49er’s Draft Day Options: Round 1

Apr 24, 2012 at 2:03 PM


Peter Konz Center from Wisconsin

Why SF should draft him: Konz provides depth and versatility on the O-Line. He will start at RG and move in to the Center position as Jonathan Goodwin's contract slowly wicks away. Konz is a natural center with tremendous production.

Why SF should NOT draft him: In front of SF in the draft order are the Baltimore Ravens and Green Bay Packers. Both these team have aging Centers and will likely draft Peter Konz before SF (Baltimore moreso than GB). I don't see SF giving up future picks to move up to 27 (New England).

Coby Fleener Tight End from Stanford

Why SF should draft him: Fleener is a matchup nightmare for any team and is a step in the right direction when attempting to resolve SF's offensive Red Zone concerns. Having Fleener will make SF's schedule less intimidating. Drafting him also means we don't have to cover him...at least in real games.

Why SF should NOT draft him: As a tight end, Fleener is not much of a blocker. He gets in the way of defenders more than he blocks. Tight end is not a position of need for SF and would be a reach at #30 if viewed from this lens. With Andrew Luck as his QB, Fleener did not get as many receptions as you'd like in a 1st round-rated tight end. Over the past 3 years he accumulated 83 receptions, which is average at best for tight ends.

Kevin Zeitler Guard from Wisconsin

Why SF should draft him: Kevin Zeitler is the most proven guard behind David DeCastro and fills a need for SF at pick #30. Kevin Zeitler played in a run first offense and has tremendous production in college. He is also a gym rat that has the type of strength and power that translates into his plays on the field.

Why SF should NOT draft him: Zeitler does not provide much versatility in that he will only play the Guard position. If the aforementioned names are available SF will likely select a Center with versatility or a tight end with dangerous potential. If Amini Silotolu is available at #30 as well as Zeitler, SF will be tempted to trade down into the early 2nd round. Though Silotolu is less developed, he has a higher ceiling than Zeitler, but also has more potential to be a bust.

Stephen Hill Wide Receiver from Georgia Tech

Why SF should draft him: Stephen Hill is an athletic specimen at the WR position combining size (6'4" 215 lbs) with tremendous in-line speed 4.36 sec, 40-yard dash. Hill showed dependable hands and body control at the NFL combine and would add depth and competition to an already accomplished pool of WRs in SF.

Why SF should NOT draft him: Stephen Hill produced small scale results at Georgia Tech compiling only 45 receptions in 3 years of football at the collegiate level. Hill's best attributes are his height and speed, which already exists on SF's roster, Ted Ginn Jr. and Randy Moss. Hill has limited YAC (Yards After Contact) ability that is necessary in the West Coast Offense.

Janoris Jenkins Corner Back from North Alabama

Why SF should draft him: Janoris Jenkins is an every down player, that has the great ball skills and even better anticipation. Jenkins has the physicality to play press and support the run on early downs. In the past 3 years, only 2 CBs have been able to consistently shutdown AJ Green and Julio Jones at the college level. One of them was Patrick Peterson drafted 5th overall by the Cardinals. The other player was Janoris Jenkins.

Why SF should NOT draft him: Jenkins is undersized, measuring only 5'10" and will struggle when defending taller WRs in Red Zone scenarios as demonstrated in the Senior Bowl. Jenkins brings with him a lot of question marks about his character and extracurricular activities. Though Jenkins will be an upgrade to the secondary, it is not a position with tremendous need.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


