Welcome faithful! Now that you've had your party streamers its time to talk 2014 draft.
I've decided to share a recent mock I completed on First-pick.com. The website is updated daily with prospect values/team needs and the site allows trades between teams. It should be noted that the site does NOT allow you to trade picks into next year's draft, something that I, and the 49ers, would probably have done, were this exact draft scenario to happen. Along with my picks I tried to include a brief analysis of my scouting, fit and value of the pick. This post is for entertainment purposes but I'd love to hear your positive and negative feedback with your reasoning behind it. I am a huge film junkie and feel that I have a good eye for talent but I'm constantly learning and always willing to re-evaluate my position on a prospect given ample evidence.
Unfortunately for this particular mock I was not able to complete any trades. I offered multiple teams picks to move up but my offers were generally low in value because of the depth of this class. Some evaluations in this post were copy and pasted from my scouting notes, so I apologize that it may not read quite as well as NinersNation but I hope this at least gives you another draft related post to keep those gears turning in your head.
*Authors Note* First-pick.coms computer generated draft picks are generally pretty realistic, however by the very nature of the draft, the results can differ wildly and some picks will fall outside the norm. In this particular simulation there were a few questionable picks that I needed to bring to light before you armchair GMs browse this lovely draft. The only real blunder is the Atlanta Falcons trading up to 5th overall only to draft A.Donald over J.Clowney, which should essentially get Dimitroff fired. Clowney was the next pick so the draft wasn't drastically altered but really Atlanta? My only other concern was B.Thomas (NN Feature) going 45th and D.Easly going 47th overall. Both of these players are recovering from severe injuries. They both had higher grades but I could see them sliding much further into the late 2nd or even 3rd.
ALL 256 DRAFT PICKS Click link to view entire simulated draft, owners of original draft pick are in parenthesis
Your 2014 San Francisco 49ers draft class!
Round 1 Pick 30: Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech
The first round saw a run on WRs and CBs. Watkins, Evans, OBJ, Cooks, Robinson, Gilbert, Dennard and Verrett were all off the board by the 49ers pick. Kyle Fuller is 6' 190 lbs, a four year starter and team captain. Gold helmet type player. Was a 2013 Jim Thorpe Award Semifinalist (Nation's top defensive back) and Bednarik Award Semifinalist (Nation's top defensive player). Great tackler, with above average ball skills, agility and body control. Is strong in zone or press. Would be able to help in the slot or outside. Equally talented stopping the run and covering the pass, Fuller can do everything needed from a starting CB. Could immediately supplant Culliver/Brock for playing time but worse case scenario he provides fierce competition and becomes the Nickle CB who would essentially play 60% of snaps on defense.
Round 2 Pick 24: Stephon Tuitt, DE, Notre Dame
OK people, put the pitchforks down. Two picks and.... Oh no, zero WRs! With Lee, Benjamin and Mathews gone in the early second (again, I tried to move up, I swear) I couldn't see any WRs worth the value here in the middle of the 2nd. I thought about going Davante Adams here but Stephon Tuitt is an absolute freak and couldn't be passed up. The 2nd best DE behind Clowney, at 6'6 and ~300 lbs he would be a terror at the 5 technique. He finished 3rd all time at Notre Dame with 21.5 career sacks. He sheds blocks well, anchors the line and bends well at his knees. An immediate heir to Ray Mac and he'd replace TJE or Dobbs as soon as he answers his phone come draft day.
Round 2 Pick 29: Marcus Martin, C, Southern California
This pick isn't sexy and he probably wouldn't make a great #3 WR but when the best center on the board is still available at 61 overall and your weakest position on offense is C then you dance your happy butt to the phone and call up Marcus Martin. Martin is extremely stout, anchors well and has great awareness. Started in all 35 games at USC. Could probably use a year behind Kilgore learning the 49ers playbook and getting used to NFL speed but Martin has the upside to start for years and provides great competition this year.
