Hey folks. We've had lots of posts about the draft, debating players and picks and so forth, but I don't believe we've had a post where we list what our ideal draft is. That means throw out what the front office is looking for, who you think the Niners want, or any pessimistic picks. This post is for the Niners draft that you want, or in other words which picks would leave you happiest on draft day.
Because this is supposed to be an optimistic outlook on the draft you can have some scenarios that maybe aren't the most likely to happen, but try to keep things at least somewhat realistic. There's obviously no fixed rule, but in general if you don't think there's at least a 10-20% chance that a player is available at a certain pick then you should trade up if you want to get the player. A few examples would be say, don't have Suh fall out of the top few picks, don't have Berry fall to #17 (I personally think there's an outside shot he falls to #13 so I'd be okay with that, but use your best judgement), don't have someone like Joe Haden fall to the second round, and don't have someone like Dexter McCluster or or Toby Gerhart fall to the fifth round. No one will ban you (I don't think) if you are too optimistic but it's more fun if we at least stick to scenarios that have a small chance of happening. The only other thing is try to have at least a sentence or two included for each pick so that people know why you want those players, but otherwise you can do whatever you want (Trades are acceptable, even for players currently in the NFL. But again, stick to guys that actually have a chance of being traded and be realistic about it). So without further ado, here's my ideal draft scenario:
1st round, #13 overall - Brian Bulaga, OT, Iowa: The odds are not great that Bulaga lasts this long but I think it's more likely than some people think. I firmly believe that Detroit will pick one of the top 2 defensive tackles with the #2 overall pick, and there are only 4 other teams that pick in the top 12 that could pick a tackle: Washington, Seattle, Oakland, and Buffalo. Washington could go with Jimmy Clausen, but even if they don't they'd probably take Russell Okung over Bulaga. I see Seattle picking a tackle later (Charles Brown anyone?) and going with Derrick Morgan, Eric Berry or Geral MocCoy at #6, which only leaves the Bills and the Raiders. I recently heard that the Bills really liked Trent Williams, and we all know that Oakland must love Bruce Campbell. So, there's at least a decent chance that Bulaga falls, and I think he could immediately step in and be a top right tackle (or even a left tackle). If the Niners were to add Bulaga and get some better play out of their guards they'd have the makings of an elite line. The only way I'd consider passing on Bulaga is if Eric Berry is available or they get offered a great deal in a trade.
TRADE #17th overall pick and 6th round pick (#182 overall) to the Eagles for the #24 and #71 overall picks: I make this trade because I don't believe there's a player with great value at #17 and I want to pick up some extra picks in a deep draft. The Eagles come ahead about 10-15 points in the trade value chart, but I decided to be conservative because it is always harder to trade down. While picking any one team for a trade partner may not be very realistic in ta mock draft, the team is not really important, any team with a late first or early second round pick will do, just adjust the lower pick accordingly (in other words, if you get the #32 pick instead of the #24 pick then the other pick you receive in return should be in the #50-60 range instead of #71 overall.
1st round, #24 overall - Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State: From everything I've seen and heard Wilson looks like a great all round corner and he's also a good return man, which is a priority for the Niners. He's an aggressive player who will try to stop the run, which the Niners like in a corner. I also think he's a better value than Joe Haden, considering the 3rd round pick the Niners got earlier in the mock to trade down. Overall, he fits the Niners needs very well, is a player I think Singletary would like, and is good value here.
2nd round, #49 overall - Demaryious Thomas, WR, Georgia Tech: My good buddy Drew K thinks there's a decent chance Thomas lasts until the 3rd round, but I think he'll go quite a bit earlier than that. He's got the highest ceiling of any WR in the draft, and NFL GM's tend to be unable to let guys like that pass them guy. It'd be quite exciting if the Niners picked Thomas, if he could reach his potential the Niners could have the best group of skill position players in the NFL with Thomas, Crabtree, Davis, Gore, Morgan, Coffee, and (as you'll see later) Gerhart.
3rd round, #71 overall - Cam Thomas, NT, North Carolina: Thomas is a beast at 6-4 and 330 lbs., and will be the handpicked successor to Aubrayo Franklin. I imagine Franklin won't be around too much longer because of his age and price tag, but snagging Thomas allows the Niners a year or two to develop a talented player to keep them from having a huge hole at perhaps the most important position on a 3-4 defense. Thomas could go in the second round so this is a bit optimistic but he is a steal here.
3rd round, #79 overall - Toby Gerhart, RB, Stanford: Being a Bay Area local I saw a lot of Gerhart so I may be a bit biased, but I really think he can succeed in the NFL. Now I'm not saying he'll be a star or anything, but I do think he could eventually be a starter. RB is one of the positions the Niners need the least but I believe Gerhart will be one of the best players available if he lasts this long and will give the Niners another good option to fill in for Gore and keep him fresh for later in the season and a be a potential starter down the road.
4th round, #113 overall - John Jerry, OG, Ole Miss: Jerry is a mauling offensive lineman had enough athleticism to play tackle in college, although he'll play guard in the NFL. He could replace David Baas in the near future and his potential along with the rest of the Niner's young offensive line could turn the team's biggest weakness into a huge strength.
5th round, #145 overall - Myron Lewis, CB/S, Vanderbilt: The Niners have used quite a few picks on safeties the last three years, selecting Goldson, Reggie Smith, and Curtis Taylor. But none of them have impressed, so they use another pick on a safety here to see if anything sticks. I debated using this pick on TJ Ward or Myron Rolle, but Rolle's ability to play corner as well as safety signifies to me that he's a better cover guy than Ward or Rolle. The Niners' biggest problem at safety has been having no one who can play deep and Lewis could potentially fill that role.
6th round, #182 overall - TRADED to the Eagles along with the #17 overall pick for the #24 and #71 overall picks
6th round (compensatory), 206 overall - Trindon Holliday, RS, LSU: Kyle Wilson was drafted earlier and he can return kicks but Holliday is more electric and will also ensure there will be no more Delanie Walker as kick returner. If Wilson is in the starting lineup the Niners might like to keep him off of returns anyways. I wanted to go with QB Sean Canfield out of Oregon State, a personal favorite, but I figure he has little to no chance to make the roster with three quarterbacks already present.
7th round, #224 overall - Walter Thurmond, CB, Oregon: This was going to be a fullback before I got the idea to take Thurmond. Thurmond is an underrated corner who doesn't have great physical attributes and was hurt this year but would have a good chance of making the roster as the fifth or sixth corner.
So that's my ideal draft, what's yours?