The well-coiffed one Mel Kiper has released his latest 2011 NFL Mock Draft and he's actually broadened it a bit, going three full rounds. I think anything after about middle of the first round becomes a little difficult to project and I definitely plan on reviewing his accuracy on this longer mock. In this mock, he projected the following players to the 49ers:
I think a lot of people would be satisfied with these picks, although picks one and three seem a little bit unrealistic in my view. I would love to see Patrick Peterson drop to seven but I just can't sell myself on it yet. It's obviously a possibility given the needs in front of the 49ers, but I don't want to get my hopes up. As for Kaepernick, I just don't see him lasting to the the third round. Do people think that's actually realistic?
To get to Peterson at number seven, Kiper projected the top six as follows:
1. Carolina Panthers - Cameron Newton, QB
2. Denver Broncos - Marcell Dareus, DT
3. Buffalo Bills - Von Miller, OLB
4. Cincinnati Bengals - A.J. Green, WR
5. Arizona Cardinals - Blaine Gabbert, QB
6. Cleveland Browns - Julio Jones, WR
Mel's mock draft doesn't factor in trades, which are obviously incredibly unpredictable. Even if you have confidence in who you think will be trade up or down, it's virtually impossible to know what kinds of picks will be involved in such a deal, particularly when talking about high first round picks.
What do people think of Mel's mock and the realistic nature of it? While I don't think it's a realistic result, I do think it'd be a very good result for the 49ers given that they would be addressing arguably their three biggest needs in quarterback, cornerback and pass rush. One or more of these guys might never pan out, but for upside the 49ers would be getting some solid talent.