  • Bob Jarman
    Was a very good article.
    Apr 25, 2012 at 10:25 PM
    Response: Thanks.
  • Tempt
    I hope you're having fun. You will all be wrong. Thank you and have a nice day.
    Apr 25, 2012 at 7:29 PM
    Response: If you read my article, I can't be wrong or right.
  • Collin
    Here's to the draft!! I'm looking forward to watching Alex play this season. He's got everything to lose. With stakes so high, he's gotta be better than last. Been a fan since the beginning. His uncertain future with the Niners is no joke though. Any other team and he'd be unemployed right now.
    Apr 25, 2012 at 6:25 PM
  • Jake
    Hey Bob, why crows?
    Apr 25, 2012 at 6:16 PM
  • Bob Jarman
    Well maybe I was seeing something different with T. Brown and since he's our guy I hope you all are right and I'm wrong... seems to be the consencus. But, with Alex, He had different scemes and coaches etc etc, I don't think he was ever comfortable or completly knowledgeable due to all the changes he had every year. We'll see what happens this year, but I feel pretty good you all are going to eat some crow when it comes to alex. I'm trending forward on what happened and Jasper you are trending back which is always the easier road to take. Go alex and go niners!!!! Remember what I said about alex cause I'm gonna remind ya at the end of the season.
    Apr 25, 2012 at 4:29 PM
    Response: I'll remind you in an updated article about how Kaepernick was the future QB all along.=) Thanks for reading the article and for your comments.
  • kane
    I'm totally digging this article. I don't want go against any of the guys in this article. I want them on our team!
    Apr 25, 2012 at 4:12 PM
  • JasperD
    To Bob: I think it's a bit of reach to say that Alex will do better this season and the next. Lucky for him, the Niners are still willing to embrace his lack-ofs and invest in the (debatable) skills he may have. I predict this is his last season as starter unless magic happens and we win a championship under his leadership. I don't doubt him. I'm critical because he's had way too many chances to grow and display. And yes, T. Brown was freaking awesome last year.
    Apr 25, 2012 at 4:04 PM
  • Bob Jarman
    You make some good points and naturally you seem to be more knowledgeable on 49er issues than I am. Harbaugh has spoken on competition being important at all positions this year and perhaps that's what his plan is with Johnson to put the onus on the other Qbs. All players give up plays on defense, but I thought Terrell gave up more than his share. Niners were still vulnerable in the air last year. But I might have to conceed the CB issue to you since the niners seem to agree with you more than I by the moves they've made. We'll see. But, I'm still standing strong with Alex being the guy the next 2 and probably 3 years. I read a story by Troy Aikman, he stated how Alex had a better second year than he did and they both had Norv Turner as their offensive coordinators. Only difference was alex in his third year had the coaching revolving door begin and Troy had Norv there as his OC through their superbowl winning years. Troy thought if perhaps alex had kept Norv as his OC we might have seen a different Alex. With Alex I tend to go with the new trend I'm seeing and that is he's flourishing under Harbaugh rather than the old trend most would take Alex having problems winning.
    Apr 25, 2012 at 3:16 PM
    Response: I was one of the biggest defenders of Alex Smith for the first 6 years he was in SF. I still like the guy and believe he can be a good QB, but to me, his problems are with decisiveness and accuracy. To me, those two things have nothing to do with the playbook. I think he's gotten a lot better, but I don't trust that his skill set will take this team to the Super Bowl. I can say more about Alex, but I think this is a good point to agree that we disagree.
  • Bob Jarman
    In response to my last. I thought I might be reaching with Kaepernick, I want to see the niners do something aggresive because now is their best time to win a superbowl. Most everything is in place. I think they will make a move somehow and not stay pat at pick 30, what I don't know. Niners need to make moves towards winning now. I don't agree with you, I think alex is the niners starter for certain the next 2 years and perhaps three. I see Alex having a better year than last year and I feel just about 100% certain of that. Johnson got a 2 million dollar contract for 2 years and he will make this team. If he's to be the third string QB, which I agree, he won't pass Kaep on the QB rank. I think the niners made a mistake. That money could of gone towards a more immediate need. That's why I thought the niners might not have as much confidence in Kaep. But, not only you, many others tell me I wrong with that assumption on Kaep. Also, I don't think niners shored up their CB position enough. Tarrell brown will be a bit of a weak link I think. I could be wrong on that, but don't feel real good about one CB spot.
