Drafting to beat your rivals -- who should we look at?

Drafting to beat your rivals -- who should we look at?

Traditionally, draft watchers discuss two draft strategies: filling your biggest needs and taking the best player available. However, another approach teams tend to take is drafting to beat their biggest rivals.

For us, I list those teams as the Seahawks, Rams, Redskins, Packers, and maybe Carolina. I excluded the Cardinals because they're IMHO rebuilding and we don't know what they're going to look like in 2 - 3 years. I included the Redskins and Packers because I believe that they will be Conference contenders over the next few years -- I put Carolina in there because I see them as a team on the rise.

Based on that, who should we draft? Team by team strength mismatches with the 49ers:

SEA - extremely mobile quarterback, big, physical CBs, solid defensive line, all pro left tackle. good speed pass rusher

STL - phenomenal defensive line, especially on the inside. impressive, physical corners

WAS - extremely mobile quarterback, all pro left tackle

GB - Amazing quarterback, good pass rush

CAR - Dynamic quarterback with a cannon for an arm

Based on that, here's where I see needs:

- pass rush. Yes, we have Aldon Smith and Brooks, but chasing Wilson around and (to a lesser extent) RGIII will wear out our pass rushers. We need depth there. We also need D-line depth -- everyone saw RJF winded chasing Wilson around

- Large WRs; Sherman and Browner get away with a lot of contact, but they're extremely physical regardless of officiating. We have relatively smallish receivers -- we need some bigger ones...Crabtree is 'physical' in my opinion

- Center. we have solid guards, but Goodwin is lacking.

- swing tackle. Staley and Davis are good tackles, but we have no depth. If one goes down, Chris Long, Clay Matthews, Clemons, or Irvin could 'take over the game' if a backup can't step in

- Secondary depth - the Packers can go 4-wide and pick you apart without depth in the secondary.

So based on all that, what would our first three rounds look like - ** Obviously, we won't draft 15 players, but I drafted them anyways.

1-31 - Datone Jones, DE, UCLA - huge plus-up at the defensive end position

2-34 - Alex Okafor, DE/OLB, Texas - another speed rusher to rotate in with Aldon Smith and Ahmad Brooks

2-61 - David Amerson, S/CB, N.C. State - CB/Safety hybrid that will allow us to put him at safety or corner, depending on how the rest of the roster develops

3-74 - Brandon Williams, DT, Missouri Southern State

3-93 - Cobi Hamilton, WR, Arkansas - He's 6-2, but incredibly physical and breaks a lot of tackles. can beat the press

4-125 - Xavier Nixon, OT, Florida - Big tackle who can fill in if something happens to Staley or Davis...and Davis is a free agent after 2014 with a voided final year.

4-comp - Matt Scott, QB, Arizona - solid QB prospect with some athleticism and is a good fit for our system

5-150 - Chris Gragg, TE/H-Back, Arkansas - He's projected as a 5th rounder by many, and he could replace Delanie Walker

5-157 - Robert Lester, S, Alabama - obviously lacking in certain areas, but provides safety depth

6-180 - PJ Longeran, C, LSU - Center Depth/Project

6-189 - Marlon Brown, WR, Georgia - Big, Physical Receiver that could be a steal

6-comp - Nickell Roby, DB/PR, USC - Punt Returner, reserve corner

7-211 - Orhian Johnson, SS, Ohio State - special teams contributor, reserve safety

7-221 - Nick Clancy, ILB, Boston College - lots of hustle, we'll need ILB depth

7-comp - La'Rod King, WR, Kentucky - Camp fodder (probably)

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Niners Nation's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Niners Nation's writers or editors.

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