Surprise! You have awoken to discover it is now 12 days into the future, April 25th and I am the GM of the San Francisco 49ers. Read on to find out how the draft plays out....in the Twilight Zone!
With the 31st overall pick of the 2013 NFL Draft, the San Francisco 49ers select....
....Cornellius Carradine DE Florida St.
The man they call "Tank" is my pick to be our anchor 3-4 DE of the future. Now before you come after me with your torches and pitchforks, hear me out here. A lot of people are stuck with the idea that a 3-4 DE has to be a hulking 300+ pound dude with a gut while forgetting the fact that Justin Smith is around 280 pounds and was originally a 4-3 DE. At 6'4" 276 pounds Carradine isn't far off from Smith's measurable and boasts impressive strength for his size, as demonstrated by his 32 bench press reps despite his long arms (34.75). He plays with great leverage, tireless motor, and is a strong run defender as well as being a great power/bull-rusher.
I rest my case. Flame on.
Hands on his hips after indulging in his favorite snack...quarterback.
Round 2-2 (34) Tyler Eifert TE Notre Dame
Probably the biggest stretch in this mock in terms of how likely it is that he's still on the board at this pick, but if Green Bay and Atlanta both choose to address their needs a little later this guy could fall into our laps in the second round. If he does, he would make our offense elite, and one of the most dangerous in the NFL. Vernon Davis is a unique talent, but he isn't your prototypical TE. Eifert would be a reliable security blanket for Colin on 3rd downs and when facing pressure, while also being able to run most of the deep routes that Walker did, but also able to draw attention away from Davis which Walker was unable to do. True, he's a work in progress as a blocker, but Walker was a WR in college and our coaches turned him into a monster blocker. He could make our offense an absolute nightmare, an insomnia inducing attack on defensive coordinators everywhere, one where you can't stop it but can only hope to contain it.
He knows Kung Fu.
Round 2-31 (61) David Amerson FS North Carolina St.
I am not alone on this board in thinking that Amerson would make a great safety at the NFL level. He is a true ball-hawk,with prototypical size to go along with reliable hands and ball skills to contest jump balls and catch the ball at its highest point. He is great at reading the QB and has the range and speed to be a true centerfielder. Some worry he is a tweener, as is the argument made in this very good article by Football Outsiders, as he lacks the recovery speed and fluidity to be an elite CB yet also isn't the strongest of tacklers. I believe tackling technique is a problem that can be fixed by good coaching, and he doesn't shy away from contact like Sanders Commings another big-bodied college CB scouts believe may have to move to safety in the NFL.
"Why god? Why me?"
Round 3 Markus Wheaton WR Oregon St.
We trade up to the top of the 3rd round using our first 6th rounder. One of my draft crushes; this guy was productive, has speed to burn, potential for crisp route running and is a deceptively fluid and explosive athlete. He could develop into a dangerous deep threat, opening things up for Crabtree and Eifert underneath. Kaepernick throwing bombs to Wheaton running away from the defense would be a thing of beauty.
Moments after realizing he just stiff-armed Manti Teo's girlfriend...
Round 3-31 (93) Leon McFadden CB San Diego St.
One of our few issues on D has been covering the smaller, shifty slot receivers. With Seattle's addition of Percy Harvin and the likely addition of Tavon Austin to St. Louis this has become an increasingly concerning issue. McFadden is a smaller guy from a small school, but he is aggressive and not afraid to get up in the grill of wideouts yet also has the fluidity and quick-twitch ability to stay with the Danny Amendola's of the NFL that can stop and start and turn on a dime. Won't be an every-down player but he will have a very important role in our D. We would now have a CB collection able to stop any kind of WR we might face.
"Get that s**t outta here!"
Round 4-31 (128) Marcus Lattimore RB South Carolina
I originally had planned on trading this pick for a 2014 3rd rounder, but IF AND ONLY IF Lattimore is still on the board here we should take him if our doctor's feel confident in his medicals. We all know about his injures and his abilities when healthy so I won't waste your time rehashing them, but I think about it this way: would we be able to get a healthy player with similar abilities with a 3rd round pick in next years draft? The answer is clearly no. We can afford to stash him on PUP/IR for a year and he'd essentially be a 2014 draft pick, except one who is already well versed in our playbook and ready to hit the practice field without his head spinning from information overload.
