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OTC's Pre-Combine Mock 2/18/14

I know some of these picks may come as a surprise, but bear with me as you read the explanations behind them. Looking at Baalke's trends and examining our needs, this is one possible scenario I envision as a potential draft strategy. Of course, in the end I don't expect the 49ers to keep all the picks. There's no way they will. They'll move around to secure the guys they want. Anyways, here we go. Feel free to ask questions, etc. -- Enjoy.

Assumed losses:
CBs Brown, Rogers
QB McCoy
RB Dixon

Assumed gains/retentions:
K Dawson
WR Boldin
CB Eric Wright
ILB Wilhoite
SS Whitner


1. RaShede Hageman-DL-Minnesota, 6-6 318 4.89
I understand that on the surface, it looks like we have great depth at the position. However, when you consider much of it is either still developing and/or unproven (Carradine, Dial, TJE, Okoye, Purcell, etc.) -- Justin Smith admitted a year ago he might only have a couple years left in him. Ray McDonald has gutted it out but has struggled with injuries. With Dial the 4th string NT behind Dorsey, Williams, and TJE, he may end up on the practice squad. Hageman has monstrous potential to supplant either starter. If a player this good gets to you, you take him. There's a chance Smith and McDonald both aren't here in 2015. The 49ers have already shown interest and I expect Hageman to be a target on draft day.

2. Donte Moncrief-WR-Mississippi, 6-2 226 4.49*
If there's one thing that just out the most to me on tape for this kid, it's this: I have not seen him caught from behind. I do not care what he times at the combine, this kid is FAST. On top of his size and speed, from everything I have seen on the field, I believe he has star potential. Moncrief's speed and ability to get open would give us everything we could really want in a player -- the speed to threaten deep, but the size and strength to be strong as a blocker and a threat in the red zone as well. In a deep WR draft, there's the possibility we could get him later, but I expect his stock to rise, and personally, if it were me at the helm I would not wait long to draft him.

2. Jack Mewhort-OT-Ohio State, 6-6 306 5.28
I'm sure I wasn't the only whose heart sank with grief and started shouting "NO! NO! NOOOO!" when Joe Staley went down with an apparent serious and gruesome injury against the Rams early in the year. Thank God it was not what it appeared (and sounded) to be. The 49ers top replacement at LT is their outstanding RG in Boone and we really need to get a legitimate backup that allows us to keep our all-pro caliber guard in place in the case that we need someone to fill in at tackle. The 49ers showed interest in Mewhort at the Senior Bowl and this could be a year they take an OL a little earlier.

3. Marcus Smith-DE/OLB-Louisville, 6-4 258 4.76
Long-armed, productive, and showed up in the team's biggest game of the year to make plays. Smith has already reportedly sparked interest from 49ers scouts and was spoken to at the Senior Bowl. Players we've talked to there have historically had a very good chance of becoming selections for us. Teams that keep their pass-rushing arsenal stocked are the teams that dominant. The old adage remains true: Defense wins championships. Smith I believe is going to be one of our targets and would be a nice addition to have.

3. Pierre Desir-CB-Lindenwood, 6-1 195 4.56
A long-armed, small-school, high-potential player who made big strides over the week at the Senior Bowl, proving he can adjust to playing with the "big boys" of major conferences. He fits the bill in just about every way that Baalke typically searches for a player. I imagine Stanley Jean-Baptiste is another potential target here. Desir should have the edge though because of better fluidity. If the 49ers re-sign Wright, they likely would go into the season with Brock/Culliver/Wright as their starters -- this would give Desir and promising 2nd year man, Daryl Morris, more time to develop and keep our CB corps still fully stocked with talent.

4. Tyler Larsen-C/OG-Utah State, 6-4 317 5.17
Durable, incredibly smart, and athletic. Fits our scheme well. Could play all three interior positions, but primarily would compete at center.

4. Marqueston Huff-S/CB-Wyoming, 5-11 198 4.40
Huff possesses arguably top 5 sideline to sideline speed among the DBs in this class. At the Senior Bowl, he reportedly blanketed receivers showing he could be considered a CB prospect and not just a safety, which he played at Wyoming. The 49ers took Chris Culliver and converted him from safety into a CB so Huff could be another target to do the same. Then again, he could provide just better safety depth behind Whitner and/or start at some point if Whitner goes elsewhere.

