AUBURN AL - NOVEMBER 13: A.J. Green #8 of the Georgia Bulldogs pulls in this reception against Craig Stevens #46 of the Auburn Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium on November 13 2010 in Auburn Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
During the 2009 NFL Draft, a few intriguing moves led to Michael Crabtree falling into the lap of the San Francisco 49ers. Whatever your thoughts on Crabtree at this point, it was generally considered a no-brainer that the 49ers had to snag the guy considered the best wide receiver in the draft. We can thank Al Davis and Darrius Heyward-Bey for that result.
As we close in on the 2011 NFL Draft, I was curious if such a situation could arise and affect the 49ers draft plans with the seventh overall pick. I wanted to take a look at the wide receiver position and specifically Georgia wide receiver A.J. Green. It's not a direct comparison with Crabtree but it doesn't mean we can't discuss it.
At this point, the odds of A.J. Green seem fairly long. Although we might see Cam Newton and Blaine Gabbert climb into the top five, I would argue Von Miller has a better shot of dropping to the 49ers than Green. The Browns are switching from a 3-4 to a 4-3 and Miller is better served as a 3-4 outside linebacker. However, moving beyond that, let's look at a few possible scenarios involving Green being available at the 49ers pick:
1. Peterson & Miller both gone
2. Peterson gone, Miller available
3. Peterson available, Miller gone
Does A.J. Green fit into the Michael Crabtree scenario where he's clearly the best player available. And more importantly, do the 49ers just go with him as BPA in any of the above scenarios like they did with the tenth overall pick when Crabtree fell to them in 2009? Mocking the Draft rates him as their top draft-eligible player while ESPN rates him out at fourth but more or less in a dead heat with Da'Quan Bowers, Nick Fairley, Patrick Peterson, and Von Miller.
If A.J. Green was available at seven in one of the above scenarios, is he a guy the 49ers should grab as best player available? In the above situations it seems like Patterson is the pick in number three, but beyond that it's tough to say. If Peterson and Miller are gone, I'd have to think the 49ers could bring in a decent haul from somebody looking to upgrade at wide receiver in an unexpected position. I'm relatively happy with the 49ers wide receivers at this point and would probably prefer a haul of picks rather than a big talent like A.J. Green. Of course, I'm open to persuasion otherwise.