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49ers first pick is the athletic Hill
It is true that the 49ers already addressed the wide receiver position in the offseason, but who knows if Randy Moss has anything left and Mario Manningham is only signed to a two-year deal. The 49ers would be wise to develop a wide receiver if the Moss experiment fails and Manningham does not return after his contract expires.
Stephen Hill could be available when the 49ers pick at No. 30. For those of you who don't know much about Hill, he was graded as a second-day pick a couple of months ago. Then the combine happened and Hill is now considered a first-round pick.
At the combine Hill was the MVP, having the fastest 40 times and performing well in the drills, including making a highlight-reel over the shoulder catch. He also put on a show at his pro day, where he supposedly ran quality routes, an area of his game scouts said he would have to improve upon.
If Hill is available when the 49ers pick, don't expect the 49ers to hesitate. The past draft showed that athleticism is a trait that 49ers GM Trent Baalke favors, as Baalke selected workout warrior Aldon Smith with the seventh pick, even though many didn't project him to be a top-10 pick. And Hill showed at the combine and his pro day that he is the most athletic receiver in this draft.
Hill will need time as he is not necessarily pro ready coming from the option offense Georgia Tech ran. If he was selected by the 49ers, though, Hill would not be pressured to start right away as the 49ers already have quality receivers. Also Hill can learn from Moss, who when he retires will go down as one of the greatest receivers of all time. Let's hope, though, that Moss' work ethic doesn't rub off on Hill.
Another reason why Hill is a good fit is, at 6'4" and having a 39-inch vertical jump, Hill can be the solution to the 49ers red-zone struggles. As mentioned previously, the 49ers do not want to rush Hill to the starting role, but they need to find something for him to do. Hill can come on the field when the 49ers offense is in the red zone.
It is concerning that Hill did not do that much in college, his career high in receptions being 28. Receivers that didn't produce at the collegiate level, but are ranked high because of their athleticism, rarely pan out in the NFL. However, Demaryius Thomas and Calvin Johnson, former Georgia Tech receivers, have found success in the NFL. Also you have to consider that Hill's lack of production was a result of playing in the run-oriented offense Georgia Tech ran.
Other mock drafts have projected the 49ers to select Coby Fleener, but the 49ers do not need another tight end. They already have one of the top five tight ends in the league, Vernon Davis, the underrated Delanie Walker and a quality blocking tight end in Nate Byham. It is true that Delanie Walker is a free agent after this season but the 49ers rarely let their own leave, especially players that began their career with the 49ers.
I have also seen other mock drafts projecting a guard. It is possible as the 49ers did not bring anyone in to fill the void Adam Snyder left when he signed with the Cardinals. One of the reasons why the guard position was not addressed, though, was because the 49ers already have young guard they like, Daniel Kilgore. The 49ers moved up in last year's draft to select Daniel Kilgore for a reason and will give him a chance to win the starting job.
Lastly, I have seen mock drafts projecting the 49ers to take a cornerback. This would also make sense as the weak point of the 49ers defense was the secondary. Instead of taking a cornerback in the first round, though, my mock draft has the 49ers addressing this position in the next round.