San Francisco 49ers Mock Draft: Full 7-Round Pre-Combine Team Predictions
This mock is based only on what these players have accomplished on the field.
Players will rise and fall after their performances in the combine, but not all who rise or fall necessarily deserve it. This is how I see things before the storm that is the NFL Combine muddies up the waters of perception.
Round 1: Dre Kirkpatrick, Cornerback, Alabama
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Kirkpatrick has seen his stock take a dive since being charged with marijuana possession.
Kirkpatrick was one of the leaders on a studly Alabama defense that thrived on choking the life out of opposing defenses. His attitude and expectations will fit in nicely with the group they have out there on the west coast.
If there were any problems in the past, I can guarantee guys like Justin Smith, Donte Whitner and Patrick Willis won't be having any of it.
Kirkpatrick is a man-to-man specialist. He could step in right away for the 49ers as a nickel corner playing with Chris Culliver and Carlos Rogers. That would be an impressive trio that could compete with any wide receiver group in the NFL.
Round 2: Vinny Curry, Defensive End/Outside Linebacker, Marshall
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Ahmad Brooks is a free agent, and I suspect the 49ers will lose him to a big contract with another team. This leaves them needing another pass-rusher from the outside linebacker position.
Curry has risen up draft boards recently, and it might have something to do with reports like this one from cbssports.com:
Team leader, younger players look up to him. Positive attitude in the locker room, works well with the media. Hustle on the field reflects work ethic off the field. No major off-field incidents.
Sounds like the perfect guy to bring into the new culture being established in San Francisco. It doesn't hurt that he's also a fantastic football player who could become a dominant pass-rusher at the next level.
Round 3: Dwight Jones, Wide Receiver, North Carolina
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Dwight Jones could be a first-round draft pick if his game were more polished. He's raw.
Jones is also a physical specimen. Listed at 6'4" and 225 pounds, Jones has athletic abilities that make him extremely dangerous after the catch.
Jones is strong and he have a problem getting through press coverage. He's also fast for his size, and I would expect him to run somewhere right around 4.5 for his 40 time at the combine.
His hands are a bit questionable, but then again so were Vernon Davis' for the first few years of his career.
The 49ers can afford to take a risk on a player with huge upside here in the third round. Jones is the man to take a gamble on.
Round 4: Mike Brewster, Center, Ohio State
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Jonathan Goodwin was a decent option for the 49ers in 2011 and he will most likely hold up for another year or two. Outside of him, the 49ers really only have Chase Beeler from Stanford. He was part of the team's practice squad last year.
One of the really nice things about good centers is that they tend to fall in the draft.
The 49ers would be lucky to have Mike Brewster fall to them in the fourth round of the 2012 NFL draft.
He is a big man, at 6'5" and 305 pounds, but Brewster stays low to the ground and knows how to maintain excellent leverage against powerful opponents. He is a technician with good lateral movement, which allows him to mirror his opponents in pass protection.
In the running game, Brewster is quick off the snap and shows some pop on his blocks. He is also mobile, which is a huge plus in the West Coast offense that asks centers to sometimes pull like a guard.
Finally, Brewster was a four-year starter for the Buckeyes. He is a leader and a good man to have in the locker room.
Round 5: Brandon Taylor, Strong Safety, LSU
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After Donte Whitner, the 49ers don't really have a solid option to fill the strong safety position.
Brandon Taylor could be groomed to be that guy. He is a bit raw, but his natural athletic abilities can be coached up.
Taylor was a cornerback in high school, and he has the kind of movement in his hips that you want to see. He is a rangy safety with speed that can recover quickly when the need arises.
You couldn't call Taylor a ball hawk, but he's no slouch. He knows how to attack the ball at the highest point, and though he might not get you five interceptions, he will account for a multitude of disrupted passes.
He is also a big hitter from a school that is known for dominant defense. He would be another great addition to the young group of players the 49ers are collecting on their own dominant defense.
Round 6: Trevor Guyton, Defensive End, California
The 49ers were thin last year on the defensive front. After Justin Smith and Ray McDonald, there isn't enough talent to keep up the same level of intense pressure.
Trevor Guyton is an intriguing prospect to become a 3-4 defensive end.
He isn't the quickest guy on the field, but he is strong and stout at 6'3" and 285 pounds. He relies mostly on a strong bull rush to get his pressure. Remind you of anyone?
Guyton is also explosive off the snap. He is a good tackler and would be solid on the edge of the line in run defense.
You know that any young lineman coming onto the squad is going to be attempting to mirror Justin Smith. He is the unquestioned leader of the group and he is good at whipping these young men into the best shape of their lives (see McDonald).
Guyton would be another great young, big body for Smith to mold.
Round 7: Russell Wilson, Quarterback, Wisconsin
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Quarterback may not necessarily be a position of "need," but Russell Wilson is good enough to potentially become the league's next Drew Brees.
Harbaugh and company should pull the trigger on Wilson if he is still on the board.
At 5'11", Wilson isn't the prototypical height you're looking for in your franchise quarterback, which is why he will be available in the seventh round. If he were blessed with a few more precious inches, we might be talking about a first-round draft pick for the young man.
Wilson has an extremely strong, accurate arm and he knows how to win. He rarely throws interceptions and he is completely confident in his abilities.
Bill Walsh was never satisfied with having only one great quarterback on his roster. In the NFL, the only way to consistently win is to keep stockpiling good ones.
Wilson is one of those good ones, and the 49ers would be smart to snag him in the seventh round of the 2012 NFL draft.