Rumors fuel the talk surrounding draft day. 2013 is no exception.
It seems that mock drafts can change almost every day in the days and weeks leading up to the NFL draft.
Such is the case in 2013 and such is a case for this writer.
A week ago, I listed a mock draft predicting what the San Francisco 49ers would do in the 2013 NFL Draft. After re-analyzing it, taking a look at deeper opinions and checking expert conclusions, I realized that I had made more than a few mistakes (hey at least I admit when I get it wrong).
The more and more I looked at my previous mock draft, as well as what people were saying, the less I liked it. In fact I disliked it so much that it is time to present an updated mock draft with only a few days remaining.
Currently, the 49ers have 13 picks heading towards draft day. Three of those picks are compensatory and cannot be traded. Yet the remaining picks present an interesting dilemma for San Francisco. For starters, the 49ers simply do not have 13 holes to fill. With that stated, it is plausible and even likely that San Francisco will "shake things up" in this draft, potentially trading up one or more times to acquire players that may not drop to them. It is possible that San Francisco may also trade excess picks this season for future picks next year.
Jason Cole of Yahoo Sports states that San Francisco may be interested in trading up to either the 13th or 14th overall pick which is entirely possible given their arsenal of draft-day selections (sports.yahoo.com).
If that is the case, this draft figures to be an exciting one for the 49ers. While the excess amount of picks gives them plenty of room to gamble, the 49ers still need to approach draft day seriously.
In the case of this mock draft, I assume the 49ers make zero trades and trade-ups. The reason is simple: with so many picks in this year's draft, San Francisco could legitimately make almost any trade scenario possible. The seemingly endless amount of possibilities gives me a headache.
Regardless, there are glaring needs requiring attention. First, San Francisco needs a safety. They also need pass-rushing help on their defensive line. The 49ers are in the market for a tight end to replace Delanie Walker and it is possible they may be looking for help at corner as well as wide receiver and running back.
San Francisco also needs to consider its future down the road. There are a number of key players who may be departing via free agency after 2013. How the 49ers prepare for that should be revealed on draft day.
Who knows exactly how it may fall out, but the 49ers are poised to make some great strides during this year's draft. For a team on the cusp of winning a Super Bowl, it is mandatory that they make some significant moves.
Here is my second mock version of the 49ers' full 2013 NFL Draft.
Knile Davis is a big-bodied running back.
Current SF Picks in the Seventh Round: No. 31 (237 overall), No. 40 (246 overall), No. 46 (252 overall)
Scenario: 49ers draft Arkansas running back Knile Davis with their 31st pick in the round. 49ers then draft kicker Caleb Sturgis out of Florida with their 40th pick in the round. 49ers draft Vanderbilt quarterback Jordan Rodgers with the 46th pick in the round.
Needs Addressed: San Francisco provides competition for short-yardage running back Anthony Dixon. San Francisco also finds a possible replacement for recently acquired kicker Phil Dawson. San Francisco provides competition for the third spot on the quarterback depth chart.
The 49ers currently hold three picks in the final round of the draft. Two of them are compensatory picks and it is likely that none of these players would actually make the active roster.
Yet San Francisco can examine the seventh round very seriously and potentially even find a "diamond in the rough."
For starters, the 49ers may be looking to provide current short-yardage back Anthony Dixon with some competition. Dixon is entering the final year of a four-year, $1.91 million contract and will be a free agent after 2013. Considering Frank Gore is aging and how small LaMichael James is, a big back may be a critical asset to the 49ers' offense.
Former Arkansas running back Knile Davis may fit the bill.
At 6-feet tall and 227 lbs., Davis has the size to be an effective short-yard back. He has good breakaway speed and soft hands and has done a good job as a pass and run-blocker (cbssports.com). Projected by CBS Sports as the 232nd overall prospect in the draft, Davis could easily be on the board when San Francisco drafts with its 237th overall pick.
There are questions surrounding Davis' health. While he had a tremendous 2010 season, injuries hampered his subsequent year at Arkansas. Davis is now out to prove that he can stay healthy at the NFL level (cbssports.com).
Limited action as a short-yard back may allow him to do just that.
With the 40th pick in the seventh round, San Francisco drafts former Florida kicker Caleb Sturgis. Sure, kickers do not typically end up drafted, but Sturgis might be worth taking a shot at.
