2012 NFL Draft: 49ers Employing Smokescreen Strategy Again?

SAN FRANCISCO CA - JANUARY 07: Jim Harbaugh and general manager Trent Baalke speak at a press conference where Harbaugh was introduced as the new San Francisco 49ers head coach at the Palace Hotel on January 7 2011 in San Francisco California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)


There's been endless talk about Stephen Hill and Coby Fleener being drafted at No. 30 by the San Francisco 49ers. More recently, more pass catchers like Michael Floyd, Rueben Randle and Kendall Wright have been linked to the 49ers with scheduled visits. From a broad perspective, we could assume the 49ers are definitely taking a pass-catcher in round one.

But the best way to predict the future is to look at history, and 49ers draft history as it relates to Jim Harbaugh and Trent Baalke would suggest they might go a completely different direction all together.

In 2011, the 49ers drafted defenseman Aldon Smith with the 7th overall pick in the NFL Draft. It was definitely a surprise to most at the time, especially since it was a Missouri player but not the available quarterback, Blaine Gabbert (good thing that didn't happen). The three main players the 49ers were connected to or rumored to select in the first were Von Miller, Patrick Peterson and Blaine Gabbert.

Miller and Peterson were off the board, but Harbaugh and Baalke looked into their crystal ball and made the right decision.

Aldon Smith was drafted as a third-year sophomore who hadn't even had visited with the 49ers. San Francisco had gone to the Missouri Pro Day but most of us thought they were taking a look at Gabbert -- sleight of hand again.

So what do we make of all these wide receiver visits? I suppose the 49ers could be doing their due diligence and surprise us all by taking an offensive lineman or best player available that could be a cornerback or pass rusher. A lot of people outside of 49ers headquarters aren't certain about what Daniel Kilgore brings to the table, seeing as how he was a 5th rounder.

Kilgore could be good, yes, but it's the competition the 49ers attempted to bring in for him that never happened. San Francisco looked at several veterans but signed none. They even looked at a capable starter in Geoff Schwartz, but he wound up signing with the Minnesota Vikings. It sort of seemed like the situation went unsettled and it wouldn't be the most shocking thing if the 49ers took an offensive lineman in the first round.

The 49ers could easily snag an offensive lineman in the first and then add someone like Brian Quick, Tommy Streeter and/or Marvin Jones in a later round. There are a couple ways San Francisco can approach the draft, but I wouldn't be surprised if they were being crafty like this.

Follow me on Twitter: @DeSimone80

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Niners Nation

You must be a member of Niners Nation to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Niners Nation. You should read them.

Join Niners Nation

You must be a member of Niners Nation to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Niners Nation. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker