This mock reflect the best players likely/realistically available to the 49ers coupled with the needs of our roster, and Alex Smith trade. Plus, I really wanted to see how many these guys would perform at the combine before I released my mock. The combine slightly influenced me, but not by much. I know on the Zone the conventional wisdom is that the 49ers won't draft all 15 picks (the 15th assumes a trade for Alex Smith). But I've given this much thought, and the more I think of it the more I think we are gonna use all 15 picks unless there's a really good deal. We're set at all 22 starter spots. But I really think there will be A LOT of turnover at the 2nd and 3rd string spots. I believe that JH & Co. wants the starters to be pushed a little for playing time, which in turns increases competition, which in turn produces better play at all positions. Last season we didn't rotate that much due mostly to lack of talented depth, especially on the defensive side of the ball. I have to think that JH isn't too pleased with that. The only FA I see us focusing hard on resigning Delanie Walker, seeing that Deshon Goldson, who I think won't be back, won't be tagged like I thought he would. I think the FO is gonna allow everyone else to test the market or comeback and compete with rookies for a roster spot.
1. DT/NT: Jonathan Jenkins/ 6-4, 359; Georgia
Perfect 0-technique for our 3-4 base D. Not a big pass rush guy, but we really won't need him to. He's a block eater that can pushes the pocket very well and plays the run even better, and could play the 5-technique. He's a tree stump; he's not easily moved which clogs the middle up pretty good. Know how to "get skinny" between double teams quite well. He will need to learn to keep a consistent lower pad level. Best of all, he'll be there for us at pick 31. (Some have him going higher in the first, but most have him as a late 1st.
2. DE: Margus Hunt/ 6-8, 277lbs; Southern Methodist. Combine top performer
Have had me eye on this guy for a while. I really believe we're gonna be able to get at least a 2nd or 3rd for Alex, likely from KC. Perfect Justine Smith's heir apparent. This guy is a tough, gritty hard worker. And like Cowboy, Hunt is VERY strong (38 reps on the bench), plays the run well, very good trench fighter, and good pass rusher. Very raw, not too experienced and will need some work but I can think of no better guy than Justin Smith to learn from for a year or two. Gets cut a lot, so he needs to fix his technique, namely his shoulder placement. This guy is fast too, ran a 4.60 in the 40.
2/3. (via trade) CB: David Amerson/ 6-2, 205lbs; NC State. Ran a 4.44
This guy has been on my radar for weeks. I really think his stock rises to the mid 3rd after the combine. Amerson is a big physical corner with natural ball skills. Very strong in man coverage. Physical at the LOS in the press. Will need to work on his down field techniques. Will need to work on his discipline as the NFL has put diapers on WR's. Perfect for this defense as he tackles and wraps well.
[Note] If we get a 2nd for Alex I think we pick Amerson there as well.
3. WR: Da'Rick Rogers/ 6-3, 209lbs; Tennessee Tech. Ran a 4.44 in his 2nd attempt.
Another guy who was on my radar for some time. With injuries to Manningham and Williams we have to get one of the better WR here to compete for the #2 spot, and not a tiny one either. We play in the NFC West where the CB's are big and physical. Rogers did well at the combine in my mind. Granted, his bench press was disappointing. Plus, what he put on film, both before and after he transferred, cannot be ignored. This guy abused even SEC CB's (the SEC is notorious for having physical defenses). Rogers is extremely physical at the LOS, easily fought off even SEC physical press coverage!! A durable, tough guy who's proven to be able to take a big hit and stay on his feet, so he'll get the tough YAC yards like Crabs. Versatile, he's played the X, Y, and Z spots well, so JH & Co. can line him up everywhere. VERY good hands, but like Crabs, has occasional drops because he looks to run before he secures the ball. I know he had maturity issues but on a high character JH team were he'll have to earn his way on the field I think he'll have plenty to keep him focused. His interview will be vital.
