The folks at SB Nation have come out with their final 2011 NFL mock draft in advance of the start of this year's NFL Draft. They mixed in some trades, although the 49ers were not featured in any of these deals. The pertinent trade for the 49ers purposes saw the Dallas Cowboys acquire the Arizona Cardinals fifth overall pick in order to draft LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson. That leaves the 49ers with the pick SB Nation has had them making almost exclusively since day one of the draft season:
7. San Francisco 49ers: Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska. There's a strong chance that Gabbert is the pick here if he's available, but we all know that Jim Harbaugh has another quarterback in mind.
Just to be clear, Brian means Andrew Luck with that post-comma comment. Barring an Andrew Luck meltdown over the next twelve months, the odds are pretty good for now that he would be the number one pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. Let's just hope the 49ers are picking in the bottom third of next year's draft.
However, I thought with this final mock by SB Nation, it'd be interesting to take a look back at mock drafts from last year to see what kind of success they had. Thankfully you can check out our 2010 mock draft database to compare picks. It was not 100% updated as Mel Kiper and Todd McShay both updated their mocks after our final mock. Fittingly neither one of them was right. They both had the 49ers drafting Joe Haden and Bryan Bulaga, although they had them in opposite spots of the 13th and 17th pick. The 49ers moved up two spots, but even still people had a mix of success last year.
In our 30-site database, 5 had the 49ers grabbing Mike Iupati and 13 had the 49ers grabbing Anthony Davis. All 13 mocks of Davis had him going with the 17th pick. Instead the 49ers traded up from No. 13 to grab Davis at No. 11. And just to show you how much of a crapshoot this thing can be, Hogs Haven determined that NOBODY correctly picked Tyson Alualu to the Jaguars. That pick caught a good number of folks off guard, so take that for what it's worth.
This year a lot of folks are rolling the dice on either Patrick Peterson or Prince Amukamara. However, as we've seen with previous drafts, anything can happen. This year, trading is tough to figure out with players apparently unavailable for deals (depending on the stay) and the uncertainty about future picks. The 49ers have been fairly tight-lipped about their plans, as would be expected, so it really is rather difficult to get a good idea of what will happen a little over 48 hours from now.