Well it's here. The last mock before I put out my final, concluding projection of what strategy I believe the 49ers will ultimately take. In this final unveiling of the OTC Mock Series, I project the 49ers to stand pat in the first round. Current projections suggest that many of the players the 49ers would be most likely to desire to trade up for would cost too much for us to sacrifice the amount of picks it'd take, considering the number of areas we really need to address. There is one trade in the following rounds, but that is it. So without further adue, here's strategy three.
SCENARIO: STAND PAT
Trades: 49ers trade their 2nd (56) and 3rd (91) to move up to select Bradley Roby.
1. Donte Moncrief-WR-Mississippi, 6-2 221 4.40*
First off, I can't say I'm surprised that Moncrief's name has reportedly drawn buzz in league circles as a 1st round pick now. The Seahawks, sitting at 32, and having an oft-injured Harvin and dealing with Sidney Rice coming off a season-ending injury have a need there, so it wouldn't be a shock at all for him to be on their target list. Secondly, let's think about this. The past couple of 49ers first round picks have been players we really didn't hear much about as far as the 49ers speaking to them or considering them in the 1st round. I think Moncrief could continue that trend. I believe the 49ers could very well be trying to throw teams off the trail for who we're going to select. We all know a lot about Moncrief by now. Donte's got plant-and-GONE speed, and his quickness off the line is going to make him a hot prospect for a number of teams. He routinely showed natural press-beating ability and if not for a horrendous QB at the helm, his numbers could have be astronomically better. On top of these gifts, he also shows respectable, above-average blocking ability, altogether making him a nearly complete package as a WR prospect. Like any rookie, he needs some fine tuning on his routes, but at the end of the 1st round, if you think a guy is a star-in-the-making, you snag him. He could be the 49ers' guy.
2. Bradley Roby-CB-Ohio State, 5-11 194 4.39
There are some concerns out there that I believe will push Roby into the second round. Roby has to prove he will make the effort it takes to be an NFL player instead of going out there relying on his athleticism alone. He has a lot of potential and ability, but it takes more than a "9 to 5 guy" to be a star out there. Roby's lack of study showed when he got abused by clearly inferior players, and instincts-wise, he needs to learn to locate the ball better. Additionally, while I see a strong willinglness to contribute in the run game and be physical as a tackler, I would like to see him stop diving at people's feet and actually square-up and drive through so he stops missing so many tackles. I'm not fully convinced the 49ers will take a CB in round one, but I think they will go hard after one of the following in the first 3 rounds: Roby, Gaines, and Bashaud Breeland.
2. Dominique Easley-DE-Florida, 6-2 288 4.93
Right now, after recently displaying remarkable recovery from his ACL, multiple teams have reportedly expressed they would select him in the 2nd round. Among teams reportedly interested, the 49ers and Patriots were on that list. If not for the injury, Easley likely would be being discussed as a first round lock. I would be apprehensive, as anyone would, taking a player with two separate ACL injuries. However, we seem to feel okay with taking players we believe can be elite threats when healthy, if we believe they can recover. Most who were around Easley will say his drive and determination makes him one of the most likely to come back from a knee injury like this and get back to dominating, just like he did the first time. The 49ers would likely put him on the PUP to ensure he completely heals, but by 2015, you could have the successors to Ray McDonald and Justin Smith terrorizing defenses in Easley and Carradine.
3. Marcus Smith-DE/OLB-Louisville, 6-3 251 4.68
Long-armed, productive, and showed up in the team's biggest game of the year to make plays. Smith 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. Aldon Smith is going to get suspended, that's a given. Already missing Bowman, the drop-off will be felt even more if we don't get some help. Lemonier may be good, but we have no insurance policy. Teams that keep their pass-rushing arsenal stocked are the teams that remain dominant on defense. 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. Walt Aikens-CB-Liberty, 6-1 203 4.50
The kid's pure talent is undeniable, and his potential development as a press corner makes it unlikely for him to fall out of the 4th if his character flags and medical evaluations all check out. He's arguably the best big corner in this class; I rate him above Jean-Baptiste, Desir, and McGill. His arrest for theft I'm sure will be looked at by teams, but if they are convinced that's a thing of the past, it shouldn't hurt him terribly. The Illinois transfer dominated the lower level of competition at Liberty, but still played impressive at the Senior Bowl. He possesses long arms and is known for being a playmaker and consistent threat to cause turnovers. He lacks top-level recovery speed, but everything else is good-to-great. I have seen murmurs lately that he is a player starting to really rise up the boards rise now into the fourth round. Among the CB's 6-1 and taller, he might be the best one in this class.
4. Russell Bodine-C/OG-North Carolina, 6-3 310 5.18*
In a relatively weak class for interior OL, and particularly the center spot, Bodine could see himself taken a little higher than some might expect, especially for a team that loves his potential. Boasting surprising athleticism and remarkable upper body strength (he had a combine high 42 reps on the bench), it's not too surprising that scouts reportedly see Bodine as a player with starting potential. Very smart kid who can latch on and turn the defender outside to open holes, but needs a little conditioning work to add more lower body strength if he is going to be a starting NFL center. Center is where he's projected to play at the next level, and it's where most of his experience comes, so while he will need some refining, he's certainly worth a look here.
5. Garrett Gilbert-QB-SMU, 6-3 223 4.78
Gilbert had a lights out pro day workout and definitely looks the part of an NFL signal-caller. He's highly athletic and has a lot of physical tools to work with and set numerous school records at SMU. There is some talk he could go as high as the third round but I don't think that will happen. coming off an injury knocks him down a peg. Gilbert reminds me a little bit of Alex Smith actually in college playing in the spread, except with a little more "air it out" mentality. He will need to adjust to the NFL pro offense, but there's a lot there to work with and he seems like a good fit for what Harbaugh likes.
7. Brock Coyle-ILB-Montana, 6-1 235 4.62
Coyle sports some fantastic sideline-to-sideline range and hits with ferocious force, jarring the bar loose from anyone daring to hold it anywhere other than "high and tight". Coyle finished a tremendously productive season with 13.5 tackles for loss, 4 sacks, 5 forced fumbles, and 2 interceptions. He fits the later-round, high-end small school prospect trend that Baalke follows and would be a very nice fit for our team. He'd instantly provide competition at the ILB spot and at worst would be a STs contributor early on.
7. Lonnie Ballentine-SS-Memphis, 6-3 220 4.45
I actually really liked what I saw in Ballentine. In interviews, he seems like a good kid -- maybe a bit shy -- and on the field he looks like a natural safety. He has improved in each of his past seasons and that's something scouts love to see. On top of this, there's no doubt he is one big puppy in the defensive backfield, and on tape he is a little more agile than you'd expect for someone that big. Yes, he could improve some in the tackling department, and some coverage technique work, but in the later rounds, these guys are always going to need work in some fundamental areas. Here you seek out athleticism + potential, and Lonnie's got a lot of both. He had a nice pro day, clocking a 4.39, a 38-inch vertical, and impressive 10-05 broad jump, giving him a good chance to go late, considering the leagues trending towards the "Legion of Boom" type of secondary players.
7. Karl Williams-FB-Utah, 6-0 244 4.55
Turned a lot of heads at the Utah pro day after posting a 4.50 and 4.55 with a 35-inch vertical, drawing some potential late round interest as a developmental FB/RB prospect.
As always, love the feedback and discussion. Enjoy!
[ Edited by OnTheClock on Apr 19, 2014 at 12:12 PM ]