3. FS: Bacarri Rambo/ 6-1, 215lbs; Georgia
Bacarri Rambo is THE guy we need to get him with our first or 2nd pick of the 3rd. I've seen him play several times, he is the real deal, a mirror image of Dashon Goldson. Plus he could be drafted to play SS. I was hoping he don't do well at the combine, but he didn't participate. His stock fell a little after the senior bowl, but I'm noticing he's beginning to rise a little back to mid 3rd, even without a combine workout. If his stock rises to 2nd round projections I'd say that we take him with one, especially if we get a 2nd for Alex. Plus, Goldson probably will be out of our price range. We can still get a big physical CB in the 3rd (Blidi Wreh-Wilson or Tharold Simon. And David Amerson very much could still fall to us in the 3rd too).
3. DE: William Gholston/ 6-6, 278lbs; Michigan State
Some have this guy going as high as 2nd (very few though), and some have him going as low as 5th. I doubt he'll get out of the 4th. I think if he's here for us at this point we take him, especially if we miss out on Hunt. He'd really help our anemic rotation on the D-line. Plus he stunts well. He needs to maintain his motor throughout the whole play.
4. OT: Rick Wagner/ 6-6, 310lbs; Wisconsin
Gotta get depth at the OT spot. Looked good at the combine. Has an excellent drop-step that the NFL is looking for in OT's. Has ideal OT wingspan (33 1/2" arms). Will need to work on how he handles speed rushers and learn not to overcompensate for them.
5. TE: Chris Gregg/ 6-3, 236lbs; Arkansas. Ran a 4.5
The perfect replacement for Delanie Walker. Needs to gain a little weight – maybe get up to 240-245 (Walker is 242). Ideal H-back that mirrors Walker. Probably a better pass catcher then Walker, but will need to work on his blocking a little. If Walker is re-signed (which I expect the 49ers to offer Walker an extension) look for us to get a physical CB here – Dwayne Gratz, 5-11, 200lbs, Connecticut. Or RB Cierre Wood out of Notre Dame
5. DT: Everett Dawkins/ 6-2, 292lbs; Florida State.
Replacement for Ricky Jean if he's gone. Dawkins is very explosive with a fast fist step. Might need to put on a few pounds. Will need to be coached up by Tomsula. Low center of gravity will make him hard to block, but he needs to work on being consistent. His quickness would make him a good in knuckle and passing situations, like Ricky Jean. If we keep Ricky Jean I think we go ILB Kevin Reddick from North Carolina to replace Larry Grant.
6. OG/C: Omoregie Uzzi/ 6-3, 303lbs; Georgia Tech.
Depth. A mauler. One of the more athletic O-lineman in the draft, which is why I don't understand why he wasn't at the combine. But I liked what I saw on film of him. Plays with good technique and keeps his knees bent, so the bull rush won't work on this guy. Keeps his pad level. Very quick off the line, which is perfect for our line scheme with all the pulling and traps we run with our C's and OG's. Has a real mean streak. Though he's played primarily at OG his athleticism makes him ideal to be taught to play center. Would like to see him put on about 5 pounds. Needs to learn when to out-muscle verses when to out smart his opponent. And as with most O-lineman coming out of college he's inconsistent picking up the blitz.
6. K: Dustin Hopkins/ 6-2, 189lbs; Florida St.
This pick is a no brainer. I'd be shocked if we didn't get a kicker out of this draft.
7. WR: Mark Harrison/ 6-3, 231: Rutgers. Ran a 4.47 on his 2nd attempt.
Originally, I had us taking RB Cierre Wood out of Notre Dame here. But I really liked what I saw of Mark Harrison, and after the combine I went to check out some film on him. 6-3, 231 running a 4.4 – 4.5 is a nightmare for any defense. At the combine Harrison looked very fluid running his routs. Good footwork. One thing I noticed of his highlights is that he's not an easy guy to bring down. But he's inconsistent with his hands. But is was Crabs.