5. Khairi Fortt-LB-Cal, 6-2 240 4.67*
I think the 49ers would be very interested in this local product if they see the same similarities as I do to Navarro Bowman. Fortt was a Penn State transfer and like many 49ers draftees, has the coveted attributes of long arms and explosive athletic ability. He would immediately be a contributor on special teams while he develops as a linebacker, and could potentially play inside or outside, although he may be better suited inside for the 3-4. He needs work, no question, but with coaching Fortt could be starter material.

6. Gator Hoskins-FB/TE-Marshall, 6-1 244 4.67
Really, really like this kid. If I'm correct, the team already showed interest in him at the Senior Bowl. He shows up in big games (100+ yards, 2 TDs in Marhsall's 31-20 win in the Military Bowl), and I think he fits the mold of what we're looking for in the Delanie Walker type. Hoskins does a better job of protecting the ball when he runs, and although he got open a lot due to play design, he could get open on his own based purely on his abilities when he needed to. He does a solid job making catches in traffic and his athleticism and power at his size are undeniable. If it's not Hoskins, I firmly believe the 49ers will most certainly target a player of this FB/H-back type in the draft -- there are several that will be available.

7. Connor Shaw-QB-South Carolina, 6-0 210 4.64
We love athletic QBs, it's a given, and Shaw is absolutely that type. I think we will be one of the teams that looks at Connor Shaw as a QB and not some other positional player. Like BJ Daniels, I believe we would see him as a QB that could be a viable back-up to Kaepernick and someone we can develop behind him. Would not be surprised if we went after Tajh Boyd either.

7. Dri Archer-WR-Kent State, 5-8 175 4.37

Archer is like a less-heralded version of Tavon Austin. He has elite speed and return ability that makes him a threat any time the ball is in his hands. He would be a worthy candidate to replace the kind of speed we lost with Ted Ginn after the 2012 season and neglected to address for 2013. His knocks are obviously his size and the fact that he has a little bit of an injury history, but he's healthy right now and I believe he's a draft-worthy prospect.

7. Spencer Long-OG-Nebraska, 6-4 315 5.16 +
Another 49ers injury special. Take a chance on a potential big time performer who had a bad injury. Low risk, high reward again.


Quick look TC depth chart:
QB - Kaepernick, Shaw*, Bethel-Thompson
RB - Gore, Hunter, LMJ, Lattimore, Miller
TE - Davis, McDonald, Celek, Hoskins*
WR - Crabtree, Boldin, Patton, Moncrief*, Archer*
OL - Staley, Iupati, Looney, Kilgore, Snyder, Boone, A.Davis, Mewhort*, Larsen*
DL - J.Smith, McDonald, Hageman*, TJE, Dorsey, Ian Williams, Carradine, Dial
LB - Aldon, Brooks, Skuta, Lemonier, M.Smith*, Willis, Bowman, Wilhoite, Fortt*, Moody
CB - Brock, Culliver, Wright, Morris, Desir*
S - Reid, Spillman, Whitner, Dahl, Ventrone, Huff*
[ Edited by OnTheClock on Feb 18, 2014 at 6:56 PM ]
Solid. Like a lot of picks. I think we need a shiftier receiver earlier on.
I am not sold on an OT in the 2nd round. Yes we need depth but a player who won't rotate in and only see action in case of an injury in the 2nd round may be a little too high.

OLB in the 3rd round. Skuta played very well this season and Lemonier has great potential. One would have to be cut to make room. Maybe if he fell to the 4th or 5th
round but not in the 3rd.

An ILB in the 5th rd. We have Wilhoite who played well and Moody.

Depth Chart: You have 26 on offense and 29 on defense. That's 55 players for 50 spots. Don't forget the 3 on special teams, P, K, LS
You need to cut 5 players.
Originally posted by MC9BEAT:
I am not sold on an OT in the 2nd round. Yes we need depth but a player who won't rotate in and only see action in case of an injury in the 2nd round may be a little too high.

OLB in the 3rd round. Skuta played very well this season and Lemonier has great potential. One would have to be cut to make room. Maybe if he fell to the 4th or 5th
round but not in the 3rd.

An ILB in the 5th rd. We have Wilhoite who played well and Moody.

Depth Chart: You have 26 on offense and 29 on defense. That's 55 players for 50 spots. Don't forget the 3 on special teams, P, K, LS
You need to cut 5 players.

That's a training camp roster of some key players. I have not included every potential player in that "quick-look" of the depth chart.

