While we continue churning along with our Niners Nation mock draft, I have been involved in SB Nation's blogger mock draft. This one started a little over a week ago, and last Friday I asked for suggestions on the pick. Due to the timing, I've actually made both the 31st and 34th picks. I can't tell you the 34th pick yet (that should show up tomorrow), but for now....
With the 31st pick in the 2013 NFL Draft (via the SB Nation blogger mock draft), the San Francisco 49ers select Jesse Williams, defensive tackle, Alabama.
In making the Jesse Williams pick, this is not just about the nose tackle position. I really cannot see the 49ers spending a first round pick on a guy who would almost exclusively line up at nose tackle. After all, the 49ers only used the base 3-4 approximately 35% of the time in 2012. If they are going to invest in a nose tackle, he needs to be a guy who can contribute in other ways.
In the case of Jesse Williams, I think he's a guy who could provide an option inside when the 49ers move to the nickel. Additionally, as Dan Kadar pointed out in his analysis of the pick, he played end at Alabama in 2011. This is a guy with enough athleticism to provide versatility on the line.
The drawback to this pick might be the question of how great he could be outside of the nose tackle role. Would it be worth a first round selection if the 49ers were to draft a player who is great at nose tackle but only decent at the other DL positions? I think there are arguments both ways on how much value the 49ers would need to get for this to be a "good" pick.
One other drawback would be that the 49ers added Glenn Dorsey and extended Ian Williams. Both will compete at nose tackle, while Dorsey also could provide versatility along the line. Will the 49ers draft a defensive tackle this early, given the existing competition there? I don't think signing Dorsey and extending Williams would have a huge impact, but it comes down in part to how much they expect from those two.
Obviously a trade up or down would have been just as big an option, but we did not have any trades in this mock. Without considering trades, what do you think of this pick?