    Apr 25, 2012 at 2:26 PM
    Response: I agree with you with regards to a push for a super bowl ring. On paper, it doesn't appear that SF has many holes that could not be filled up with a few strong picks in the draft. I disagree with you about Alex Smith. I think Alex will be the starter the remainder of this season, at best and will play backup thereafter if he is willing to take a reduction in pay. Just take a look at Alex's contract that he signed for 3 year $24 million (which doesn't include $9.5M in incentives). Alex is making 8 million guaranteed in 2012. If we assume he puts up the same numbers as last year, he's likely to earn $1.25M in incentives. However, SF can release him in 2013 and only owe him $1M dollar if they wanted to. The contract doesn't provide any security for Alex beyond this season. By the way, the only way Josh makes all 2 million dollars is if he becomes the eventual starter. Right now, all SF gave him was a 350k signing bonus. In the event that SF does not keep him, we don't owe him anything more. Why do you feel Tarrell Brown is a weak link? I thought he played brilliantly for us last year. There's very few shutdown CBs in the league, the rest all play to a defensive scheme. The CBs on our roster excel in Fangio's defense.
  • bob jarman
    Niners should trade Kaepernick to move up to somewhere early in the first round who'd be interested in taking Tannehill. Niners got Johnson and 2 million is too much fora third string QB. Trade up with Kaep, then trade down once or twice and package to get quality players who can play NOW! The iron is hot and we need to strike now for the superbowl. RG, CB, RB, Safety and DT. We could package to possibly get these 5 players in the first four rounds and all would be quality players. May end up giving up a 2nd, 3rd or 4th rd pick or picks next year, but will pay off now with strong depth in the draft at several of the afore mentioned positions. Superbowl NOW!!!! Bold moves, but it could work!
    Apr 25, 2012 at 11:43 AM
    Response: I am a huge Kaepernick fan and perceive him taking over the 49er offense midway through the 2012 season. Johnson signed a practice squad -like contract and still has to compete to make SF's team and Johnson is 3rd on the QB depth chart, not Kaepernick. Keep in mind, SF traded up to grab Kaepernick in the 2nd round last year. Safety is not real deep this year, but a steal would be Blake Gideon from Texas in the 4th/5th round. A DT can be taken in the 2nd/3rd round if SF sees this as a need. I think we can improve at RB, but would not be upset if SF didn't draft a RB until after the 4th round. As for CB, I'm comfortable with the group of DBs on our roster. With Rogers returning and the addition of Perrish Cox, SF has fortified that secondary.
  • Inspector Clouseau
    While I agree with your assessment here, it would be surprising if any writers were able to predict what this current group of coaches is planning. I predict the 49ers select RB Doug Martin. Do the 49ers really need a new RB this year? No. Is Doug Martin awesome? Yes.
    Apr 24, 2012 at 4:55 PM
    Response: I'm proud to say that I had Doug Martin rated on my top 5 RB list before Mike Mayock.
  • Mike
    Zeitler and Jenkins are the only players from this list that make sense. Stephen Hill has done nothing and Fleener is a luxury pick. If we strengthen the O-line, that plus another year under Harbaugh would improve the offense a lot. If you draft defense, you strengthen the unit that got you this far in the first place. There are a lot of quality WR's we can get in the middle rounds that will strengthen that unit and provide plenty of competition. I personally would love to see us draft Missouri TE Michael Egnew in the 4th if he is still available. Look at his numbers from two years ago when Gabbert was there. Prior to last season he was being talked abouit as the best TE in college football. The quarterback play at Mizzou dropped off, not Egnew.
    Apr 24, 2012 at 4:40 PM
    Response: I like the approach to draft a WR in the middle rounds. Egnew in the 4th round is right where I have him rated. Here's a 6'5" TE who ran a 4.53 sec, 40 yard dash. He's a pass-catching TE (90 receptions in 2011) that excelled when Gabbert was QB. In 2011, he still had above average production with 50 receptions. The real question is whether he will provide value in the Red Zone. I see that he has a 36" vertical, but his college career has only resulted in 8 TDs. For comparison, Fleener caught 10 TDs in the 2011 season and 18 TDs in 3 seasons with Stanford. The real question you have to answer is whether you are trying to resolve the red zone concerns with Egnew, because SF already has plenty of WRs, TEs, and RBs to deliver the football to.