Sturgis was a finalist in both 2011 and 2012 for the Lou Groza Award, which is given to the top collegiate kicker in the nation. That should speak enough for his talent. He is accurate and has good power. Ranked as the 235th overall prospect by CBS Sports, Sturgis could see himself in a 49er uniform after the seventh round.
San Francisco recently signed former Browns kicker Phil Dawson to a one-year, $2.35 million contract over the offseason, replacing the recently-demised David Akers. Yet Dawson is 38 years old and this could be his final season in the NFL.
Why not seek out a solid replacement?
Finally, with the 46th pick in the seventh round, San Francisco drafts former Vanderbilt quarterback Jordan Rodgers.
As the younger brother of former MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Jordan has some expectations to live up to. He certainly does not come as highly touted as his older brother and there are some legitimate questions regarding his arm strength. He is accurate however and he is a threat to run as demonstrated by his 2011 season where he rushed for 420 yards on 117 attempts (sports-reference.com).
The 49ers appear to already have their quarterbacking situation in place for 2013. Colin Kaepernick is the star and starter. Scott Tolzien and the recently acquired Colt McCoy shall serve as backups.
That may make the drafting of a California native like Jordan Rodgers seem useless. However the reason for another quarterback is simple, if not serious.
The addition of Rodgers would provide legitimate competition on the 49ers' depth chart. Rodgers could compete with Tolzien and McCoy for backup roles; something that head coach Jim Harbaugh loves to do.
Harbaugh is also a proven mastermind at shaping quarterbacks. Look at how he turned Alex Smith's career around as well as what he has done with Kaepernick. It is not far-fetched to think that Harbaugh could do the same with someone like Rodgers and potentially trade him away down the road if he earns a roster spot.
49ers general manager Trent Baalke has also hinted that drafting another quarterback is not out of the question (pressdemocrat.com).
Maybe the drafting of Rodgers is not so useless after all.
Jake Knott could be a backup behind Patrick Willis and Navorro Bowman.
Current SF Picks in the Sixth Round: No. 5 (173 overall), No. 12 (180 overall)
Scenario: 49ers draft Texas Tech safety Cody Davis with their fifth pick in the round. 49ers then draft Iowa State outside linebacker Jake Knott with the 12th pick in the round.
Needs Addressed: San Francisco adds depth to its secondary with Davis. In addition, San Francisco gets a reliable linebacker in Knott who can back up Navorro Bowman and Patrick Willis.
The loss of safety Dashon Goldson via free agency was a huge blow to the 49ers secondary, which is one of the major areas needing improvement in 2013.
San Francisco tried to alleviate the problem by signing former Rams safety Craig Dahl to a three-year, $5.2 million contract in the offseason, but Dahl figures to be little more than an insurance policy at the position and shall at least provide competition to any rookies the 49ers elect to draft.
While San Francisco will likely look to draft a high-end safety in 2013, they also make take a look at some safeties buried deeper in the draft. This reason is simple: not only did the 49ers lose Goldson to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but fellow safety Donte Whitner shall be a free agent after 2013 and there are no indications that San Francisco will re-sign him.
Considering the loss of Goldson and the pending loss of Whitner, it is possible the 49ers will look to grab two safeties in the 2013 draft.
They could do worse than draft former Texas Tech safety Cody Davis.
In four years with Texas Tech, Davis totaled 362 tackles and four interceptions, helping him earn tops for solo tackles in the Big 12 Conference his senior year (sports-reference.com). On a high note, Davis has good physical attributes and may be coached up to compete at the NFL level.
CBS Sports' Rob Rang describes Davis:
Davis does break down well against athletic ball-carriers in the open field, and has long, strong arms to make the effective wrap-up tackle, while also keeping his hands active to pry away the football (four forced fumbles over his career). Davis will have to prove to scouts that he has the athleticism to handle coverage responsibilities in the NFL to earn a draft selection but his size, durability and open field tackling skills could make him an effective special teams performer. (cbssports.com)
If drafted by the 49ers with their 173rd overall pick, Davis would be able to at least compete with Dahl and potentially earn a starting position in 2014. While he is not much of a "ball-hawk," he does have the capability to force fumbles, something that was lacking for San Francisco's defense last season.
With the 180th overall pick, San Francisco then drafts former Iowa State outside linebacker Jake Knott.
