FanPost

Worst Case Cully Scenario Mock Draft

Let's say, just for a moment, that we are forced to cut Chris Culliver before the draft. I doubt it, but it certainly is possible. How would our draft strategy be affected? Well, clearly CB becomes, by far, our biggest need, and everything else becomes secondary. So, without further ado, here's the mock:

Original Picks:

1 (30)

2 (56)

2 (61)

3 (77)

3 (94)

3 (100)

4 (129)

5 (170)

7 (242)

7 (243)

7 (245)

In the first, CB is obviously the pick due to the Culliver situation, and it is far more pressing than it was before. This warrants a bold move. Before the Cully incident, I didn't think Justin Gilbert was worth trading up for because we could get a guy who could come in and play the slot behind Cully and Brock, who would start, far lower in the draft, and Gilbert isn't that guy. Now, however, our most pressing need would be a boundary playmaker, and that's exactly what Gilbert is. But how do we get him? He won't drop past the Lions at #10. No way. So, since we have 6 picks in the top 100, and this is a prime draft for top teams to trade up, we trade #30, #56, and #77 (1165 points) to Buffalo for #9 (1350 points). This trade has a bit of a point disparity, but that's completely acceptable in this draft where teams are dying to trade down.

1 (9): Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State

2 (61)

3 (94)

3 (100)

4 (129)

5 (170)

7 (242)

7 (243)

7 (245)

Now we have a starting boundary corner to pair with Tramaine Brock. This is not the end of our CB troubles. Before the Cully issue, we only really needed a nickel corner, and we already have some guys who can compete for the nickel spot. I just don't think anybody we currently have is good enough to come in and be a difference maker, or even a plus player, in the nickel. So, we follow the Bill Walsh philosophy of kickstarts by taking a corner with 2 consecutive picks. Now, there are two options here. Either we can take a big boundary guy who will push Brock inside in the nickel like Cully did with Rogers in 2011 and 2012, or we can take a true slot corner to leave Brock on the outside. For three reasons, I think the former is the better option. First, we have guys who can play the slot in Brock, Wright, and Cox, whereas Cook is more of a boundary guy (but he's not relevant/any good). Second, I don't think it's a good idea to get smaller in the secondary if we can avoid it. Third, the talent at the bottom of the second round at CB is more boundary corners than slot guys. So, the pick is a guy who I think is one offseason of NFL weights and coaching away from being a better nickel back than we already have. A guy who has shown consistent improvement from the end of the season to the Shrine Game to the Senior Bowl to the combine to his pro-day. A guy I just have to see in a Niners uniform for some reason. Pierre Desir.

1 (9): Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State

2 (61): Pierre Desir, CB, Lindenwood

3 (94)

3 (100)

4 (129)

5 (170)

7 (242)

7 (243)

7 (245)

It's scary thinking of having two rookies essentially as starters, huh? I bet Bill Walsh and George Seifert thought the same thing in '81, except they had 3. Dangit, Cully. Thankfully, our nickel package of Reid, Gilbert, Brock, Bethea, and Desir is now set (barring some surprising upsets in camp competitions) and we can spend some time not worrying about it. At least until the end of the draft. Our next pick could go a number of ways. Because of the Culliver situation and all the picks we spent on the secondary, I don't think the strong safety of the future comes out of this draft, unless Terrence Brooks falls down to 94. No, instead I think the pick here is Weston Richburg. He is very impressive at center, and can slide over to guard. Whether he or Kilgore starts, there will be iron sharpening iron at the center position and we come away with a backup interior OL in whom we have some confidence. (Note: this pick could be used in the Gilbert trade if Buffalo absolutely needs it, and I wouldn't be too mad about it.)

1 (9): Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State

2 (61): Pierre Desir, CB, Lindenwood

3 (94): Weston Richburg, C, Colorado State

3 (100)

4 (129)

5 (170)

7 (242)

7 (243)

7 (245)


Here comes another relatively unknown pick that excites me. A fast WR is still a need, but so is a big, strong redzone threat. Luckily, there is a player who combines both of those things in one awesome package slated to go around this pick. Cody Latimer out of Indiana is 6'2", 215 lbs, benched 23 reps of 225 with 33 5/8" arms, jumped 39", blocks like a madman, and ran a 4.38 on an injured foot that likely isn't fully recovered. The best part? That all shows up on tape. He outruns guys between the 20s, he outmuscles guys in the redzone, and he has good hands. The glaring problems with him are twofold. First, he played at Indiana, which isn't exactly in the SEC. There isn't much we can do about that except pick him this low. Second, he only runs a few routes. Luckily, we have two guys who can teach him how to run every route in the book perfectly.

1 (9): Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State

2 (61): Pierre Desir, CB, Lindenwood

3 (94): Weston Richburg, C, Colorado State

3 (100): Cody Latimer, WR, Indiana

4 (129)

5 (170)

7 (242)

7 (243)

7 (245)


Finally we are out of the top 100. That took a while. Not that I'm complaining. Honestly, now that we've taken care of the things we need to, we can go BPA from here on out. At 129, Josh Mauro out of Stanford and Caraun Reid out of Princeton should both be available, so we can pick whichever we prefer. At 170, we could have our choice between Kevin Norwood, who has some Boldin level hands, and Dri Archer, who is speed personified. I prefer Archer because we already picked up a faster version of Norwood in Latimer, we have Crabtree, and Archer can contribute in the return game instead of sitting on the bench.

1 (9): Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State

2 (61): Pierre Desir, CB, Lindenwood

3 (94): Weston Richburg, C, Colorado State

3 (100): Cody Latimer, WR, Indiana

4 (129): Josh Mauro, DE, Stanford or Caraun Reid, DT, Princeton

5 (170): Kevin Norwood, WR, Alabama or Dri Archer, WR/KR/PR/RB, Kent State

7 (242)

7 (243)

7 (245)


Our 7th rounders are pretty fluid and we have some picks very close to each other, so I'm just going to list a bunch of guys I like around there. Here goes (in no particular order):

L'Damian Washington, WR, Missouri
Jordan Najvar, TE, Baylor
Tom Savage, QB, Pitt
Denicos Allen, OLB, Michigan State
Shaq Evans, WR, UCLA
Matt Hazel, WR, Coastal Carolina
Hakeem Smith, SS, Louisville

Any combo of those guys would satisfy me for our 7th rounders. I mean, how can you mock the 7th?

So, finally, we have this:

1 (9): Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State

2 (61): Pierre Desir, CB, Lindenwood

3 (94): Weston Richburg, C, Colorado State

3 (100): Cody Latimer, WR, Indiana

4 (129): Josh Mauro, DE, Stanford or Caraun Reid, DT, Princeton

5 (170): Kevin Norwood, WR, Alabama or Dri Archer, WR/KR/PR/RB, Kent State

7 (242)(243)(245): L'Damian Washington, WR, Missouri / Jordan Najvar, TE, Baylor / Tom Savage, QB, Pitt / Denicos Allen, OLB, Michigan State / Shaq Evans, WR, UCLA / Matt Hazel, WR, Coastal Carolina / Hakeem Smith, SS, Louisville

Starting corner, nickel corner, competition at center/guard, deep threat WR who could become more, defensive line depth, future 3rd receiver or return man, general camp bodies. I think it's a successful draft, and we aren't trying to fill 11 roster spots that aren't empty. It still could have been much better if this whole Cully thing didn't go down.

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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