FOOCH'S NOTE 12:10PM: I threw up a FanPost earlier in the week requesting people interested in writing about college football. A few folks responded and this is the first of those (I'll be in touch with the rest of you today). Briandean has done some writing for KFFL.com as well as his own blog, discussing the draft as it affects both the 49ers and the NFL as a whole. He's put together a mock draft with some intriguing picks I could get behind.
Okay. Senior Bowl week is over. The Combine is a month away. It's time to take the information we have and put on our big hair . Things will undoubtedly change. For now, this is how I see it. How do you see it?
Passrush is the biggest need on this team and it's not even close. Luckily there are some nice prospects that fit the 3-4 scheme. Pressure will also be on McCloughan and company to add offensive playmakers, possibly a starting RT and overall depth.
1. Everette Brown, OLB, Fla St. - Brown is worth this pick from a value standpoint, but when you consider team need, nothing would help this team turn the corner like a top notch pass rusher. Demarcus Ware is the best comparable I can find to what Brown brings to the table (size/speed/body type, first step, motor, arsenal (including the lean to turn the corner and ability to dip or spin). And that puts him ahead of other guys who may be available including Raji, Orakpo, Oher, etc. I may be in the minority, but I'm okay with Adam Snyder at RT. An upgrade would be fine, but not at the price of another 1st round pick.
2. Coye Francies, CB, San Jose St. - Francies has the length/quicks that you just can't teach and proved he can play with the big boys at the Senior Bowl, even outshining bigger name CBs. Due to lack of exposure at SJSU, he'll probably go later than he should. A lot of people are talking about safety, but I see a young CB as the bigger need. With Reggie Smith, Goldson and newly signed Jimmy Williams (my fav is Smith) FS is covered. Spencer is a FA, Smith doesn't have the speed to play there and will eventually end up a safety and Walt Harris is nearing the end of a good career. After Clements, that leaves Tarrell Brown and....
For those of you worried about Francies' character, here's an article that chronicles his trouble at Oregon State which lead to his transfer to SJSU.
3. Pat White, WR/KR/slash, WVU - Tough. Smart. Leader. Winner. Mikey likey! Head and shoulders better than the last WVU quarterback McCloughan tried to convert. It was obvious after he took off to scramble at the Senior Bowl that White was the best athlete on the field. In my mind he can have as big an impact as Percy Harvin without the first round price tag. Adding a dynamic offensive playmaker is a must.
Much has been made of White wanting to stick at QB, but a lot of people missed this little nugget from White at the Senior Bowl,
"I'm a quarterback until somebody tells me no".
You can't blame the guy for wanting to play QB. And props to him for going after it, but you can tell he's not one of those "I'm a QB and thats It" kind of guys. Well, Pat...let me put it this way. You can get on the field with the ball in your hands at WR or you can stay strictly a QB and hang out on the sideline with a clipboard in your hands. And if he doesn't work out as WR, maybe he can play centerfield for the Giants.
4. Ramses Barden, WR, Cal Poly - Yep, I'm double dipping at WR. One thing you look for in a prospect from a small school is if he dominated. And Barden dominated his competition to the tune of 50 touchdowns. I mention TDs because that's what I envision Barden's calling card at the next level. The 49ers lack redzone targets and Barden at 6'6" may be the best in the draft. Barden showed he could hang at the Senior Bowl, but also showed he's not a first day pick due to a lack of elite top speed.
5. Tyrell Sutton, RB, Northwestern - McCloughan's best move thus far in his tenure as personnell man was drafting Frank Gore. In Sutton, he has a chance to steal another talented RB with an injury history. Sutton has the perfect combination of talent to be a #2 back in the NFL. Which reminds me, a pet peave of mine from draft pundits...short does not = undersized.
6. Tony Fiametta, FB, Syracuse - Welcome Tony...meet Mr. Rathman.
7. Mike Reilly, QB, C. Wash - Who knows what will happen with the depth chart at QB this offseason. Odds are one will need to be added. And Pat White doesn't count. Reilly actually reminds me a little of Shaun Hill. Not the strongest arm, but has good size and athleticism. Ran an efficient offense in college.