As acting draft dude here at Niners Nation I should probably go on record with my official predictions on what the 49ers will come away with this weekend. Keep in mind, any resemblance to the actual outcome of the draft is purely coincidence. We (as in anybody who thinks they have the foggiest idea what might happen) are most likely all about to get our collective minds blown by what transpires for real.
1. Michael Oher, OT, Ole Miss - OT is the most likely position here due mostly to the fact that there are 4 highly rated OTs and they can't all go in the first 9 picks. Mix that with the (F)ysical style of team Singletary is trying to put together and OT makes the most sense. Raji, Orakpo will most likely be gone while other defensive players like Brown and Jenkins seem to have fallen out of consideration at 10. So, OT it is, could be Oher or Smith, but I'll take the higher character/work ethic guy every time. And the 49ers were reportedly very impressed with Oher in a private visit. Crossing your fingers for Crabtree isn't completely insane.
Three teams drafting in the top-ten picks tell the National Football Post that Ole Miss OT Michael Oher will not fall past the 49ers at No. 10.The 49ers reportedly "love" Oher and Mike Lombardi says he may go as high as Oakland at No. 7. The Packers would certainly give Oher a look at No. 9.
2. Larry English, OLB, Northern Illinois - I have finally talked myself into being okay with not taking a pass rusher at #10. If enough teams follow suit we could still get a good one in round 2. English is a beast at 6-2, 255 with a good burst, good strength for an OLB and great motor. Could become a Lamar Woodley type player with ten sack per year potential. Other possibilties are Connor Barwin and Michael Johnson or moving back into the 1st to get a falling Everette Brown (yes, please). DB, RB, OT (if we pass on one at #10) and a WR like Harvin, Britt, Nicks or Robiske are all possibilities as well.
3. Ramses Barden, WR, Cal Poly - I like Barden, but he is not without faults. It's possible that some team is in love with him and snatches him up in round 2, but I don't think it's very likely. We've discussed Barden many times, so enough about him. Today McCloughan mentioned he'd like to add a WR with speed, so maybe Barden doesn't fit the bill. This also might be the last chance to grab a starting caliber OT if someone like Phil Loadholt falls. CB, RB are again considerations.
4. Coye Francies, CB, San Jose State - I've been on the Francies bandwagon for a while now. Unfortunately for him, he only ran a 4.63 on the slow combine track. He still matches up well with size and quickness and had a good showing at the Senior Bowl. Can replace Donal Strickland on special teams and has potential for more. Again RB has to be considered, but there are just too many available to pass on these other positions.
5a. James Davis, RB, Clemson - Okay, here's your running back. Happy? This might be the best pick, value wise, to strike on a RB. I agree with the Scouts, Inc. mock draft and select Davis here. His stock has been falling, but he fits nicely with the description of what McSing is looking for in Gore's backup.
5b. Devin Moore, RB/WR/KR, Wyoming - The extra compensatory picks allow the 49ers to get creative. Moore certainly doesn't fit McCloughan's big man criteria at 5-10, 187, but he does give the 49ers a potential big play threat and return man. Wyoming's all-time leading rusher was snubbed for a combine invite, but threw down a 4.33 at his pro day.
6. Mike Reilly, QB, Central Washington - Another hold over from my mock in January. I liked him already and thought he would be a good developmental QB, but then came this little nugget from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, so you know McCloughan likes him too....second-tier?
"One of the coaches asked me that -- 'Coming from Division II, how is it coming to this combine?' " Reilly said this week. "I told him straight up, 'Hey, I think I'm the best quarterback in this year's draft.'
"I think I caught him off guard, because he looked at me kind of funny. Then I said, 'Hey, I'm not projected as a first-rounder. I'm coming from a small school. But if I don't have that kind of confidence, I'm never going to be able to compete at this level.' "
Score one for the big-armed quarterback from the little school in Ellensburg.
"You've got to love a kid with an attitude like that," said Scot McCloughan, general manager for the San Francisco 49ers.
But the 49ers rank players in three tiers, and they consider Reilly a second-tier player -- which puts him into the late third- to fifth-round category.
"I hear a lot of positive things about him," McCloughan said. "Our scouts think he's a pretty good prospect. Not a high-round guy, but a middle-round guy that's got some upside."
7a. Bear Pascoe, TE, Fresno State - Pascoe is your basic blue-collar type tight end. He won't do much in the passing game, but he can catch it if thrown his way. His calling card will be as a blocker. Solid replacement for former 7th rounder Billy Bajema.
7b. Michael Mitchell, S, Ohio - Mitchell is a sleeper safety from Ohio University. He's got great size (6-0, 221) and speed (4.45) and is a big hitter. Mitchell is unranked on a lot of draft websites. He's a guy who could impact special teams right away and has considerable upside.
Don't like it? Ask me tomorrow and I'll probably have a different opinion.