Well that was an extremely interesting first round. I have to admit that it was the most exciting and unpredictable 1st round that I have ever seen.
Aldon Smith to the 49ers was a shocker, that is pretty obvious. I am not saying it wasn't a good pick because he is going to be one heck of a football player. The real shockers came in the form of Jake Locker (Tennessee), Christian Ponder (Minnesota), Nate Solder (New England), James Carpenter (Seattle) and Jonathan Baldwin (Kansas City)
I had Locker as the 4th best QB prospect, and he went with the 8th pick. Also, I had Ponder going in the 2nd round and Carpenter going in the 3rd. In regards to Jonathan Baldwin, as much as I do like him, that was a reach for Kansas City in the 1st; Titus Young is a much better pro prospect in my opinion.
So, onto the 1st round results and who could be available to the 49ers at 45.
1. Carolina QB Cam Newton Auburn
2. Denver LB Von Miller Texas A&M
3. Buffalo DT Marcell Dareus Alabama
4. Cincinnati WR A.J. Green Georgia
5. Arizona CB Patrick Peterson Louisiana State
6. Atlanta from Cleveland WR Julio Jones Alabama
7. San Francisco LB Aldon Smith Missouri
8. Tennessee QB Jake Locker Washington
9. Dallas OT Tyron Smith USC
10. Jacksonville from Wash QB Blaine Gabbert Missouri
11. Houston DE J.J. Watt Wisconsin
12. Minnesota QB Christian Ponder Florida State
13. Detroit DL Nick Fairley Auburn
14. St. Louis DE/LB Robert Quinn North Carolina
15. Miami C Mike Pouncey Florida
16. Washington from Jax DE Ryan Kerrigan Purdue
17. New England OT Nate Solder Colorado
18. San Diego DT Corey Liuget Illinois
19. New York (G) CB Prince Amukamara Nebraska
20. Tampa Bay DE Adrian Clayborn Iowa
21. Cleveland from KC DT Phil Taylor Baylor
22. Indianapolis OT Anthony Castonzo Boston College
23. Philadelphia OL Danny Watkins Baylor
24. New Orleans DE Cameron Jordan California
25. Seattle OT James Carpenter Alabama
26. Kansas City from CLE WE Jonathan Baldwin Pittsburgh
27. Baltimore CB Jimmy Smith Colorado
28. New Orleans from N.E. RB Mark Ingram Alabama
29. Chicago OT Gabe Carimi Wisconsin
30. New York (J) DT Mohamed Wilkerson Temple
31. Pittsburgh DE Cameron Heyward Ohio State
32. Green Bay OT Derek Sherrod Mississippi St.
My Top Players Available
1. DE- Da'Quan Bowers, Clemson
2. LB- Justin Houston, Georgia
3. LB- Akeem Ayers, UCLA
4. CB- Brandon Harris, Miami
5. TE- Kyle Rudolph, Notre Dame
6. CB- Aaron Williams, Texas
7. QB- Andy Dalton, TCU
8. LB- Brooks Reed, Arizona
9. WR- Titus Young, Boise State
10. QB- Colin Kaepernick, Nevada
11. OT- Benjamin Ijalana, Villanova
12. WR- Torrey Smith, Maryland
13. QB- Ryan Mallett, Arkansas
14. DT- Stephen Paea, Oregon State
15. LB- Dontay Moch, Nevada
16. S- Rahim Moore, UCLA
17. CB- Curtis Brown, Texas
18. RB- Ryan Williams, Virginia Tech
19. WR- Leonard Hankerson, Miami (F)
20. LB- Martez Wilson, Illinois
So where do the 49ers go? This has been an extremely unpredictable draft thus far, so it is possible that either Aaron Williams or Brandon Harris fall to 45; that would be the ideal scenario for the 49ers. However, New England, Denver, Dallas, Houston, Minnesota and Detroit all have CB needs ahead of the 49ers in the 2nd round. This would seem to leave the likes of Curtis Brown and Ras-I Dawling as possibilities for them at 45.
Another option would be the QB position, and this is more likely. Andy Dalton, Ryan Mallett and Colin Kaepernick are all available heading into the 2nd day of the draft. Considering that Tennessee and Minnesota reached for QBs in the first round the 49ers have a real shot here. You are looking at Cincinnati, Arizona and Washington with QB needs ahead of San Francisco in the 2nd round. Chances are that all three of them do not select a QB. This means, barring a trade, the 49ers would have a chance at one of those QBs.
Quarterback and Corner at the 49ers biggest needs right now, but what if they go BPA? Da'Quan Bowers may actually be available at 45, which would put the 49ers in a weird position. They just selected a pass rusher, Aldon Smith, with the 7th pick; is it possible they get another one here in the 2nd round? The thought of a front seven that includes Justin Smith, Aldon Smith, Patrick Willis and Da'Quan Bowers has to scare opposing offenses. Just food for thought.
A lot of 49er fans had major issues with them selecting Aldon Smith with the 7th pick, but I want to know what your alternative was? It wasn't the sexiest pick in the world, but years down the road most of you will probably be singing another tune. As it is the 49ers have the following picks remaining in the 2011 draft, which means they are sure to get a lot of help moving forward this weekend.
This also means that the 49ers have the ammunition to move up in the 2nd round and get their guy. If Jim Harbaugh and Trent Baalke are sold on Andy Dalton, they could easily move up to Buffalo's pick at 34. This would most likely cost San Francisco their 45th,108th and 174th picks, leaving them with 8 more picks.
Another option would be the 49ers moving down from their selection with a team looking for one of the second tier RBs who are likely to go in a string tomorrow. That would enable San Francisco to pick up an additional 3rd or 4th round pick which would give them a lot of flexibility to zero in on a player the want by trading back up multiple times.