I made a mock awhile ago that was well, mocked (because I had Desmond Trufant at 31 and that was "a reach"). I was also criticized for not taking a DE early. Guess what? I'm still not taking a DE early. Much of my philosophy for this mock comes from this post I just made about acquiring players with the intent to beat the Seahawks first and foremost: http://www.49erswebzone.com/forum/nfl-draft/171767-thinking-like-ozzie-newsome/
Some assumptions: We sign a cheap FS to compete with Spillman, Robinson and McBath for the job. Best man wins. OR (less likely) We aggressively go after Sean Smith. He signs to form a starting duo of Smith and T Brown, with Rogers entering on nickel downs. T Brown possibly takes over the slot role. In this unlikely scenario Cully becomes the FS. I'm not even a fan of this because I like Cully as a CB and think he has great potential, but I also think he is the best FS currently on the roster.
**TRADE: 34th overall + 74th overall (from CAR) + 7th round pick for 23rd overall pick (Vikings)**
PICK 23: Tavon Austin WR West Virginia
Reasoning: I have a draft crush on Austin. I can dream for hours about the crazy things Roman could think up with Kaep, Vernon, Crabs, Austin, Hunter and James on the field. So much speed, so many options. Little guys like this are generally criticized mostly for questions of durability, but Austin has no notable injury history. He also has great hands, so while his catch radius certainly isn't ideal, it's not a huge impediment. I think Austin becomes a key piece to cracking the puzzle of the Seahawks defense. Sherman and Browner won't be able to get handsy with Austin from the slot, lined up off the line. He'll give Kaep a reliable target and provide another homerun element to the offense. With Crabs, Manningham and hopefully Jenkins manning the outside, Austin and Williams will provide a great 1-2 punch in the slot. He also will help out on ST as a punt/kick returner.
PICK 31: Johnathan Jenkins DT Georgia
Reasoning: I've come around on the idea of drafting an elite NT. I was on the fence, with those who thought maybe an Ian Williams/RJF rotation could get it done. Considering the Seahawks running game, and the problems we've had containing it the past couple years, I am all in on getting a beast to man the middle for years to come. I don't think Jenkins is just a big fat dude either. I think he can provide some pass rush, not through sacks but through pocket collapsing. Reports from the senior bowl says he gets a great push and has a good burst for a man of his size. He would immediately help the effort to contain Lynch, and improve the pass rush from our base 3-4, taking on multiple blockers and collapsing the pocket from the middle, taking away throwing lanes from Wilson. As much as I like guys like Datone Jones, I personally thinks Jenkins is a better NT prospect than Jones is 3-4 prospect. Also, due to the depth at DT in this class, and the only teams looking for a pure NT being the Saints, Steelers (who I think won't value Jenkins at 15 & 17 respectively) and Colts (who could very well take him) I think there's a solid chance he slides to 31.
Pick 61: Corey Lemonier/Jamie Collins OLB Auburn/OLB Southern Miss
Reasoning: I'm cheating a bit here, but I value these guys equally. I think Lemonier fits the mold of what Baalke looks for in a pass rusher moreso than Collins, but I think Collins will have an easier time transitioning to the "whole package" OLB (coverage, playing in space, etc.). I also think Collins has tremendous athleticism. However, as an immediate impact player and situational pass rusher with a hand in the dirt I'd take Lemonier. His production wasn't great on a bad team, but the guy can play. He has tremendous arm length for his size (34.5 inches) - something we know Baalke covets - and has ideal size for the position at 6'3" 255lbs. Many have Lemonier pegged as a 3rd rounder but I think he's worth the selection here as the top pass rushing backup to Aldon and Brooks.
Pick 93: B.W. Webb CB William & Mary
Reasoning: I haven't watched any tape whatsoever on this guy, because I haven't watched any tape on any of these players, but I haven't so much as seen a highlight reel of Webb. He did stand out at the combine as a player with great to elite foot quickness, and he seemed smooth and confident. I know he's a riser in the mid-rounds so there's a chance he won't be here, but I think he is because of the depth in the secondary this year and the fact that he is both undersized and from a small school/lower level of competition. For the 9ers, he offers depth and a possible upgrade - immediate or future - at slot CB. I'm not among those calling for Rogers to be cut, but I think we do need to be thinking about how we can better defend slot receivers. Some of this may be schematic (i.e. not leaving the slot CB on an island to defend the slot guy), but I also think personnel wise we need to upgrade and I think with Webb's quickness and confidence he could be that upgrade.
4th round pick: Shamarko Thomas S Syracuse
Reasoning: I had to put a Webzone favorite in here, and I also love Shamarko. Worst case scenario, this guy pairs with CJ Spillman to form the greatest duo of screaming gunners laying the wood on returners the league has ever seen. Best case, he takes over for Whitner in the future. Thomas reminds me a lot of Whitner, undersized but an absolute thunderous hitter who relishes contact. Thomas may, however, offer the added element of speed and upgrade coverage on the back end. This may be a bit low for Thomas, who I know is rising up draft boards after his great combine, but I don't think he goes any higher than mid-late third round, and this is probably a better spot indicative of where he belongs.
Compensatory Selection: William Gholston DE/DT Michigan State
Reasoning: I have Gholston fairly high on my list of potential 3-4 ends. From a Height-Weight-Speed standpoint he fits the bill as a 3-4 end, assuming he can add a little weight to his 6'6" frame in the NFL, which shouldn't be a problem. Like a lot of mid-round picks he falls due to inconsistency. He showed flashes of greatness at times, but never really put it together. Add in the fact that there are some questions concerning his practice ethic (one report said a defensive coach at MSU said that Gholston played hard and with passion in the game, but never brought that same intensity to practice) and the fact that he can be too intense on the field - which lead to some misconduct against Michigan a season ago - and you get a guy who falls to the late 4th/5th round, when I think he could easily be picked in the first 100 selections. Everything I've seen/read suggests that Gholston plays the run very well, but needs to develop as a rusher. For the 49ers he offers depth along the line, maybe taking some snaps from Justin and Ray on the early downs, with a chance to develop into a starter. He has the talent, Tomsula might be able to polish him into a diamond.
5th round pick #1: Matt Scott QB Arizona
Reasoning: Another popular pick, Scott has above average mobility and so could potentially function in the Kaepernick-centered offense the Niners have now, so adding him into the game should (knock on wood) Kaep go down, we wouldn't have to drastically change our look. I don't know if this line of reasoning is 100% sound. I doubt Harbaugh/Roman would care if our backup can run the read-option, I'm sure they'd have a contingency plan developed to suit the strengths of whoever wins the backup job. However, in the 5th Scott is an intriguing prospect and I do like the idea of offensive continuity in the horrible event of a Kaep injury.
5th round pick #2: Chris Gragg TE Arkansas
Reasoning: My dad grew up in Fayetville so I have a soft spot for the Razorbacks. I always try to find a spot for one in my mocks. After the combine Gragg started a-rising and he's become a popular addition to fan mocks as a potential replacement for Delanie. I'm not completely sold on that, but I was impressed by his skillset at the combine, we do have a need at TE, and he seems to fit where Delanie Walker left off. He is not a good blocker from everything I've seen. In fact, I don't think I've ever seen the guy hold a block once during the few games I've watched the Razorbacks, though truth be told I wasn't watching to scout Chris Gragg. That said, Delanie never played TE in college and he learned how to block, even if he never learned how to catch. In the 5th round, I'd rather take a guy with athletic skills you can't teach, and try to teach them, then pick a guy who is technically sound but offers very little in the way of upgrading the back up TE position over Garrett Celek.
THE END. I'm done.