As far as loading up on positions -- the Patriots and other top teams do it all the time. It gives you options in case of injury, or if someone emerges, the best man wins the job. The top teams all do this.

Again, this is a prediction based on us keeping all of our picks, which obviously isn't going to happen. Ideally, I think we wind up selecting 8-10 players instead of 11-13.
Nice mock
Originally posted by tohara3:
Nice mock

Nice Comment
A "Brian Sabean" style draft. Builds on areas of strength the Niners already have and then mix in some players in areas of need. Nice mock.
I'd like to see the team let Dawson relocate. I know he was better than Akers by a lot, but we didn't progress any farther with him, and there's no telling when an older kicker is going to fall off (Akers was awesome in 2011). I think the teams that scout well save a lot with out giving up much (if anything) on the field by drafting a kicker. It's not like we can't spare a late pick.

I'd also like Whitner to move on. We can give Spillman a shot (he does awesome work in the GL package, so we need to get him reps in coverage), and draft a rookie to develop (Joyner is a freak, and Reid already knows how to work well with Loston).

If we don't spend the savings in the big money extensions we need to get done this offseason, we can roll it into stout first year guarantees for the 2015 contracts out key guys can get (Kap, Aldon, Crab?, Iupati?). I might even be okay letting Boldin walk, if the coaches believe in Pattan and macDonald.

As far as the draft, I think TJE is gonna keep improving, and I believe in Tank. Give me Joyner or Cooks at 30 (if we don't trade up for someone else). I'd still grab Moncrief in the second, especially if Boldin wants more than Baalke will offer.

I like your thinking, though. It is nice to see a mock that combines your effort in study woth a desire to view the prospects and team-building strategy like the team might. Thanks, man.
Very nice. I like the idea of picking up an OT AND an OG/C anytime from rounds 2-5. I had high hopes for Looney and Kilgore but when Iupati was down Snyder kept them out of the rotation for the most part . . . so WTF? What do we have with those two? The competition level needs to come up. And your point about keeping Boone in place if Staley or Davis go down is spot on.
Originally posted by WRATHman44:
I'd like to see the team let Dawson relocate. I know he was better than Akers by a lot, but we didn't progress any farther with him, and there's no telling when an older kicker is going to fall off (Akers was awesome in 2011). I think the teams that scout well save a lot with out giving up much (if anything) on the field by drafting a kicker. It's not like we can't spare a late pick.

I'd also like Whitner to move on. We can give Spillman a shot (he does awesome work in the GL package, so we need to get him reps in coverage), and draft a rookie to develop (Joyner is a freak, and Reid already knows how to work well with Loston).

If we don't spend the savings in the big money extensions we need to get done this offseason, we can roll it into stout first year guarantees for the 2015 contracts out key guys can get (Kap, Aldon, Crab?, Iupati?). I might even be okay letting Boldin walk, if the coaches believe in Pattan and macDonald.

As far as the draft, I think TJE is gonna keep improving, and I believe in Tank. Give me Joyner or Cooks at 30 (if we don't trade up for someone else). I'd still grab Moncrief in the second, especially if Boldin wants more than Baalke will offer.

I like your thinking, though. It is nice to see a mock that combines your effort in study woth a desire to view the prospects and team-building strategy like the team might. Thanks, man.

I say draft a kicker. Do you really want to pay Dawson a lot?? The Niners need to score TD's, not FG's to win.

I think a DT and an OT in the first 3 picks is not wise. The Niners need playmakers, speed, etc. This comes at WR, SS and CB.

Why draft a center so low when a center is what is needed??
Nice job, love the Hageman, Moncrief, Desir, Larson, Huff, Archer picks. But I would replace Whitner with a draftee. That's my only knock our your off-season.

We will never win a championship having him as a weak link on defense. Playoff teams have exploited him in the past 3 playoff seasons. Think back to that 4th quarter against the Saints 3 seasons ago. Luckily Alex Smith & VD saved the team. Think about our playoff run 2 seasons ago where we lost in the superbowl. Whitner again was horrible but luckily, Kaep put the team on his shoulders and carried the team to the superbowl.

This past year, he and the defense played a little better but still gave up big plays when it counted most. It's time to upgrade the weakness, not prolong it. He's only going to get older and slower. I believe other teams around the NFL will be overjoyed if we resign Whitner. They will always have that one target to attack.
[ Edited by kronik on Feb 18, 2014 at 8:44 PM ]
Love the Moncrief pick
Originally posted by OnTheClock:
Originally posted by MC9BEAT:
I am not sold on an OT in the 2nd round. Yes we need depth but a player who won't rotate in and only see action in case of an injury in the 2nd round may be a little too high.

