, similar to Dashon Goldson in many ways, he is also bigger than initially thought, pretty good size for a safety and he fits this defense well, at this spot in the draft he's a bargain. An alternate at this spot could also be DJ Swearinger of South Carolina.
Round 4-Gavin Escobar-TE-San Diego State-6'5", 250. May not be available at this position but he provides a compelling combination of size and athleticism. Has to further develop his blocking ability but a very competent downfield target, would be a good replacement for Delanie Walker. An alternate at this spot could also be Ryan Otten of San Jose State who fell off somewhat at the Senior Bowl.
Round 4-Dennis Johnson-RB-Arkansas-5'9", 210. Love his talent, very good north-south runner, doesn't dance around, hits the hole hard and continues to drive his legs to pick up every last yard. He's a good receiver out of the backfield, has experience as a kick returner so he's good in space, is a good blocker and just a very good all-around back, has the size and strength to be an asset around the goal line.
Round 5-Matt Scott-QB-Arizona-6'2", 210. I'm on board with Tolzien as the backup QB, Scott is very similar to Kaepernick, not as experienced and needs time to develop but he could be an ideal backup down the road, he has a strong arm, quickness in the pocket, highly mobile, would fit well with the read option and Pistol principles that this team uses. A good guy to have sit on the bench for a couple of years and develop into a reliable backup, a potential starter down the road that could be traded for picks someday as well.
Round 5-Marquess Wilson-WR-Washington-6'3", 210. Wherever he gets picked, it will likely be too low, he's a physically impressive receiver, not a speedster by any means but has good hands and could be a useful addition. 49ers could be without Moss next year and Wilson could add a bigger, more physical element. Additionally Manningham may not return until after the season has started so another WR in the draft could be very helpful.
Round 6-Dustin Hopkins-K-Florida State-6'2", 190. 49ers need a kicker, Hopkins is the top prospect this year. If he's not available, Caleb Sturgis and Quinn Sharp are acceptable alternatives. 49ers should definitely try and add a kicker in this draft, doing so is essential with Akers looking shaky in regards to the future.
Round 6-Sam Schwarzstein-C-Stanford-6'3", 295. Provides depth at center, if Kilgore takes over, Schwarzstein would become the backup, he's got familiarity with the offense and is a decent run and pass blocker. Has experience playing center and is tremendously underrated.
Round 7-Tanner Hawkinson-OT-Kansas-6'5", 304. Good right-tackle prospect, experienced, somewhat undersized but would provide depth at a spot where this team has none. He could become an eventual starter if Davis is not re-signed. The 49ers have the luxury of not needing him to start immediately so he could simply sit on the bench and learn.
Round 7-Robert McCabe-ILB-Georgetown-6'1", 232. Could be a needed replacement for Larry Grant, also can contribute on special teams. He was a very good player at Duke, a bit undersized but a very capable inside linebacker and reliable tackler. Has good leadership skills, was team captain and leading tackler, tremendous college production, albeit at a lower level.
Round 7-Chris Jones-DE/DT-Bowling Green-6'2", 295. Worth a look. He was dominating at Bowling Green, capable pass rusher, not very refined, but plays aggressively with a solid motor. At this point in the draft, why not one more D-Line prospect to see what he's got.
Round 7-Tony Tatum-CB-Gallaudet-6'2", 200. Who the %$#? Where the $%#$? Sleeper prospect who is a tenacious defender, very aggressive cornerback, huge playmaker, he could be gone before this point but looks and plays the part of a good man to man cornerback. Doesn't shy way from physical contact, confident bordering on cocky, has absolutely dominated, basically the Revis of D3 football, played at a low level of competition this will drop him, as well as him being deaf, which is something he's managed with due to him being very instinctual. He could go anywhere from the mid 6th round to being undrafted, I think at this point in the draft, he'd be a terrific choice, especially with his physical size.
Will all these picks fit on the roster, doubtful, but I do oppose the notion that somehow the 49ers won't need a lot of draft picks. They have a lot of free agents and there could be substanstial roster turnover, just looking at the free agents, they could be looking at replacing:
Its easy to see how they could draft and have room for a substantial number of draft picks, not to mention that certain picks could beat out existing players on the roster. A guy like Brandon Williams could replace Ian Williams, a pick like McFadden could replace Perrish Cox with Tatum replacing Brock. Matt Scott could replace Alex Smith on the roster, McCabe could replace Grant or Wilhoite...etc.
[ Edited by Phoenix49ers on Jan 27, 2013 at 9:51 PM ]