The Super Bowl is officially in our rear view mirror, which means we are fully into the offseason. The NFL Combine is the next event on our calendar, so draft season is now in full swing. Our friends at Mocking the Draft are kicking things off with a bang as they put together a 3-round mock draft. It does not feature trades, but for the 49ers it does feature some interesting picks. Some I agree with, some I am not so sure about. The 49ers picks are as follows:
1 (30). Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State
If a cornerback of Gilbert's caliber happens to slide in the draft, the 49ers should pounce. Whether that means waiting until pick No. 30 or trading up, the 49ers have a chance to add a very good cornerback. Tarell Brown is a free agent and Carlos Rogers may be a cap casualty. Gilbert is a highly athletic player who can step in and start as a rookie.
2 (56). Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt
Matthews may not have had the Senior Bowl some expected, but he's still a dependable receiver and a threat in the red zone. A savvy route runner, Matthews won't wow a lot of people with his speed, but he has good hands.
2 (61). Dion Bailey, S, USC
A converted linebacker, Bailey developed quickly in his final year at USC. If the 49ers decide not to bring Donte Whitner back, they need someone to pair with Eric Reid. While Bailey is at his best working down in the box, he's capable enough of dropping back in coverage.
3 (77). Anthony Johnson, DT, LSU
Johnson is an unconventional fit on a 3-4, but he should be able to find his way because of his quickness.
3 (94). Aaron Colvin, CB, Oklahoma
This is the token injured player luxury pick for the 49ers. Before tearing his ACL during Senior Bowl practices, Colvin had the potential to be a second rounder.
Colvin remains an interesting pick even with his injury, but I still remain skeptical the 49ers jump on him this early. I think we are more likely to see them use a Day 3 pick on him if he slips that far. I do think he is a realistic option as a red-shirt candidate, but with several other needs to fill, third round seems a little high.
Of all the picks, Anthony Johnson is the toughest to reconcile. As Dan pointed out, he's not exactly a normal fit for the team's 3-4. I could be wrong, but he seems more like a pass rush candidate in a 4-3. Feel free to correct me if you have a better notion on this. Of course, the 49ers do mix in plenty of four-man fronts, so I suppose they could find places for him. I just don't know that the 49ers invest any picks the first two days in defensive line help. It seems like Tony Jerod-Eddie emerged as a very viable option in the reserve rotation, and they still have Tank Carradine coming back. Another defensive lineman fairly early in the draft could add to the depth, but would not seem to be an endorsement of that group (and Quinton Dial included).
What do you think about what Dan put together in his latest mock draft?