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49ers would have passed on Patrick Peterson at No. 7 in 2011 NFL Draft

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Random little 2011 tidbit that's interesting.

The 2011 NFL Draft featured some seriously impressive talent, and the San Francisco 49ers ended up with a talented pass rusher in Aldon Smith. Things eventually went south, but when he was on the field, Smith was a fierce pass rusher.

There were two particularly notable trades in the top of the first round that year. The Atlanta Falcons moved up to No. 6 to select wide receiver Julio Jones, and the Jacksonville Jaguars moved up to No. 10 to select quarterback Blaine Gabbert. However, it turns out there was another near trade involving the San Francisco 49ers.

Late last month, before the 2016 NFL Draft got going, Sports Illustrated put together an oral history of the 2011 NFL Draft. In discussing the top of the first round, Houston Texans general manager Rick Smith said he was a huge fan of Patrick Peterson, and had a deal in place with Trent Baalke and the 49ers if Peterson slipped to No. 7. The Arizona Cardinals ended up grabbing Peterson at No. 5. But had the Cardinals gone another direction, maybe that first round sees a significant change.

Eric Branch pointed back to Baalke discussing the draft, and some discussions the team had. Baalke said they had serious discussions with four or five teams, but there were roadblocks with each discussion. Whatever the case, the 49ers ended up with Smith at No. 7, and moving up in the second for Colin Kaepernick. The Texans ending up selectin J.J. Watt at No. 11, and I think they are probably happy with how that turned out.