This year will be a crap shoot for the 1st Round and should be filled with BOPA (Best Offensive Player Available). Free Agency moves have been stellar for the ball club. Even if Moss and Jacobs don’t pan out, the competition in camp will bring the best out of the 53 which make the final cut. For this mock I am drafting in order of positional need, and who should be available at those spots. Round 2 will depend on what Baalke lands in round 1 as I have provided alternates.
Round 1) Pick 30, Best Receiving Player Available
1) Stephen Hill, WR Georgia Tech, 6’-4+” he I fast, with unnatural raw athletic ability. With this scenario Baalke will find a similar situation as what he found with Aldon Smith last year. Athletic freak, who doesn’t have to play every snap. He has veterans to learn from and will be going against solid CBs in practice (Rodgers, Brown, Culliver) to improve his game. Will be used situationaly his 1st year.
2) Coby Fleener, TE Stanford. We have the best duo of TEs currently in Davis and Walker, however with Walker being a FA next year, Fleener can be the number 2 TE used for passing situations until the coaching staff, (like they did with the converted WR Walker) shape Fleener into a solid blocker as well. Adding Fleener allows Harbaugh and Roman, to disguise more of their offense and provide additional wrinkles. Imagine double tight set with Fleener and Davis, Walker as an H-back, Crabtree and Manningham as WRs, with Miller and Gore/Hunter in the back field. It’d be unbelievable the amount of 3rd down/redzone weapons Smith will have.
3) Ruben Randel, WR LSU. Randel may be a bit of a reach at 30, however he has come into his own this past season with LSU. He is a bigger possession type receiver, who runs solid routes, and can get separation from defenders and challenge Crabtree for a starting spot.
Round 1 Alternet) Pick 30, Best Blocking Player Available
1) Cordy Glenn, OG Georgia. Would be amazing if he slipped all the way to 30 but unlikely. However, its possible Baalke will move up 3 or 4 spots to grab him, if he is “Baalkes guy”
2) Kevin Zeitler, OG Wisconsin. More likely to be available at 30, Zeitler will be able to step in and compete with Kilgore, Person and Boone for the starting RG, most likely Zeitler will win out, allowing Kilgore to be the swing Guard, Boone the swing tackle, and Person to battle with Chase Beele for the back-up/future center position. Zeitler has quick feet, solid pulling guard which is very important in our offensive scheme.
3) Amini Silatolu OG Midwestern State. Silatolu is a smaller school guy, like Kilgore, but has huge upside. He played tackle in college, but after watching film, moves quickly to get to the next level to seal off LBs, which will translate to pulling in the NFL. Much like Zeitler he will have to compete with Kilgore and Boone for a starting spot.
Round 2) Pick 61, Best Blocking Player Available
(With the receiving threat picked up in the 1st round, guard is the next important need for the niners.)
1) Kelechi Osemele, OT Iowa state. Here the niners grab the best available OL and can convert him to play guard. At 6’6” and 333lbs, he is a monster of a man with similar size and athletic ability to Mike Iupati. He has long arms, (longest measured at the combine) to keep pass rushers out of Smiths face, and a strong base to man handle opponents while run blocking.
2) Jeff Allen, OT Illinois, at 6’4” Allen is a more prototypical OG size. Similar to Silatolu, he is quick at getting to the second level to make blocks down field. Again this will translate to pulling ability.
Round 2 Alt) Pick 61, Best Receiving Player Available
(With the OL solidified in the 1st round, the niners can address the future WR of the Franchise)
1) Mohamed Sanu, WR Rutgers. Once considered a 1st round selection by the 49ers, we get lucky to find him land at 61. His stock has slipped considering his slow 40 time at the combine. However Sanu is a solid WR, at 6’2” and plays faster with pads on. He runs great routes, very versatile, and loves contact. He doesn’t fear going over the middle, and can get the all mighty YACs our offense craves.
2) Marvin Jones, WR California. Marvin Jones has been all over the draft boards, ranging from 2nd to 4th rounds. However he warrants being taken here. Jones catches everything, I mean everything, and will make Smith look like a superstar. He has dealt with sub-par QBs his last few years at Cal but produced well alongside future superstar Allen. He runs great routes, hard worker, team player, good locker room guy, which will bolster the WR core.
