A bit early, but I decided, why not? In regards to the draft, the primary needs I see for the 49ers are safety, cornerback and wide receiver, however I don't see wide receiver as major of a need that they need to spend a early pick on it necessarily. Certainly, adding a Jordan Matthews or Cody Hoffman would be a great step forward but I think the defensive back needs are more pressing. Looking at the WR's, I think Boldin and Manningham will be brought back, Crabtree will return from injury, Patton will be there, along with Baldwin and possibly either Moore or Williams. I do think another WR is needed but I favor the approach of Green Bay and the Giants, continually adding to the position over time and coming up with some gems. Safety I think is a massive need, its IMO, the key position on the field when it comes to defending some of these option and spread attacks. I don't see Whitner coming back and I think the 49ers need to step up and acquire another young safety early to play alongside Reid for the next few years.
Round 1-Ed Reynolds-6'2"-205-FS-Stanford. I think this pick is vital as Reynolds is a good coverage guy, ballhawking, very aggressive, comes with good size and decent athleticism. He's not as big of a hitter as Reid and needs to improve his tackling but his coverage skills are terrific. I love the idea of this team having a group of young safeties who can play interchangeably. I think this position is too crucial to ignore and I can easily see Reynolds being available in the part of the draft that the 49ers will hopefully be picking in...like about Pick 32 or so. They could also certainly trade up if they like him enough. In anycase, I see him as need and value at the same time.
Round 2(From KC)-Justin Gilbert-6'0", 195-CB-Oklahome State-I really, really like Gilbert. I don't know that he'll be available this late in the 2nd...assuming KC doesn't crash and burn after reaching 8 wins. I think he's someone who is some good, quality coaching away from being a very dominant, effective NFL cover guy. A lot of the knocks on him are things that can be coached up, such as his footwork, but his instincts and athleticism simply can't. He plays with confidence, plays aggressively, loves to hit and has been heavily battle-tested in his time at Oklahoma State. He's also contributed on kickoff returns and has very good speed to go along with his size.
Round 2-Odell Beckham Jr-6'0", 190-WR-LSU. Beckham is the kind of explosive WR that this team badly needs, he racks up yards a kick returner, a punt returner, has been a great deep threat for LSU, a guy who can stretch defenses, football fast and has a decent build as well. He has an issue with drops, sometimes makes catching difficult passes look easy and catching easy passes look difficult. As I look at the WR's, this team really needs a stick of dynamite, someone explosive, who can work on special teams, who can also be a good deep threat, I see Beckham as a guy with that potential. An all purpose player, kind of like Ted Ginn but a surprisingly good route runner. If he can be a big-time, big-play threat in the SEC, I think that bodes well for his chances in the NFL.
Round 3(Titans)-Andre Hal-6'0", 190-CB-Vanderbilt. Vandy has been putting out some quality defensive backs into the NFL over the past few years and Hal looks to continue that. He basically shutdown Donte Moncrief, one of the top WR's in the SEC, 1-1 and teams have been throwing the ball in the opposite direction, away from him. He's another very athletic type, has contributed at kick returner, moves very fluidly, has great hips, pretty quick feet, he'd be another useful pickup to help improve the situation at CB. Seeing how Casey Hayward did in GB and how quickly he was able to contribute, Hal could follow suit, Vandy seems to do a great job of prepping and coaching their defensive backs so he could be a contributor from the get-go.
Round 3-DaQuan Jones-6'3", 320-DT/NT-Penn State. This guy has been BEASTING this year, playing with an incredible motor, he lost a bunch of weight in the offseason and has been damn near unblockable at times. If he keeps up the torrid pace, he'll be gone WELL before this point but he's someone who could be effective at nose tackle for the 49ers and fit what they look for in the position, not a massive monster-sized guy, very active, quick, strong at the point of attack, plays aggressively and with a good motor.
Round 3(Comp Pick-Goldson)-Brandon Thomas-6'3", 320-OT/OG-Clemson. Very experienced, long-term starter, solid all-around, can slide in at guard or tackle, would provide quality depth for a team that desperately needs it on the OL, especially if Goodwin is let go and Kilgore slides in as the starter next season.
Round 4-Ricardo Allen-5'9",185-CB-Purdue. Slot corner, very aggressive, plays kind of cocky, likes to talk trash, has somewhat of a Sherman-like personality, has terrific quickness, also a guy who is very experienced as a starter and a leader in the secondary.
Round 5-Tracy Moore-6'1", 215-WR-Oklahoma State. If not for injury and off the field issues that have slowed him down, he'd be rated much higher. A very physical receiver, beats press coverage, outstanding in the open field, reminds me a lot of Boldin when he's got the ball in his hands. Very eager run blocker, incredibly physical for the position. The issues with him are somewhat similar to Da'Rick Rogers in terms of having some off the field issues. Boom or bust pick all the way. If its boom, you've got yourself a much faster version of Boldin, if its bust...well dude is probably going to jail. If he keeps playing well, he'll likely move up the boards but because of injury and character concerns, I don't see him going beyond the mid 4th round. He's a pure gamble and if it works, you have a hell of a receiver.
Round 6-Tevin McDonald-6'0", 190-FS-Eastern Washington. Another son of Tim McDonald and one that is far more suited to playing free safety. He's had a series of issues that took him from UCLA to Eastern Washington. Talent wise he's a Top 3 rounds guy but had some drug issues that resulted in him getting the boot from UCLA. Just like Moore, if he can get beyond his issues, you've got a player who's significantly more valuable and better suited for a much higher slot. As much as TJ McDonald is more of a strong safety, Tevin is more suited to free safety, better in coverage, terrific tackler, would add some outstanding depth to the safety position.
Round 7-Keith Price-6'1", 200-QB-Washington. He has stepped his game up and may not fall this far, but with QB's it can be really iffy as we saw this past draft. He definitely looks to be improved in pretty much every facet, he's definitely undersized but he's a gamer, very competitive, has looked tremendously accurate so far this season. He's been getting tutored/trained by Russell Wilson and it shows. His performances have been reminding me of Wilson at Wisconsin, however Price isn't nearly as fast or as athletic but can still take off and run when needed. His arm strength is decent, not great, he doesn't have a cannon but he doesn't have a noodle arm either. He's got a fantastically quick throwing motion and gets the ball out in a hurry. Overall, he could be an interesting prospect to develop as a #3 QB.
Round 7-Dakota Dozier-6'3", 310-OG-Furman. Very dominant, hard-nosed smaller school guard, plays with a chip on his shoulder and simple another body to throw into the meat grinder and hopefully see this team develop a semblance of depth on the OL.
Round 7-Phillip Gaines-5'11", 190-CB-Rice. Smaller school defensive back, defensive leader, outstanding body of work with some injury issues. Ballhawking defensive back that does a great job of breaking up passes, good footwork, very fluid with decent athleticism.
Round 7-Vincenzo D'Amato-6'2", 200-K-Cal. I see the 49ers bringing in a kicker, whether or not Dawson stays. D'Amato has been streaky but he's an exciting player, has thrown for a touchdown, decent leg strength although there are questions about his ability kicking 40+ yards. Nevertheless, considering that this is the late late 7th, he's worth a look and an invite to camp.
[ Edited by Phoenix49ers on Oct 3, 2013 at 11:08 PM ]