Round 3 Pick 13: Deone Bucannon, SS, Washington State
As I continue to draft BPA I don't expect to make many friends with the WR faithful who have overrun NN. As an avid 49ers fan and aspiring sport writer/scout, I fully understand the desire to improve our dreadful passing game. However, Adams is already gone and I don't think Moncrief or Richardson are better players at their position then Bucannon is at his. Deone is an absolute force on the field and in my opinion, the 2nd hardest hitting player in the draft (NARROWLY), to my draft crush Calvin Pryor. At 6'1" 211 lbs, Deone has the prototypical SS build but he has the necessary athleticism (4.49, 6.96 3cone) and awareness to eventually play some FS. Deone can make mistakes going for the big hit and needs to refine his coverage skills but he could create an amazing one, two punch with Reid while providing insurance this year should (God forbid) anything happen to Reid or Bethea.
Round 3 Pick 30: Martavis Bryant, WR, Clemson
OH HAPPY DAYS!! A WR!! Unfortunately Bryant isn't a household name (yet) but hear me out. At 6'4" 211 lbs and a 4.42 40 Bryant has all the tools needed to take the top off a defense. Has great straight line speed and accelerates quickly. Decent route runner that can climb the ladder to high-point passes. Has special teams experience. He is oozing with potential and upside but needs to refine his technique and consistency with his hands. Will make acrobatic catches one second then double clutch or have concentration drops the next. This is a boom/bust pick but the upside and value was too good to pass on and I had back-up plan in mind should Bryant not pan out (See pick 129)
Round 3 Pick 36 (COMP): Shayne Skov, ILB, Stanford
This is my only pick that I have some doubts on. The reasoning for this pick is that Skov would provide competition for Wilhoite/STs and insurance at the position. Skov is a super high motor player that has great contact courage (sometimes borderline reckless), wraps up well, has great awareness, decent coverage skills for an ILB and is a fiery vocal leader. Has question marks stemming from an injury in 2011. In retrospect, I think the 49ers would probably have gotten more value out of C.Richardson (OG), V.Hampton (CB) or Abbrederis (WR). To be honest, I was hoping to score Jared at 129 but he was nabbed at 118. While the Skov pick isn't horrible, it doesn't quite have the value of the other picks in this mock.
Round 4 Pick 29: Mike Davis, WR, Texas
Unfortunately the WR I had targeted here was drafted, so the 49ers get a very close consolation prize. While Davis' 6' 195lb frame and measurables don't jump off the page at you, his film shows a player bursting with potential. With big 10" hands, he does a good job plucking the ball away from his frame, he has great agility and accelerates quickly in and out of breaks. Great route runner that should be able to create separation at the next level. Some scouts are worried his size will hinder his ability to survive crossing routes over the middle of the field but I personally believe he has the toughness and vision to make a living between the hashes. His ability to read zones is another underrated trait. He's rumored to have attitude problems but I always take that with a grain of salt during the smokescreen season. If Davis does have attitude problems he won't be on the 49ers radar and this discussion will be moot. Davis should provide stiff competition for the #3 and possibly #2 after Boldin departs.
Round 5 Pick 30: David Fales, QB, San Jose State
This pick had me stuck for a minute. I personally think with the acquisition of Blame Gabbert, the 49ers will be looking to draft a project QB with high upside, possibly in the mold of Kaepernick. Logan Thomas VT, Brett Smith WY or Connor Shaw SC fit the bill and should be available in the 6th or 7th rounds respectively, but I don't think any warrant the 170th pick. The 49ers do not have a 6th round pick meaning that there is a stretch of 72 picks before the they pick again. With that in mind, I decided to go with the high floor prospect out of Fresno State, QB David Fales. I personally believe Fales would be an immediate upgrade to Gabbert ( with all his amazing NFL starting experience included, hyuk, hyuk). Fales has a great, compact release. He is extremely accurate at short to intermediate routes and has enough athleticism to move around the pocket and stall the rush. His greatest strengths are his character, leadership, intelligence and passion for the game. At 6'2" 212 lbs he is considered smallish for a starting NFL QB. Needs to make better decisions while under pressure, needs to go through his progressions better and just bulk up in general . Floor as a career backup with the tools to become a starter.