OLB in the 3rd round. Skuta played very well this season and Lemonier has great potential. One would have to be cut to make room. Maybe if he fell to the 4th or 5th
round but not in the 3rd.

An ILB in the 5th rd. We have Wilhoite who played well and Moody.

Depth Chart: You have 26 on offense and 29 on defense. That's 55 players for 50 spots. Don't forget the 3 on special teams, P, K, LS
You need to cut 5 players.

That's a training camp roster of some key players. I have not included every potential player in that "quick-look" of the depth chart.

As far as loading up on positions -- the Patriots and other top teams do it all the time. It gives you options in case of injury, or if someone emerges, the best man wins the job. The top teams all do this.

Again, this is a prediction based on us keeping all of our picks, which obviously isn't going to happen. Ideally, I think we wind up selecting 8-10 players instead of 11-13.

I would agree that teams load up but none of them (even the Pats) have our depth. We drafted 2 LB's last year and you draft 2 more. If a really good OT slips to the 3rd round I would be ok drafting 1 there. Drafting players early you might end up cutting if no one gets hurt is chancy. You draft a Center in the 4th when the starting job will be up for grabs and an OT in the 2nd where the starting jobs are locked up and he might not play a single down. Why not a reversal?

I like the players selected but we need depth at CB and WR that can rotate in and challenge to start and you barely address the need and go for overkill at the LB position. Wright was downgraded on the depth chart after we brought Parish Cox back so I wouldn't count on him. I would prefer we drafted 2 top corners.

It wouldn't be the worst thing that could happen if our draft went down this way and I like the players chosen but I think we could allocate our picks a little better.

As for options in case of injury. What are our options at CB if we lose 1 in preseason like Culliver last year and another early in the year?
What if we lose a WR in preseason like when Crabtree got hurt and then another goes down like Patton did?
At least at LB we have capable back ups that can play. All of our OL back ups are capable and I could see adding a C early to start or later for depth and an OT in the 3rd-5th round range for more depth.
At WR and CB our depth sucks.
Originally posted by 9erred:
Originally posted by WRATHman44:
I'd like to see the team let Dawson relocate. I know he was better than Akers by a lot, but we didn't progress any farther with him, and there's no telling when an older kicker is going to fall off (Akers was awesome in 2011). I think the teams that scout well save a lot with out giving up much (if anything) on the field by drafting a kicker. It's not like we can't spare a late pick.

I'd also like Whitner to move on. We can give Spillman a shot (he does awesome work in the GL package, so we need to get him reps in coverage), and draft a rookie to develop (Joyner is a freak, and Reid already knows how to work well with Loston).

If we don't spend the savings in the big money extensions we need to get done this offseason, we can roll it into stout first year guarantees for the 2015 contracts out key guys can get (Kap, Aldon, Crab?, Iupati?). I might even be okay letting Boldin walk, if the coaches believe in Pattan and macDonald.

As far as the draft, I think TJE is gonna keep improving, and I believe in Tank. Give me Joyner or Cooks at 30 (if we don't trade up for someone else). I'd still grab Moncrief in the second, especially if Boldin wants more than Baalke will offer.

I like your thinking, though. It is nice to see a mock that combines your effort in study woth a desire to view the prospects and team-building strategy like the team might. Thanks, man.

I say draft a kicker. Do you really want to pay Dawson a lot?? The Niners need to score TD's, not FG's to win.

I think a DT and an OT in the first 3 picks is not wise. The Niners need playmakers, speed, etc. This comes at WR, SS and CB.

Why draft a center so low when a center is what is needed??

You realize that Dawson is the reason we were in so many games, we had zero passing game. I don't trust the normal rookie kicker. Not everyone is Zurlien or Blair Walsh. I don't see a Kicker in this draft as a must have Kicker. Rather spend$2.5M-$3M on Dawson, who is worth the money. Also rather have Whitner back then trust a rookie SS or Spillman. I like Spillman, but I rather have a veteran at SS, he was so helpful to Reid in 2013, he is a must IMO.
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I like the picks. You made solid choices in this draft.

But I will say the OT in the 2nd round bothers me the most. Unless you think he projects at LG, I think it's an absolute waste of a pick if we have Snyder and a few tackle prospects sitting on the bench and select a 2nd round OT.