So today was the start Mocking the Draft's Live Draft, and manraj was kind enough to lead the effort on behalf of Niners Nation. Rounds 1 through 3 were picked today, while the rest of the draft happens tomorrow. You can see the full results here. About eight of us got together on google docs and held a 49ers war room (I recognized AzNiner and NinerFanTuscon -- shout out in the comments if you were there). Here's who we picked:
With the 30th pick in the NFL Draft, the 49ers take Kevin Zeitler, OG, Wisconsin.
I think everyone in the war room would admit that this was a solid pick, if somewhat disappointing. We seemed to settle on picking a guard in the first -- only one of the second-tier receivers was taken before the 49ers picked (the texans got Hill at 26) and we were sure we could get one of them in the next round. Fleener was gone, too, with Miami taking him 8th (!) overall.
The guy we were highest on, Peter Konz, was taken at 21 by Dallas, and we got sandbagged by Baltimore when they took Cordy Glenn at 29. With that, we were left with very few options. Pittsburgh and San Diego both offered us trades, where we would take their late second rounders as well as their thirds and/or fourths. However, we didn't pull the trigger on either -- we wanted a pick high in the second round, since that's where the value is. Plus, this team doesn't need mid-round picks for depth, there's no room on the roster.
Zeitler quickly became the consensus option, with a couple of people voting for Reuben Randle and one guy voting for RB Doug Martin.
The 49ers trade their 2nd and 3rd round picks (62 and 94) for the Eagles' 2nd and 6th round picks (46 and 177). With the 46th pick in the NFL draft, the 49ers select Reuben Randle, WR, LSU.
Unfortunately for us, there was a run on receivers early in the second. Jeffrey was taken at 32 by the Giants, Sanu by Indy at 34, Criner at 40 by Seattle. Philly, which had been moving up and down all afternoon, let us trade up to get Randle at the cost of a 3rd round pick. I wasn't involved in these discussions, but apparently a minority of the war room wanted to target Streeter instead. Randle was the pick, though, giving the 49ers late first round talent in the second round.
The rest of the draft happens tomorrow -- manraj can post the details in the comments. For now, here are my takeaways.
Crazy things will happen. Fan drafts aren't known for their level-headedness, and this was no exception. Claiborne went off the board at 3rd overall, the Rams picked DeCastro at 6 (higher than any guard ever) and Fleener was picked 8th overall. I don't think moves like these make this mock draft useless, though. In the actual draft, crazy things happen all the time. No one saw the Ted Ginn pick coming, ditto for the Aldon Smith and the DHB pick.
Players will drop that the 49ers are interested in. IMO, the top drop-down candidates this year are RB Trent Richardson, OT Riley Rieff, and NT Dontari Poe. All of them have question marks (Richardson because he's an RB, Rieff because he's very raw, Poe because of fears he was overvalued by the combine) and all of them dropped today. Moving up to get Richardson was definitely discussed, but he was taken before we made our move. Poe and Rieff, who are both raw, were not under serious consideration, but maybe they should have been.
There's a lot of defensive talent late in the first round. Between picks 20 and 29, six defensive players were taken, putting the 49ers in the unenviable position of picking right in the middle of a run on players we don't need. I'm 90% sure this will happen in April as well. If this team needed a DT, they would be in great place to take whoever falls to them -- but since it doesn't, the team may have to reach for a guard or receiver if they stay at 30.
- There's going to be a run at receiver. There is a logjam at receiver that is just waiting to break late in the first round or early in the second round. The second tier guys (Hill, Jeffrey, Sanu, Criner, Randle, Streeter, Jones, and Givens) are all rated pretty similarly, and, in this particular draft, all but one were taken within 30 picks of each other. Heres hoping the 49ers don't find themselves on the wrong side of that run.