These past few months have been tough on the Niners and their fans. When starting the off season the Niners were designated as only needing some minor holes to fill in the roster. Since, it’s been quite a nightmare. But, there is light at the end of the tunnel. While our holes have grown, the fact we have a good number of draft picks allows the team to re-evaluate the value of needed camp competition and drafting players who have versatile position playing skills to help cover those holes – at least for the 2014 season. What began as maybe a more simplified approach to the 2014 draft, is now, I’m sure, just a bit more analytical to the organization. So to help our team out, here is the ‘BEST VALUE MOCK DRAFT ‘ the Niners should consider.
First to help with the rationale of picks, choices are based on:
· Players that have versatile position skills;
· Players who play tough, have physicality to their game (our division screams for it);
· Players that fit nicely within the Niner scheme’s, both defensive and offensive;
· Players who play touch, are physical, ahh, I’ve said that……….
(Note: yes, there are many player choices to fit these requirements, but, the players chosen are available based on the expected rankings of when these players will be selected, i.e. our pick #’s match their likely availability).
Symbol ^ represents a critical pick. In other words, this pick is important to need as well as lining up other available picks in later rounds. If this pick is not available, then (Alt) choices are given if no multiple critical picks are listed.
First action: Niners trade down with Rd 1, pick #30; to Rd 2 est. pick #40-45. By doing so, Niners pick up an additional pick in Rd 3 est. pick#84-88.
Rd 2: Picks #40-45; #56; #61
^ (#40-45)WR: either of the following: K. Benjamin; D. Adams, or C. Latimer. One of these 3 is critical because, since signing WR B. Lloyd the Niners are saying they don’t really need multiple drafted WR’s as immediate impact starters for the 2014 season. But, a very good WR that fits our scheme, who possess’s ‘slam’ situational WR skills, and can be a future impact player that brings multiple upsides can be potentially used. These 3 WR’s provide all that (while other WR’s ranked later in the draft do not)with: high point drive for the ball; good hands; some larger, some with more speed, but all bring benefit to the team for situation plays – especially in the Red Zone.
(#56)DE: T. Murphy (he’s tough, very tough and he exemplifies the next ‘Cowboy’). For 2014, he provides rotational depth while he learns from Justin – this also allows Justin to pace the season so we have him physically able and effective for the play-off run).
(#61)^ FS: T. Brooks (he plays physical as a safety should, but, for the 2014 season he will be playing CB, because he has more experience there than at safety. Thus he will be a physical CB for us, which is what we need for our division. Future role will be to move him to team with E. Reid.
(Note: If Brooks is not available (‘ina), then (Alt) choices here are: RB J. Hill, or, C M. Martin. Also, if Brooks (‘ina), then 2 CB picks will be required in Rd 3 since his role for 2014 would be a CB).
Rd 3: Picks #77; #84-88; #94; and #100
(#77) ^ DE(OLB): Marcus Smith ( This is a critical ‘value’ pick for an effective OLB pass rusher to replace Aldon Smith). If Marcus (‘ina), then the (Alt) pick here is DE Will Clarke. Both of these players have the long–arms, power and quickness to disrupt the backfield – which is what we need to compliment Lemoniex and Brooks on the opposite defensive side of the line for collapsing the opponents OL.
(#84-88) CB: Stanley Jean-Baptiste( he plays tough, hits hard, will fit the need for our division and compliment the toughness of picking Brooks earlier. If Brooks is not taken earlier, then next pick at #94 with the (Alt) choice, would be taken here (i.e. Watkins).
(#94) DT: C. Reid ( a big tough boy who can clog that middle against runs, as well as press the QB – at minimum rotational and future position player); if FS/CB Brooks not taken in Rd 2, then (Alt) second CB choice could be CB J. Watkins (see pick (Alt) above; and 2nd CB choice would be needed here rather than DT Reid, thus secondary (Alt) CB is E.J. Gaines.
(#100) TE: C.J. Fredorowosci ( a very tough kid, and major blocker who can catch, but could be another great situational player for us in the Red Zone whether blocking for our RB or being a big target with the other big boys from pick #40-45 above. (Alt) pick here if C.J. (‘ina) is QB T. Boyd, someone who would fit Harbaugh’s toy project definition of need.
Rd 4: Pick #129
(#129) RB: Storm Johnson (a tough inside runner with some pop, and good at pass protection. Sounds like,,,,hmm, oh ya, that Gore guy). At minimum replaces Anthony Dixon for Red Zone work, but could be our future Gore as well - if Lattimore’s health becomes an issue. (Jewel, LMJ, are not inside RB’s for our present scheme – in reality they should shop them both for trades as well for 2015). (If Storm (‘ina), then a good depth choice here is ILB D. Kennard, or SS C. Lofston if any secondary or special team needs remain.
Rd 5: Pick #170
(#170) Best spot to pick-up (Inj) draft picks that would not count against the 2014 roster: some choices are: CB A. Colvin; OG B. Thomas, OG A. Steen. Or, trade this pick (Rd 4 pick is also a possible trade pick depending on view of organization) for 2015 draft picks.
Rd 7 & UFA’s: Picks #224, #225, #245
Players to consider here (may have some diamonds hiding here, but at minimum can provide camp competition:
WR: Q. Enunwa( very tough, physical, player with height & weight to fit our division needs. Oh, ya, he’s fast also).
WR: L. Washington( has the top-end speed and can get to high point catches).
FB: R. Hewitt(a good all-round swiss army type back – we arent’ looking to replace Miller right?).
SS: H. Smith(do we need any tough guys on special teams(?), here is one).
CB: C. Williams(do we want to give a tough kid a shot at CB?)
Another scenario to above is greatly reducing the number of picks we take into the draft by trading up to Rd 1 (est pick#18-20) – definitely doable, and if the organization eye’s a player there that fits in replacing OLB Aldon Smith, then by doing this, they could have their choices of:
ILB Mosley; or, ILB Shazier, or DE/OLB Dee Ford.
Going this way, changes the picks in the later rounds as given above, plus losing most likely the Rd 3(#77) pick at minimum. But this is an option for them to consider. The value depth of the other picks as listed above may very well not be available given this scenario – most affected would be the first WR choice in Rd 2 (#40-45) pick. But because of our media merry-go-round of the latest events, the Niners draft strategy could very well take a course in this direction.