With free agency winding down, it's time for that most favorite of pastimes - mock draft making. As rosterbation goes it's even more fun than free agency speculation, because it's so much simpler. Join me after the jump as we take a look at one potential scenario, including a big move by the 49ers.
1st round, pick 30: TRADE! 49ers trade picks 30 (round 1), 92 (round 3), and a 2013 3rd rounder to the New York Jets for pick 16 (round 1). The Jets, who just traded two picks to acquire Tim Tebow, look to recoup their losses and move back in the first round.
1st round, pick 16: David DeCastro, G, Stanford. I'll admit, this is a bit of a Stanford homer move on my part, and it's possible that two third rounders won't be enough to persuade the Jets to move back 14 spots. In fact, DeCastro might not even be on the board at 16. But if he is, and the 49ers could swing a trade, I think they should go for it. We have a need at right guard, unless the team is really confident that Daniel Kilgore can take over. DeCastro fills that need, and fills it well. He's a beast in the running game who's also a good pass blocker, and is ready to play from day one. As well, he knows Harbaugh well from his Stanford days. Pairing DeCastro with Iupati would give us one of the best young guard tandems in the league, who could make Pro Bowls together for years to come.
2nd round, pick 61: Doug Martin, RB, Boise State. While we might need a WR more, I'm not very impressed at the WR options at this point in the draft unless someone like Stephen Hill or Reuben Randle falls. Martin at 61 provides terrific value, as in my mind he is a borderline first round pick. He doesn't really stand out in any one area, but is very solid overall with a good mix of speed and power. As well, he is a good receiver out of the backfield. I am very low on Frank Gore, and I doubt we'll be able to get much more out of him, but the two-headed monster of Martin and Kendall Hunter would put the 49ers run game back at elite status.
4th round, pick 124: Devon Wylie, WR/PR/KR, Fresno State. Ted Ginn Jr. does not seem likely to return to the 49ers, leaving a gap at PR and KR. While I do trust Kyle Williams to fill it capably, despite his troubles in the NFC Championship game, our punt/kick returning was a big part of our #1 special teams unit and I believe the team will address Ginn's departure with a pick in the draft. The highest rated PR/KR in the draft is Joe Adams out of Arkansas, but he is not worth a second round pick in my opinion, and in this mock he is gone before the fourth round. Wylie is a very nice consolation prize. He has a few injury concerns but is a blazer, with a 40 time in the 4.3 to low 4.4 range. He shows limited promise as a wide receiver, but could be a game-changing return man, and with the few holes we have on the roster, we have the luxury of being able to take one of those.
Other options: Juron Criner, WR, Arizona - DeVier Posey, WR, Ohio State - Terell Manning, OLB, North Carolina State - Keenan Robinson, OLB, Texas - Janzen Jackson, S, McNeese State - Markelle Martin, S, Oklahoma State
5th round, pick 156: Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford. Luck is a once-in-a-decade prospect with all the tools to be the next great - ok, that was just to make sure you were paying attention. The real pick is Janzen Jackson, S, McNeese State. He has plenty of off-field issues, and was charged with armed robbery though he was cleared of charges. As well, he was dismissed from his team in September 2011, for unspecified reasons. However, if he gets his act together, he can be a very fine safety in the NFL, and the 49ers have not shied away from talented players with issues in the past (see Randy Moss and Perrish Cox). He's too talented to not take a flier on - however, many teams might think that, so we'll be lucky if he's here.
Other options: Tank Cardier, OLB, Texas Christian - David Molk, C, Michigan - Ryan Broyles, WR, Oklahoma - Keshawn Martin, WR, Michigan State - Levy Adcock, OT, Oklahoma State - Cliff Harris, CB, Oregon
6th round, pick 187: Levy Adcock, OT, Oklahoma State. I'll be very happy if Adcock falls this far. I think he's an underrated prospect with the potential to be a starter in the NFL. Even if he doesn't start, he won't cause problems off the field and provides good depth at all offensive line spots. By this point, so much craziness has gone on that there are too many other options to count.
7th round, pick 219: Asa Jackson, CB, Cal Poly. He isn't expected to be a starter in the NFL, which explains why he's available this far down. But he helps with depth, and has good speed which might be useful in the return game as well.
I think if this draft occurred, the 49ers would be in very good shape heading into 2012. Our guard problem is fixed, and we suddenly have one of the more promising offensive lines in the league. We have the heirs apparent to Frank Gore and Ted Ginn Jr, and depth is reinforced at key positions where we lack it. We still don't have a successor for Justin Smith, and OLB depth is still in question, but in my opinion those are two of the weakest positions in this draft, and we'd do better to get someone for both positions next year. I'd love to hear thoughts and critiques, as well as any players you think I missed.