7. OLB/DE: Cornelius Washington/ 6-4, 265lbs; Georgia. Ran a 4.56
Pure depth at OLB. Was a "top performer" at the combine, but ultimately it's what he put on film that will cause him to drop. But I wouldn't be surprised to see him go as early as 5th. With Cam Johnson and Darius Fleming hurt much too early to evaluate, forcing us to turn to the waver wire, it make sense to pick for depth here. His size and arm length (33-34") makes him available to either stand up, or put in the 3 point. Good quick first step. Needs to develop counter moves. Vocal leader. A real mean streak on the field with the ability to intimidate. But he needs to mature. (DUI, calling out fans online.) Gonna need to interview well.
7. SS: Ray Ray Armstrong/ 6-4, 215lbs; Faulkner University
If he fall this should be a no-brainer. A Miami transfer, some have him going as high as a 4th and but most have him at 7th/FA, for off-the-field issues. The word on him is that he needs the right coaching staff and team. Can't think of none better than ours. Outside of Whitner, Armstrong would come in as the most talented SS on the team. Rangy for a SS, hits, and full of talent with a high ceiling. We have enough high character guys on the defense to mentor this guy to keep him out of trouble. This would be a steal pick here.
7. CB: Aaron Hester/ 6'1, 206lbs; UCLACan't have enough CB's Ran a 4.6 at the combine, not that fast to push the starters. But he tackles very well, so I think he'll be a star on ST.
15 draftees, which is gonna make for a very, VERY interesting training camp and pre-season, perhaps THE most competitive in the NFL. Furthermore, we are gonna cut players that could start for many teams, and our PS will probably be the most talented in the league. I see this draft to be defense heavy for us. All of those picks should be available to us at each spot. The only questions I have is William Gholston and Ray Ray Armstrong.
Current Free Agents:
Randy Moss, UFA – Don't think he will be back. I think he wants a bigger role than JH & CO. are prepared or should give him.
Eric Bakhtiari, UFA – I like him but with a healthy Cam Johnson and Darius Flemming there will be no need for him.
Tramaine Brock, RFA – Not sure he'll be back or not. I just don't see him being able to push anybody for time unless there's an injury. Just a ST body to me. But he is a restricted FA.
Leonard Davis, UFA – Won't be back.
Ted Ginn Jr., UFA – Not enough value to justify a roster spot on THIS team.
Dashon Goldson, UFA – At first I was sure that he'd be back via by tag or resigning. But with the news that our FO likely won't tag him I doubt he'll be back. He just might be out of our price range.
Larry Grant, UFA – Seriously doubt that we get lucky a 2nd year in a row.
Tavares Gooden, UFA – For the above is the reason I think we make Gooden an offer.
Clark Haggans, UFA – Won't be back.
Brandon Jacobs, UFA – Gone already
Darcel McBath, RFA – I'm 50-50 on him. He was seen in spot duty in the secondary and has some value on ST. Again, restricted FA.
Ricky Jean Francois, UFA – I think he'll be allowed to test the market. It's unclear what his value is. Hope we keep him, but reports are that GB is taking a serious look at him.
Isaac Sopoaga, UFA – He'll test the market. Would like to keep him for another season so we wouldn't have to start a rookie in the interior of our D-line. But he's probably gone.
Delanie Walker, UFA – I think our FO is gonna make a serious effort to keep Walker. Contrary to what many fans here think Walker is just too valuable to this offense to let go. Plus, the thought of loosing Goldson and Walker in one season is troubling. And unlike Goldson, I think Walker wants to win a ring more than breaking the bank.
With Goldson unlikely to re-sign and Ice Sop in question we have 20 starting spots locked. In my mind this makes Jonathan Jenkins and Bacarri Rambo even more likely picks.
[ Edited by 9ersLiferInChicago on Mar 10, 2013 at 12:52 PM ]