Round 4-34 (131) Trevardo Williams OLB Connecticut
IMO one of the most underrated pass-rushers in this draft class. Williams was ultra-productive in the Big East, racking up 30.5 sacks in his college career (24 of which came in his last 2). And his production definitely translates as he put up extremely good numbers at the Combine with a 4.57 40, a 38 inch vertical, 10'4" broad and put the bar up 30 times. The only knock is that he is short a hair over 6'1" and a little light at 241 pounds and has no experience dropping into coverage. But as a part time player in our defense that wont be a big deal. He reminds me of Bruce Irvin, although Irvin is a touch more athletic and explosive.
His famous Macarena sack celebration!
Round 5-24 (157) Traded for 2013 4th round pick!
Round 6-5 (173) Included in trade up for Markus Wheaton!
Round 6-12 (180) AJ Klein ILB Iowa St.
"Oh a white linebacker? Must be a try-hard grinder who doesn't have the athleticism to start in the NFL. Special teamer at best."
WRONG. His 4.66 40 yard dash was second among ILB only to Jon Bostic, while his other workout numbers would have placed him among the top performers among ILB. He has the college stats, the athleticism, and the size (6'1" 250) to play in our scheme. He would replace Grant as our primary backup to Willis and Bowman.
Any enemy of Colbert is a friend of mine.
Now instead of including 3 late 7th round picks, I instead elected to include a list of guys we could target both in the 7th round and as UDFA's. It also serves as a resource of potential late-round sleepers to keep an eye on. This list is not comprehensive, I included personal favorites of mine and guys who aren't talked about much in the forums.
Colby Cameron QB Louisiana Tech. - Comes from the same school as 49ers legend Tim Rattay.
Jordan Rodgers QB Vanderbilt - Huge chip on his shoulder from playing in the shadow of his celebrity older brother. Sounds like a Harbaugh guy to me!
Jason Weaver OT Southern Miss
Roger Gaines OT Tennessee St. – Dude has 36 ¼ inch arms.
Edmond Kugbila OG Valdosta St.- I have no idea where that school is, all I know is he has an NFL body
Zac Stacy RB Vanderbilt- Criminally underrated. I think he ends up a late-round surprise.
Tyrone Goard WR Eastern Kentucky- 6'7" Pretty good combine numbers and we are bringing him in for a vist
Terrell Sinkfield WR Northern Iowa- dude is fast
Eric Rogers WR Cal Lutheran- DIII star with NFL height-weight-speed measurables.
Jake Stoneburner TE Ohio St.- NFL body and athleticism, underwhelming production
Zach Sudfeld TE Nevada- needs to get stronger but has size and put up big numbers in 2012
Quinton Dial DE Alabama- experience in a 3-4, which was also the best in the country.
Jared Smith DT New Hampshire- Small school but prototypical 3-4 DE size
Lawrence Okoye DE Olympian- Okay he's pretty well known, but I think he's a real strong possibility for us. Imagine what Tomsula could do with a guy with his strength, size, athleticism, intelligence and a blank slate with no bad habits? He's like wet clay for a potter.
Brandon Hepburn ILB Florida A&M- Small school guy with impressive combine #s.
Lerentee McCray OLB Florida- oft-injured but if he can stay healthy could be effective pass-rusher.
Armonty Bryant OLB East Central
Daxton Swanson CB Sam Houston St.
Kayvon Webster CB South Florida
Josh Johnson CB Purdue- top performer on a crummy defense
Ray Ray Armstrong SS Miami- Still has potential and won't have to deal with NCAA investigators
Ray Polk FS Colorado- Big safety with intriguing workout #s.
[ Edited by AllTimeGreat on Apr 13, 2013 at 10:21 PM ]