2012 NFL Draft: How the San Francisco 49ers Will Dominate the Draft

Jon Siddoway@@JSiddowayCorrespondent IApril 19, 2012

MIAMI, FL - JANUARY 03:  Coby Fleener #82 of the Stanford Cardinal runs for yards after the catch against the Virginia Tech Hokies during the 2011 Discover Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium on January 3, 2011 in Miami, Florida. Stanford won 40-12.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

This is how I imagine the San Francisco 49ers war room on draft day: 

Jim Harbaugh, after pacing back and forth in front of a chalkboard filled with names plugged into various algorithms, looks at Trent Baalke, sitting in his chair. The two make eye contact, and Harbaugh yells out, "Who knows our team better than us!?"

In unison they shout, "Nobody!"

It echoes within the walls for a few minutes (Nobody, nobody, nobody, nobo...), they smile, sit back down and wait for their turn on the clock. 

Of course, they are equipped with pages upon pages of scouting reports for each prospect in the upcoming draft. They know their strengths and weaknesses; they even know their favorite ice cream flavors. 

Go ahead, just ask. 

Coby Fleener? Mint chocolate chip. 

Lamar Miller? Rocky road. 

Dontari Poe? All of them. 

Without hesitation. 

This pile, nay mountain, of information is embedded in here (pointing to the brain). The two know what they're doing and proved it last year.

Who else saw Bruce Miller, C-USA Defensive Player of the Year as a linebacker, and thought, "Hmm...starting fullback"? 

They did, and it worked. The 49ers are in good hands as they prepare for another draft; another chance to improve the roster before a grueling season begins—check out the recently-announced schedule here

Now, back to the war room where Harbaugh and Baalke patiently wait, perhaps participating in an intense game of paper football. Or an arm-wrestling match. Harbaugh wins, and if you don't believe me, just ask Jim Schwartz.  

The 49ers then go on the clock, and this is how the draft unfolds.  

Round 1: TE Coby Fleener, Stanford vs. CB Janoris Jenkins, North Alabama

Fleener is a playmaking tight end with the athleticism to line up as a wideout. His big body (6'6", 247 pounds) and hops (37" vertical leap) will help solve the offense's red zone woes.

And with Delanie Walker expected to pursue a starting gig elsewhere at the conclusion of this season—the final year of his contract—the Stanford product also fills a need. 

On the other hand, you can never have too many quality corners, and Jenkins is one of the best in this entire draft. He sticks to receivers, grabs picks and can star as a return man. 

The pick: Fleener

Round 2: Offensive Lineman vs. FS George Iloka, Boise State

Depth at safety is a must, but addressing the O-line is THE top priority, and there will be some serious talent available in the second round.

Kelechi Osemele (Iowa State), Amini Silatolu (Midwestern State) and Kevin Zeitler (Wisconsin) are all powerful linemen with the skill set to be a Week 1 starter.

The pick: O-line

Round 3: DT Mike Martin, Michigan vs. CB Brandon Boykin, Georgia

Martin is an absolute beast with the talent to back up and eventually replace an aging Justin Smith at defensive end. He put on a show at the combine by running a 4.88 40-yard dash, posting a 33.5" vertical leap and then lifting 36 repetitions of 225 pounds. 

Boykin is a sure tackler, fluid with his footwork and has the potential to be an elite corner. He is also a special teams demon.  

The pick: Martin, but both make sense

Round 4: DE Derek Wolfe, Cincinnati vs. RB Robert Turbin, Utah State

Don't let the Brandon Jacobs signing fool you; the 49ers are searching for Frank Gore's eventual successor.

Turbin is the right man for the job and a perfect complement to Kendall Hunter. I have lauded Turbin's game since his freshman season at Utah State. He has the size (5'10", 222 pounds) of an inside runner, yet possesses the burst to bounce it outside. He is also a reliable receiver out of the backfield. 

An impressive blend of size, athleticism and on-field production has Wolfe skyrocketing up draft boards. The 49ers will be tempted and may go this route if they fail to land Martin.

The pick: Turbin 

Round 5: WR T.Y. Hilton, Florida International vs. OT/G Tony Bergstrom, Utah 

Hilton is absolutely lethal with the ball in his hands, always a threat to go the distance. He can line up in the slot, take handoffs and return punts.

With Ted Ginn on a one-year deal, Hilton could be the return man of the future while also contributing as a receiver. Think DeSean Jackson minus the drama. 

Bergstrom has the toughness and versatility that scouts love. He played left tackle in college, but projects as an NFL guard.

The pick: Hilton  

Round 6: S Duke Ihenacho, San Jose State vs. CB Asa Jackson, Cal Poly

Though a small-school prospect, Jackson put himself on the national scouting radar with a standout performance in Indianapolis. At just 5'10" and 191 pounds, he put up 19 repetitions of 225 pounds and followed it up with a blazing 4.49 40-yard dash.

He has the speed to blanket receivers and the strength to excel in press man coverage.

Ihenacho is flying under the radar, but could provide real value late in the draft. He covers a lot of ground in a hurry and is best when stepping up into the box to stop the run.

The pick: Jackson 

Round 7: DT Akiem Hicks, Regina vs. S Neiko Thorpe, Auburn

Future starters can be had in the final round and even into free agency—it happens every year—and both of these players fit that bill, though it may take some patience.

Thorpe, a converted corner, is still adjusting to his new position, and Hicks makes sushi look overcooked.

They are, however, worth a selection here and have the physical tools to develop into contributors at the next level. 

The pick: Thorpe


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