3) Brian Quick, WR Appalachian State. Coming from a smaller school, Quick may be found in the later rounds, but if he’s Baalke’s guy then go for it. Quick is a big bodied receiver which the 49ers need, at 6’4” 220 lbs, he uses his frame to blockout smaller DBs as a Basketball player would, and catches the ball at the peak of his jumps.
Round 3) Pick 94 (Best RB Available)
1) Robert Turbin RB Utah State. The more I read and research Turbin, the more excited I get about the possibility of seeing him line up behind Bruce Miller, or alongside Kendall Hunter. He’s tough to tackle, a bruiser with good vision and balance who hits the hole hard and runs solid routes from the back field and catches everything. He willingly picks up the blitz and is a diligent worker with great character. Questions about ACL surgery 2 years ago needs not be a concern, look at Frank Gore, and his knee issues out of Miami. At 5-10, 220lbs, and a 4.47 40 yard dash at the combine, Turbin is Gore 2.0, with a splash of Marshawn Lynch. 49ers will carry 5 RBs as they did last year. [RBs) 1. Gore, 2. Hunter, 3. Turbin, FBs 1. Miller, 2. Jacobs.]
2) David Wilson, RB Virginia Tech. Another solid RB who recently visited the 49ers. Should Turbin be gone, the niners will select Wilson as the eventual Gore replacement. He runs low, and is another, one-cut north-south runner.
Round 4) Pick 125 (Best Safety Available)
1) Markel Martin, FS Oklahoma State. Martin may not fall this far in the draft, but if he is here, he is a steal. He can play solid special teams for a year, and compete with Spillman for the 3rd safety position.
2) Antonio Allen, SS South Carolina. Allen comes from a DB crop which has been flourishing in SCAR. With Culliver drafted last year, and Stephon Gilmore looking to go in the first round, these DBs will have a long NFL career.
Round 5) Pick 157 (Best OLB/DE Available)
1) Jacquise Smith OLB/DE Mizzou. (he’s a Smith from Mizzou, we need another OLB, and with a last name of Smith coming from Mizzou = Stud [see Aldon Smith, Justin Smith], solid motor, can develop behind Aldon and Ahmad, will be used as a situational down player much like we did with Aldon this year, can be another ST contributor)
2) Oliver Vernon OLB/DE Miami. Vernon is a solid player, he’s fast, and a killer at pass rushing. Like Aldon, in his first year. Vernon can play situationaly, learning how to play OLB and coverage, but be a Special Teams contributor, and manic after the QB on passing downs.
Round 6) (Best DE/DT Available)
1) Akiem Hicks, DE, Regina (Canada). (He has imposing measurable at 6'5", 318 pounds and is versatile to play at either end or tackle in Fangio's 3-4 defense. With the Rams, Hicks led the Canadian conference with 6.5 sacks during the regular season and also topped the Rams in tackles (29); total tackles (35.5) and forced fumbles (two). He is big and fast, has great hands to knock Offensive Lineman off their blocks. Hicks can be a developmental/ situational player to learn behind Justin Smith and Ray McDonald; will be able to compete with Will Tukuafu Ian Williams and Demarcus Dobbs for a roster spot.
2) Kourtnei Brown DE/DT, Clemson. Clemson is known for producing solid DE for the NFL. He is extremely athletic, and a solid motor which coaches like Fangio love. He is well built and can be the eventual replacement to Justin Smith.
Round 7) (Best CB/WR Available for camp)
(With this round, Baalke will add players to help out the organization and battle in camp, these will be versatile, athletes who will really have to fight for a potential roster spot.)
1) Chris Owusu, WR Stanford. Owusu is fast, he ran a 4.4 forty at the combine, has great hands and runs solid routes. The only issue with Owusu is his concussions. He falls this far because there are questions to his durability. How many more concussions can he take? He will be a solid Practice teamer to provide solid competition amongst our CBs.
2) 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. Jackson could be a missile on special teams, much like Colin Jones of 2011.
Regardless of whom the 49ers Draft, I am really pleased with how well Baalke has done, by developing contracts and assigning “values” to every player considered a “49er” he has landed us Jim Harbaugh, a great coaching staff, and provided players with a team first mentality which has, and will continue to be exciting to see for years to come. Please leave comments as to who you believe the niners will pursue!