2012 Mock Draft Post Goldson Franchise Tag
After the contract negations and franchise tags of Stevie Johnson, Desean Jackson, and Dwayne Bowe, top flight WRs are dwindling in availability, leaving high rollers such as Mike Wallace and Vincent Jackson, that much more expensive. I believe Baalke/Harbaugh and company will not deviate from their plan of patience in Free Agency. One can believe a price value has already been assigned to FA WRs this offseason. With that said I believe Baalke will wait out and sift through the remaining FA WRs and get this year’s version of Carlos Rodgers for WR. Someone like a Meacham, or Garcon. With this said I believe going into the 2012 season our WR core will look similar to Crabtree, Williams, Morgan [Resigned], (FA WR), (Draft Pick WR) as our receivers. The 49ers will resign Ginn, relatively cheap but use him solely for special teams (ST), end rounds, and the "vertical threat decoy".
Additionally, it keeps being said we don’t have a vertical threat, well that’s not really the system Harbaugh/Roman is running, the system is about methodically moving down the field, managing the game clock, and keeping turnovers to a minimum. Its obvious Smith is our QB for the near future, until Kaepernick truly beats him out in camp, 2 to 4 years from now. Until then Smith is the guy, however it has been documented that Smith isn’t the best on the deep ball, nor does he need to be. He’s good on the short to intermediate routes, what we need are guys who fit that system, and will get YAC’s. This is the system in place, and as it worked last year it will continue to work.
As for the Draft itself (remembering Larry Grant is gone and we received an additional 2nd round pick):
- RD 1) TRADE for future 1st RD 2013 and gain additional 4th round pick 2012. (at this point in the draft there is not enough value for the remaining WRs, Hill, Floyd, Blackmon, are all gone, this is a deep WR class, however the polished WRs are not that fast, Sanu, Wright [both in the 4.6 range at combine] and the quick receivers are raw and can be found later in the draft)
- RD 2A) Colby Fleener TE Stanford. (Not a reaction to the production of Gronkowski/Hernandez, nor Jimmy Graham) I understand we are deep with TE threats with Vernon Davis and Delanie Walker however; Imagine 4 TE’s for the niners, packages of 3 TE’s will allow the niners to disguise whether they will, Run, Play action pass, or just pass. Davis, Fleener and Walker are not only all fast sure handed TE’s, but good blockers (Fleener needs work but evidence shows our Coaches are the best in the league) and will present mismatches all over the board, no more Redzone nor 3rd down woe's. How many times did Harbaugh/Roman bring in Alex Boone, Justin Smith, Isaac Sopoaga, or any number of OL on offense to run as the third TE? With a tall target in Fleener, he can be used just like he was for Stanford. The 49ers have the only 2 ILB that could cover Fleener in Willis and Bowman, Fleener is faster then LBs and taller and more physical than Safeties. In addition by keeping Nate Byham (who also has soft hands) as our Blocking/H-back specialist TE. The last argument for this pick is that Delanie Walker will be a FA next year, and I feel he is ready to be a starting TE somewhere else as much as it pains me to think.
- RD 2B) Marvin Jones WR California. (This is where the 49ers will find there WR compliment to Crabtree. Jones catches everything thrown in his direction. Solid route runner, catches in traffic, and can get the almighty YAC’s we need), Most think this is a reach however I see him being targeted by teams to go a lot higher in the draft should Jones be unavailable Juron Criner of Arizona, or Marvin Mcnutt of Iowa would be a good selection.
- RD 3) Antonio Allen, SS South Carolina (solid coverage Safety, and sure tackler, let him learn behind Goldson/Whitner, develop more of that "Nastiness Factor". Having Allen fall to us in the 3rd would be a steal and coming from South Carolina, he will learn the system quickly alongside Chris Culliver)
- RD 4A) Robert Turbin RB Utah State. (Although he had ACL surgery a year + ago, remember another back with knee issues coming from the "U", Frank Gore. A year behind Gore, he will be Gore/Lynch 2.0, one cut North to South, powerful runner with elusive quickness, 5’11 225 lbs 4.44 40 yard at Combine, also catches well out of the backfield, Hunter and Turbin will be a two headed monster for years to come)
- RD 4B) Ryan Steed, CB Furman (Steed is project CB and you may think this is too high for a project CB, but the ceiling is high. he is a gifted athlete, very similar to Chris Culliver of last year’s draft. All Steed requires is more experience and tutelage, but the talent is there.)
- Rd 5) Jacquise Smith OLB/DE Mizzou. (he’s a Smith from Mizzou, we need another OLB, and Smith + Mizzou = Stud [see Aldon Smith, Justin Smith], solid motor, can develop behind Aldon and Brooks, use as a situational much like we did with Aldon this year, can be another ST contributor)
- RD 6) Ryan Miller OG Colorado. (6’7", 313, solid run blocker/pass blocker, has surprisingly quick feet for his size. He is a tweener, could be a tackle or guard but needs coaching. We have a number of OG/T on our practice squad, or drafted last year to compete for the starting right OG position next year in Kilgore, Beeler, Person, Snyder, Hall and Chisholm)
- RD 7) Asa Jackson, CB Cal Poly, because he is a small school guy, he may slip this far in the draft, a technician at his position, he is a competitive prospect with a chip on his shoulder, can step in and compete with Tramain Brock, Cory Nelms and Curtis Holcomb for a roster spot. Could be a missile on special teams, much like Colin Jones.
- UDFA: Kellen Moore QB Boise State, Chris Owusu WR Stanford(just because of concussion issues) D'Anton Lynn CB Penn State, Mike Willie WR Arizona State, Jarret Boykin WR Virginia Tech, William Valachos C Alabama, Desmond Wynn OG Rutgers, Matt Conrath DT Virginia, Bryce Brown RB Kansas State.
In conclusion, Baalke and company will find guys who are versatile, and can play multiple positions; I wouldn’t be surprised if there is another experiment similar to the Bruce Miller DE to Fullback in this year’s draft. This will be an interesting FA and Draft let me know what your thoughts are! I look forward to your comments!