Originally posted by nw9erfan:
Hey MD~ Thanks for all of the hard work as always. Just wanted to put you in the GM chair for a moment. Given that the Niners have roughly 15 picks in this year's draft and are likely to add 10 rookies at the absolute most, are there players in the 15-25 range in the first round that you feel are worth trading up for that could make a big impact for the Niners in his first year?
It is my humble belief that the team needs to draft at least 2 DLmen (and perhaps a third), at least one CB, one safety and a red zone threat. Now that Goldson appears to be out of town, what are your thoughts on what the team should do going forward? I know you would have drafted JJ Watt the year the Niners took Aldon Smith and you turned out to be 100% correct. Any diamonds in the rough this year (in that 15-25 range) that the Niners could /should trade up for?
The draft board always throws a few surprises our way, and there may be a few players that slip into the 15-25 range due to other teams' needs. It is something to monitor, for sure.
I have a feeling the team is going to see the departure of both Sopoaga and Goldson, so they have to shore up those two areas right away. They might package one of their high picks (31 or 34) with a third rounder to move up a few slots to get a guy they are surprised to see on the board. However, in the end, I think they burn their five top 95 picks on: Free Safety, Nose Tackle, Cornerback, Tight End, and Defensive End. For a team that was on the verge of winning the Super Bowl, it may have a number of key holes to plug. Such is the nature of the turnover of players and talent in the NFL.
I wouldn't be surprised to see the team target SS in the fourth round. Got a feeling Whitner is in his last year in 2013. The team also needs help at center, and wide receiver. And, at some point, this team has to be serious about a replacement for Gore, who I think is done after 2013.
Of course, some of these needs will be addressed in free agency. It is probably wise for the team to look at an experienced number two receiver, who can make an instant impact, to take some pressure of Crabtree and V. Davis. I am not sure Manningham will be ready to go for the start of 2013, and the jury is still out on whether AJ is going to be a contributor in 2013.
As for diamonds in the rough in that 15-25 slot: If Kenny Vaccaro is in that early 20's area, they have to start a dialogue with teams. Cover safeties are pretty rare in this league. At the same time, if Tavon Austin is around in the mid-20s, they have to take a serious look at what he can bring to the team. Austin opens up an already explosive offense.