In four years at Iowa State, Knott totaled 347 total tackles as well has having eight interceptions (sports-reference.com).
San Francisco is looking for backups to assist incumbent linebackers Navorro Bowman and Patrick Willis. Larry Grant, who filled in for Willis while he was injured in 2011, is a free agent and the 49ers have not re-signed him. An added backup would be nice for San Francisco here.
Knott would fit that role nicely.
Projected to be drafted in the sixth round, Knott would be able to compete on the 49ers' depth chart. While he certainly would not expect to get ample playing time behind Willis and Bowman, he would at least give San Francisco added insurance at the position.
CBS Sports' Dane Brugler commends Knott by saying:
Knott is a smart, assignment-sound football player who uses his eyes effectively to break down the action and react quickly. Knott lacks elite quick-twitch athleticism, but he rarely takes false steps and takes advantage of his heady awareness to put himself in position to make plays. Entering the 2012 season, Knott projects as a mid-to-later round draft pick, but Knott is the type of player who constantly exceeds expectations. (cbssports.com)
If the 49ers want to have that insurance policy, Knott would be their guy.
Khaled Holmes would benefit from playing on the 49ers' o-line.
Current SF Picks in the Fifth Round: No. 24 (157 overall)
Scenario: 49ers draft USC center Khaled Holmes.
Needs Addressed: San Francisco finds its future replacement for current center Jonathan Goodwin.
Should San Francisco elect to use most of its early round picks to address immediate needs, the 49ers would be forced to pass on some of the top center prospects such as Travis Frederick, Barrett Jones and Brian Schwenke.
Indeed, center is not necessarily a position of "need" for the 49ers in this year's draft.
Yet if there was one glaring weakness in San Francisco's offensive line, it would have to be incumbent center Jonathan Goodwin.
At 34 years old, Goodwin has probably seen his best days already. He is also entering the final year of a three-year, $10.9 million contract and shall be a free agent following this season. There is his backup Daniel Kilgore, but Kilgore may be best suited remaining a 49er insurance policy.
As the 49ers' offense continues its transformation towards the "hybrid-style" seen with quarterback Colin Kaepernick, a good center is going to be key to their success. In addition, the line will have to provide just as much support for the running game as well.
Fortunately, San Francisco still boasts one of the best offensive lines in the NFL utilizing talent from Alex Boone, Anthony Davis, Mike Iupati, and Joe Staley. If they want to retain that status, drafting a solid center becomes relevant.
The 49ers could do that with former USC center Khaled Holmes.
Projected to be drafted in the fifth round, San Francisco could find its future center with their 24th pick in the round.
CBS Sports' Rob Rang highlights some of Holmes positive attributes by saying:
Broad shouldered, quick-footed athlete well-suited to playing any of the three interior positions. Quick off the snap. Shoots his hands into the pads of his opponent and possesses the quick feet and balance to turn and seal off defenders from the action. Good agility when blocking at the second level and has impressive straight-line speed, showcasing the ability to block on the move 10+ yards downfield. Alert. Keeps his head on a swivel and is competitive, looking to help out his teammates. Tough. Played through a nagging ankle injury throughout much of the 2012 season that earned the respect of his teammates and the coaching staff. Good bloodlines; the younger brother of former USC tight end Alex Holmes, who played for the Miami Dolphins in 2005. Highly intelligent. (cbssports.com)
With those attributes, Holmes would be suited for the next level. While he did suffer some setbacks during his senior year at USC, including his ankle injury which thwarted his play, Holmes could be ready for a comeback at the NFL level. In addition, the lackluster performance that year may have dropped his draft value somewhat making him an affordable pick.
Holmes would be able to play behind Goodwin for the 2013 season. In addition, Holmes is versatile and can serve as an insurance policy behind the other two interior line positions. That makes him an attractive option.
Lavar Edwards would provide insurance for San Francisco's d-line.
Current SF Picks in the Fourth Round: No. 31 (128 overall), No. 34 (131 overall)
Scenario: 49ers draft defensive end Lavar Edwards out of LSU with their 128th overall pick. San Francisco then drafts cornerback Sanders Commings from Georgia with their 131st overall pick.
Needs Addressed: San Francisco adds depth to its defensive line as well as adding another cornerback for the future.
