Okay, so we all know how vain and futile it is to try to predict almost any stage of the NFL draft. The first draft day trade, like a domino effect, changes everything. But for goodness sake, this is just to have fun. We do learn some things during all these discussions and mock ups. But we have no idea how the draft will layout, nor how Baalke and Co. will approach each pick and decision.
We don't know whether Baalke truly believes in Ian Williams as his NT. We don't know whether he will shift Culliver to FS, though strong evidence points to that. We don't know a lot of things. We merely speculate.
That being said, do try to treat this mock as just rampant speculation in an attempt to have a tiny bit of fun. Though I would definitely like to read your critiques, do try to not take me or yourself too seriously in this matter. After all, we ARE just fans. No one's paying us to actually be right about this stuff. And if the track records of people like Mel Kiper and his fellow "experts" is any indication, NO ONE is actually paid to be 'right' about this stuff.
This last mock of mine combines the input of some fellow fans who really want to see us trade up to get some one special early with the input of those who want to see us trade down to accumulate more ammo for next year's draft with those who actually think we could use some better depth on the roster. Therefore, I suspect I will equally annoy everyone.
TRADE UP ===> Picks 31 + 93 for Picks 27 + 124 from Houston
PICK 27 ===> D.J. Hayden - CB - Houston He's a risk, though his health is clear. But many consider him the best CB in the draft. Some don't think we need a CB. We have six on the roster right now. But only 2 of those are even signed for 2014. And one of those, Rogers, is a likely cap casualty. And the other, Culliver, likely being moved to FS this season. I was seriously considering moving a little further up to get Datone Jones or Tank Carradine. And frankly, I wouldn't mind if that were the case. I could easily adjust the rest of the draft accordingly.
TRADE DOWN ===> Pick 31 for Picks 41 + 143 + 2014 4th Rounder from Buffalo.
TRADE DOWN ===> Pick 41 for Picks 53 + 118 + 2014 3rd Rounder from Cincinnati
PICK 53 ===> Jamie Collins - OLB - Southern Mississippi. Sack Seer has Collins as the 4th best pass rusher in the draft, even ahead of Dion Jordan. He instantly can be plugged into the rotation with Brooks and Aldon, perhaps even allowing us to release Haralson. At the very least, he replaces Cam Johnson on the roster.
TRADE DOWN ===> Pick 61 for Picks 83 + 102 + 2014 4th Rounder from Minnesota
PICK 74 ===> Baccari Rambo - Safety - Georgia. Rambo doesn't just give us a great marketing name to use in the new stadium. He can play both FS and SS equally well. He is not the hardest hitter in the draft, nor the best cover safety in the draft. But he does both incredibly well. If they move Culliver to FS, as I suspect they will, Rambo will have a year to develop and could easily allow the team to move Culliver back to CB next year.
PICK 102 ===> Aaron Dobson - WR - Marshall. I hope he's available this late. If not, Rogers would be a good alternative. If he is, fantastic. We get a tall, strong, fast receiver with great hands. He will be able to stretch the field, opening up the underneath for the rest of our very good receiving corp. And his height will give him some advantages in the Red Zone.
PICK 118 ===> Lavar Edwards - DE/OLB - LSU. Another highly skilled pass rusher. He will primarily play DE in our 4-3 sets. But can also line up as an OLB in our 3-4 sets. He's quick off the snap, incredibly athletic, and has a non-stop motor. He will easily make our roster as a back up and/or rotational player. He will definitely be capable of rotating in behind McDonald during obvious passing downs.
PICK 124 ===> Duke Williams - SS - Nevada. An alternative here would be Josh Evans from Florida. Duke is one of the smartest players I've seen on film. He is fully capable in coverage if for no other reason than his skill at reading routes and QBs. He is also a fearless run defender and extremely good open field tackler. The only other safety I saw who could make better open field tackles was Elam .
PICK 128 ===> Quinton Dial - DE/DT - Alabama. Whereas Edwards was suited more to be a DE in a 4-3 and an OLB in the 3-4, Dial is more like Justin Smith in that he is suited for DT in the 4-3 and DE in the 3-4. He will likely not replace Cowboy. But he is fully capable of relieving him either during injury or in rotation to allow Cowboy to extend the success in his career another couple of years.
PICK 131 ===> Chris Gragg - TE/HB - Arkansas. I would have taken a more straight line TE here, like Fauria, who could add some much needed RZ height. But we just signed Moorah from Seattle and I suspect taking a player like Gragg gives us more offensive options. Gragg is fast, a good blocker and can play in the back field, on the line or in the slot equally well. Alternatively we could take Fauria here.
PICK 143 ===> Chris Faulk - OT - LSU. Can play both tackle positions and could easily step in as a swing tackle we lack right now.
TRADE DOWN ===> Picks 157 + 173 + 180 for a 2014 4th Rounder and 2015 4th Rounder from any number of possible trade partners.
PICK 246 ===> AJ Francis - DT/NT - Maryland. A very strong, very quick of the snap big guy. He is one of the few DT/NT I saw on film who consistently brought pressure up the middle during passing downs and persistently ate up double teams during running plays.
PICK 252 ===> Terrell Sinkford - WR - Northern Iowa. Blazing fast. Can be developed as both a future slot receiver and/or return man.
Okay, so here's what we got for all my amateur GM play.
Dobson + Sinkford @ WR
Faulk @ Swing Tackle
Gragg @ TE/HB
Hayden @ CB
Rambo + Williams @ Safety
Collins @ pure pass rushing OLB
Edwards @ DE/OLB
Dial @ DT/DE
Francis @ NT/DT
One (1) 2014 3rd Rounder
Three (3) 2014 4th Rounders
One (1) 2015 4th Rounder
I'd love to hear how you would do things differently. Or ask whatever questions you want about how I came to these choices. I won't be able to answer because my mocks change multiple times ever day as I learn more. This just so happens to be my mock for Wednesday April 24th @ 12:11pm