In the frozen hills of PA with nothing better to do than ponder the off season, I thought I would try my hand at armchair GM. I love the process of roster construction, off season maneuvers, and finding hidden gems or great value with up and commers! I recommend everyone read the first installment of FANsince1950 where he analizes the roster. I have very similar opinions on areas of need: CB, WR, S, C, G, Developmental QB. Free agents affecting the draft: I believe we resign Boldin, Dawson, Wilhoite and try to resign Brown. Gore is only back if on an extension/reduced cap #.
With that in mind, I've been looking at prospects and their various ratings from sites like Scout.com, Walter FB, CBSSports, SBN mock draft generator, even Dan Hope at B/R (i know-but his mock was pretty good) to get a feel for prospects in each round. I don't follow college FB close enough to know when HarBaalke will find the next hidden gem ala Miller (Bluey as EBNF would say) or hopefully Patton (shout out to the bandwagon). The senior bowl highlighted a couple of those I hoped to get in mid-late rounds but their stock is soaring at the moment (Richburg, C; Jean-Baptiste and Desir, CB) The first three picks will be CB/WR/S in any order. Here is the list of prospects I have an early crush on and the round we might have to target them: (Disclaimer: some top prospects like Evans or Watkins may cost too much capital to go up and get so I didn't target them).
1 (23): Justin Gilbert or Darqueze Dennard, CB. I believe we trade up using our 1st and a 3rd (#30 + #94) with KC. Assumes Evans is gone. Corners with good measurables and fundamentally sound. Will challenge for #3 spot right away with chance of moving up on roster.
2 (56): Allen Robinson WR or Jordan Matthews WR. Productive in college, good height, good-not great-hand, skilled route runners. Both with good football IQ who can learn from Q and Crab.
2 (61): Ahmad Dixon or Deone Bucannon, S. Rated as the #1-2 safeties in the draft. I be happy with either. If the Niners take a WR in the first, I could also see this spot for Desir or Jean-Baptiste @ CB.
3 (77): Richburg the center from Colo St. I don't think Swanson lasts to the Niners spot. I believe that Kilgore is the heir apparent for Goody, but this pick is for insurance/development. If both centers are gone, CJ Fiedorowicz, TE would be my choice. Iowa produces NFL caliber TE who can block and catch.
3 (94): Traded to KC for #23 overall pick.
Comp Pick: If 3rd round I like the idea of Martavis Bryant, WR from Clemson. He's 6'5" and productive opposite of Watkins in college. If a 4th round comp, I would target a developmental QB--either Arron Murray or Logan Thomas.
4 (129): Dakota Dozier, G from Furman. (6'4" 312) Small School nugget who could be the back up interior lineman. Gabe Ikard, C in case Richburg and Swanson are gone.
5 (158): Aaron Colvin, CB. Redshirt year. Other options include Jamea Thomas, FS from Ga Tech or Max Bulloch, ILB Mich. State. Bulloch played for a very physical MSU defense that made big plays at key times. Both are Special Teams/Developmental players.
I don't know the late round prospects well enough to pick, and I hope they use them to slide up in earlier rounds to get prospects they like. I look forward to hearing what the faithful have to think. Go Niners! (and Broncos this week) :)