Let me start by saying that I am not normally a big fan of the opinions of The Bleacher Report. But, those of you who feel likewise, hang in there because I think that this week they have come up with some interesting ideas. I'm not saying that I agree with all their picks ... I certainly don't ... but look at these with a bigger picture in mind.
Their first mock was done March 25th and doesn't consider the recent allocation of compensation picks. I'll call this one the "like-Barrows" version of the draft -- the Niners trade up to draft a QBOTF. It assumes that Patrick Peterson, Von Miller and Blaine Gabbert have already been selected. Here it is:
Pick #7 -- Prince Amukamara CB Nebraska
Before their next pick (at 45), the Niners trade for a selection between 33 (New England) and 41 (Washington), using picks 45, 137, and 204; with that pick:
Pick #33-41 -- Christian Ponder QB Florida State
Pick #76 -- Dontay Moch OLB Nevada
Pick #107 -- They picked Owen Marecic FB Stanford, but I believe meant Kendrick Ellis NT Hampton
Pick #114 -- They picked Ellis but meant Marecic (Ellis is the higher rated prospect and would be picked first)
Pick #137 -- Traded to acquire Ponder
Pick #168 -- Richard Sherman CB Stanford
Pick #185 -- Jeff Maehl WR Oregon
Pick #199 -- Eric Hagg S Nebraska
Pick #204 -- Traded to acquire Ponder
So, there it is; kinda plain vanilla, but there are some good players in there. From a needs standpoint the biggest hole IMO is the lack of additional help at COPRB or RB.
Now, let's get to the more interesting mock. I'll call this the "preparing for the Andrew Luck (or other franchise QB) sweepstakes version" of the draft. It assumes, as before, that both Patrick Peterson and Von Miller have already been selected but that Prince Amukamara and Blaine Gabbert are still available. I know, you may not believe that Gabbert will still be there at #7, but just play what-if with them, because the outcome is interesting.
Pick #7 -- The Niners trade this pick to Minnesota (who select Gabbert) in exchage for picks 12 and 106 in this draft AND Minnesota's second round pick in 2012.
Pick #12 -- Cam Jordan DE California
Pick #45 -- Devon House CB New Mexico State
Pick #76 -- Dontay Moch OLB Nevada
Pick #106 (from Minnesota) -- Kendrick Ellis NT Hampton (not sure he lasts this long, but it's their mock)
Pick #108 (107 before comp picks) -- The Niners trade this pick to Washington (who select Terrence Toliver WR LSU) in exchange for Washington's third round pick in 2012.
Pick #115 (114) -- DeMarco Murray RB Oklahoma
Pick #140 (137) -- Henry Hynoski FB Pittsburgh (might still be able to get Marecic instead at this pick)
Pick #173 (168) -- Chris Rucker FS (most services rate him as a CB) Michigan State (I don't like the idea on converting Rucker to S; I would leave him at CB or draft Chris Culliver FS South Carolina as a S here)
Pick #190 (185) -- DeAndre Brown WR Southern Mississippi
Pick #210 (199) -- Mitch Mustain QB USC (four years in a pro-style offense; certainly has talent, but hasn't had the opportunity to play much)
Pick #215 -- The Niners trade this pick to Tennessee (who select David Carter DT UCLA) in exchange for Tennessee's sixth round pick in 2012.
Pick #238 -- Zane Taylor C/OG Utah
Pick #249 -- Trevis Turner OT Abilene Christian (this guy has a lot of developing to do; I'm also concerned that he might not be big enough ... 6'8" 335#)
Obviously, the further assumption with this particular mock -- not selecting a QB until the 7th round -- is that the Niners either resign Alex Smith or otherwise obtain a veteran QB via FA or trade, with the plan to draft the "real" QBOTF in the 2012 draft.
So there's the "preparation" version on TBR's mock. Perhaps the most interesting part of this mock is where it leaves the Niners going into the 2012 draft which will be one of the most QB-talent-laden drafts ever ... they would have one first, two seconds, two thirds, one each in four and five, two sixths, a seventh PLUS possible compensation picks for Franklin, Lawson, Goldson, et.al. That is more than enough ammunition to get whichever QB you want in the 2012 draft ... Luck or anyone else that you might prefer.