Round 7 Pick 27: Marion Grice, RB, Arizona State
Yes, there are lots of RBs on our 49ers roster, I've looked at it. I see a great back on the wrong side of 30 who's getting slower by the minute, a phenomenal college back who's an unknown after two devastating leg injuries, and two other backs the FO can't seem to get touches or production out of. Grice is 6' 200lbs, with great short area agility and good balance. He has room to bulk up if needed regularly between the tackles but Grice's primary game is being shifty on the outside while taking advantage of his superb hands, which rival any back in the draft outside of Sims. This selection gives the 49ers one more option at a position that, albeit is loaded with talent, it also has a lot of question marks. It should also be noted that Grice is a projected 4-5 round talent and would be a steal at the end of the 7th.
Round 7 Pick 28: Ryan Groy, OG, Wisconsin
6'5" 315 lb guard out of Wisconsin. Has the size and smarts to play at the next level. In the little tape I've seen of him he keeps his hands locked on the defender, sealing and keeping good bend. Great work ethic and upside for a late 7th round pick. Adds immediate depth to the G battle, possibly giving Looney the door. Probably PS bound but you can't have enough talented mighty men when training camp comes around.
Round 7 Pick 30: Osahon Irabor, CB, Arizona State
My sleeper pick, this kid has tremendous upside and measurables. 5'11" 190lbs 4.37 (unofficial), 125 career tackles at ASU, played LCB, RCB and slot. Started in 32 games, played all of 2012 without a single DPI against him. I've only seen highlights of this kid and haven't studied his game film (I have to sleep sometime) but from what I've seen and read through his biography and scouting reports, it sounds like he could be a real late round gem.
---- So lets see what we've accomplished for the 49ers depth chart ----
Kyle Fuller - Nickle CB, starter by 2015
Stephen Tuitt - Backup RDE and best pass rushing DL in this draft
Marcus Martin - Backup C, possibly starter
Deone Bucannon - Backup SS, starter by 2016
Martavius Bryant - #3/#4 WR, would specialize in taking off the top of defenses, big, fast, deep threat WR
Shayne Skov - Backup ILB, Special Teamer who would push Wilhoite for his spot. Realistically in this situation, Skov would probably spend a year on the development squad for future championship players, replacing Wilhoite when he becomes a free agent in 2015. (We have lots of people to resign)
Mike Davis - #3/#4 competition with Patton and Bryant. Could work inside or out. Not as shifty as Patton or quite the deep threat Bryant provides but he can do a great combination of both. Would make for an exciting training camp.
David Fales- #3 development QB who could easily pass Gabbert for backup QB
Marion Grice - Upside to be backup change of pace back, unfortunately if the stars align and Gore and Lattimore have a phenomenal year, Grice could see his way to the practice squad. Talented back and great insurance
Ryan Groy - #3/#4 G, another big body for competition come July
Osahon Irabor - #4/#5 CB, small shifty slot type CB who would push Darryl Morris (a favorite of mine) for playing time and on Special Teams.
Let me know how you feel about my picks or analysis. Is my judgment of a player totally off base? The player is a terrible fit or the picks a bad value at the spot? Please let me know in the comments section but do so constructively and please look at the link above so you can see all 256 picks. Please don't tell me i'm a $*@&$ for not taking PlayerX if he was taken 20 picks before the 49ers were on the clock. One last note, this is not in any way my dream draft, this is random recent draft from the 50+ I've completed. Many of these players were not my initial targets but I tried to fit as many needs as possible with the best possible player available. Thanks NinersNation, what say you draftniks?