  • Napoleon
    I'll admit, i see the offensive line as the most important part of an offense, a bad o-line ends a drive down field real quick. but the niners have been drafting o-linemen in the first and second rounds for the past few years now (Staley, Davis and Iupati in the first) and i have never seen a drastic improvement come from their addition. also our o-line isn't broken (needs improvement definitely) but our red zone efficiency and scoring in general is down right laughable. a fast first round TE to compliment our most productive receiver (Davis) is the only decision that makes sense, then maybe a center or right tackle in the 2-4th round.
    Apr 24, 2012 at 4:03 PM
    Response: I think last year was the first time that SF showed some fight on the offensive line. We would have had a stellar OL had SF not let go of David Baas. However, to address your point SF has made some moves in free agency to address the Red Zone woes (e.g. Randy Moss, Mario Manningham, Brandon Jacobs, etc.) SF has done absolutely nothing to address the void at RG, in fact we lost the two starters we had last season. Even if we shuffle guys around on the OL, we wouldn't have much depth there. Also, despite SF's silly red zone efficiency, we went 13-3 and was 1 good play away from the Superbowl.
  • Matt
    I've seen a couple defensive players mentioned at this pick. Most recently Reyes...why were they not included? Do you feel it is a forgone conclusion an offensive player is the pick?
    Apr 24, 2012 at 3:47 PM
    Response: I've seen Reyes at #30 as well. He played very well at the senior bowl and was one of the standouts from that game. He has good power at the point of attack and uses his hands effectively. He has good quickness off the line to beat trap blocks and can disengage from blocks with relative ease. One of Reyes' downside is that he accumulated only 7 sacks in 3 years at Connecticut. I think he would be a great fit for SF's DL, but with more pressing need and better prospects on the Offensive side of the ball, I would be quite surprise to see SF land a DL here.
  • Napoleon
    the niners are garbage in the red zone, we protect alex well enough that adding a new lineman in the first round would be silly to say the least. Fleener lining up opposite to Davis is a combo that will make the top teams in the league piss themselves. if Fleener is on the board at 30 and we don't take him... well it'll be Smith vs Rodgers style mistake all over again
    Apr 24, 2012 at 3:40 PM
    Response: SF was really lucky that Snyder played as well as he did last season otherwise we would have a much higher draft pick this year. With Snyder gone, there's really no telling that Alex will even have the same amount of time in the pocket he had last year. We all know from previous seasons how a poor OL can ruin the entire season. I don't think it is ever silly to fortify an OL, especially one that is so highly dependent on the run.
  • Steven
    I would go none of the above in the first round. I would go DL for sure. The DL is aging, thin and an injury away from problems. Keep the line solid
    Apr 24, 2012 at 3:32 PM
    Response: I think SF will address DL in the 2nd/3rd round. As I wrote in previous articles, SF was fortunate to not have any significant injuries at the DT position otherwise we would be in trouble. I don't think the RJF project has been successful, he'll really need to compete his tail off to make it on the team this year.
  • Nick S.
    Give me Stephen Hill over Coby Fleener every day of the week.
    Apr 24, 2012 at 2:39 PM
    Response: I beg to differ. I will take Fleener over Hill any day. Heck, I would take Ted Ginn over Hill any day, at least with Ginn you are guaranteed 2 return for TDs every time you play the Seahawks.
  • e de mex
    jenkins is an every down player?? i never heard of a CB who could only play on 1 and 2 but had to come out on 3rd down or who could only play on 3rd down.. crack me up with this experts.
    Apr 24, 2012 at 2:29 PM
    Response: There are CBs who only play on third downs. They are called nickel backs. Some CB are excellent in run support, but are liabilities in coverage (Nate Clements is an example of this). Some CB are excellent in coverage, but lack run support (Deion Sanders was an example of this). My point is that Jenkins can cover and support the run. =)
  • will
    ..so basically the only options are the guys the beat writers have written about.
    Apr 24, 2012 at 2:24 PM
    Response: There are a lot of options for the 49ers. I tried to provide a strong rationale for going in any direction based on available prospects at pick 30. If there are players you'd like to hear about please let me know and I will provide an addendum to this article.

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