San Francisco 49ers Mock Draft: Full 7-Round Projections at Regular Season's End
Another season of football comes with another set of offseason needs for an NFL franchise.
The San Francisco 49ers are no exception.
As contracts end and veterans age, the 49ers will look for an infusion of young talent in the 2013 draft.
The following slideshow is my early predictions for San Francisco's 11 picks.
Note: Projected compensatory picks were not included in this slideshow.
1st-Round Pick: Matt Elam, S (Florida)
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The 49ers' two biggest needs are safety and defensive line. I suspect that the top-tier space eaters (Star Lotulelei, Johnathan Hankins, Sheldon Richardson, Jesse Williams) will be taken before San Francisco picks at the end of the first round.
Dashon Goldson will be a free agent at the conclusion of this season, and Donte Whitner will be in the final year of his contract in 2013.
With Kenny Vaccaro likely off the board, the 49ers would be wise to take Matt Elam, a hard-hitting playmaker who could take over for Whitner at the beginning of the 2014 season.
2nd-Round Pick: Sylvester Williams, DT (North Carolina)
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Isaac Sopoaga will be a free agent at the conclusion of this season.
The 49ers will be looking for depth all along the defensive line.
If Sylvester Williams fell to the late second round, San Francisco would be wise to draft him.
He has the size and strength to be a quality NFL interior lineman.
3rd-Round Pick (via Carolina): Margus Hunt, DE (SMU)
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San Francisco's defense has struggled since Justin Smith tore his triceps in the third quarter against the New England Patriots.
At some point, Smith is going to lose a step, and the 49ers would be wise to draft his replacement in 2013.
Margus Hunt just absolutely dominated Fresno State in the Hawaii Bowl.
He's just the type of athletic defensive lineman that Jim Tomsula loves to work with.
3rd-Round Pick: Cobi Hamilton, WR (Arkansas)
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Will Randy Moss be back in 2013? Will Mario Manningham have a full offseason recovery? Will A.J. Jenkins end up being a bust?
With all the question marks surrounding the 49ers receiving corps, look for Trent Baalke to target a wide receiver in the first four rounds.
Cobi Hamilton had 90 catches and 1,335 yards in his senior season. At 6'3", he has the size to complement the speedy Jenkins down the road.
4th-Round Pick: Matt Scott, QB (Arizona)
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He may not be the explosive dual-threat quarterback that Colin Kaepernick is, but Matt Scott certainly has the strong arm and fast legs to succeed in the NFL.
He needs to improve his decision-making (14 interceptions this season), but under Jim Harbaugh's tutelage, he could be steal in the fourth round.
With Alex Smith all but guaranteed to be traded or cut in the offseason, Scott could work his way into the second-string role with a strong training camp.
5th-Round Pick (via Indianapolis): Ryan Otten, TE (San Jose State)
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Jim Harbaugh loves to run deep play-action passes out of big formations. He can always use another athletic tight end in such plays.
Ryan Otten fits the bill. At 6'6", he has the type of size that can give defensive backs fits.
If Delanie Walker is not re-signed this offseason, Otten would be a capable replacement.
5th-Round Pick: Sanders Commings, CB (Georgia)
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The 49ers could use a bit more depth at cornerback.
Sanders Commings has the athleticism to be a solid player in the NFL.
With the right coaching, he could be the replacement for Carlos Rogers down the road.
6th-Round Pick (via Miami): Dustin Hopkins, Kicker (Florida State)
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David Akers just completed the worst regular season of his NFL career.
Clearly, the 49ers need to look for his replacement this offseason.
Dustin Hopkins, who has made 24 of 28 field goals, including six 50-yarders in his senior season, is one of the best available in the draft.
6th-Round Pick: Cameron Lawrence, OLB (Mississippi State)
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At this point in the draft, it's all about finding depth guys who are willing to play on special teams.
Cameron Lawrence could provide some quality depth at outside linebacker.
He may not be a pass-rushing specialist, but he's a solid tackler.
7th-Round Pick (via Cincinnati): Sam Schwartzstein, C (Stanford)
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Sam Schwartzstein played sparingly in the 2010 season when Stanford was coached by Jim Harbaugh.
In the last two years, Schwartzstein has turned into a quality college football center.
Depth on the offensive line can never hurt.
7th-Round Pick: D.J. Harper, RB (Boise State)
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On the off chance that Kendall Hunter never recaptures his explosiveness, the 49ers may want to draft a running back.
D.J. Harper, a sixth-year senior, had 1,137 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns this past year.
Who knows, maybe he has some Doug Martin magic in him.