It is safe to assume that the 49ers will look for a top-tier defensive lineman with one of their first three draft picks.
However, the 49ers may also be looking in the middle rounds to select someone who can at least compete for the position and, at worst, provide some added depth.
If San Francisco's train of thought is similar to mine, they would draft former LSU defensive lineman Lavar Edwards with their 31st pick in the round.
I am not alone in this thought.
Yahoo Sports analyst Grant Cohn also agrees that Edwards would be an excellent addition to the 49ers roster. He states:
Edwards was a five-star recruit coming out of high school, but a backup defensive lineman at LSU. He came off the bench and played both defensive end and defensive tackle. 49ers' defensive line coach Jim Tomsula, the best in the business, could develop Edwards into Justin Smith's eventual replacement. Edwards and Smith have similar frames - both are 6-4 and both have long arms. Edwards' arms are freakishly long - 35.5 inches. But Edwards weighs a "mere" 277 pounds, so he'll have to gain 10 to 15 pounds before he'd be Justin Smith's size. (sports.yahoo.com)
In four years at Louisiana State, Edwards totaled 96 tackles, 20 of them for a loss, as well as 10.5 sacks (sports-reference.com).
Despite not being a starter for much of his LSU tenure, Edwards does have some versatility which increases his value. Ranked by CBS Sports as the 129th overall prospect, Edwards would easily fall to San Francisco in the 4th round.
Even if he does not turn into a play-making starter, Edwards would at least provide the depth at a position so vital to the 49ers' future.
Continuing on the defensive side of the ball, San Francisco also drafts cornerback Sanders Commings out of Georgia with the 34th pick in the round.
Similar to the situation on the defensive line, the 49ers may look to their earlier draft picks to take a cornerback. Yet the 49ers backfield concerns will not be solved by only one corner. For starters, both Carlos Rogers and Chris Culliver experienced forgettable performances during last season's playoff run. Tarell Brown may depart via free agency after 2013 as well. The recently-added Nnamdi Asomugha hopes to play like he did in Oakland, but the 49ers have to be concerned whether or not he will emulate his days in Philadelphia. That concern alone warranted his one-year, $1.775 million contract.
Assuming the 49ers are taking a look at drafting multiple corners in 2013, Commings may be a smart option to draft in the middle rounds.
NFL Films senior producer Greg Cosell had this to say about Commings:
He played boundary corner for Georgia and he played press all the time. I don’t know if he can do anything else. I thought he was a good press-man corner with physicality and transition skills. I don’t know what else he can do, but I liked him on film. (via pressdemocrat.com)
Fortunately for Commings, the 49ers primarily utilize press coverage on defense and he would certainly benefit from that type of system and 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio's tutelage.
While Commings may not be the end-all answer for San Francisco, he would at least help alleviate some of the 49ers' future needs at cornerback.
Da'Rick Rogers would be a nice long-term addition for the 49ers.
Current SF Picks in the Third Round: No. 12 (74 overall), No. 31 (93 overall)
Scenario: The 49ers draft Rice tight end Vance McDonald with their 12th pick in the round. Then the 49ers draft Tennessee Tech wide receiver Da'Rick Rogers with their 31st pick in the round.
Needs Addressed: San Francisco addresses its needs at tight end as well as adding a talented wide receiver.
The most glaring offensive need for the 49ers is the second tight end position.
The recent free agency departure of Delanie Walker hurts San Francisco's offense more than they would like to admit. As their "Swiss Army Knife," Walker was extremely versatile. While not the best receiver, Walker excelled as both a run and pass-blocker. He also could line up on both ends of the line as well as outside or the slot. As an H back, Walker provided a tremendous boost to the new "hybrid-style" of offense San Francisco utilizes with quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
With Walker gone, the 49ers need to take a serious look at tight ends coming out of the draft. While top-tier tight ends such as Tyler Eifert and Zach Ertz may be long gone when San Francisco is looking to fill the specific void, the 49ers may instead look towards drafting a tight end that is similar to Walker.
That tight end would be Vance McDonald.
In four years at Rice, McDonald totaled 119 receptions for 1,504 yards and 15 touchdowns (sports-reference.com).
What makes McDonald even more special however is the fact that he emulates Walker in a variety of ways.
NFL analyst and NFL Films senior producer Greg Cosell had this to say about McDonald:
He has very deceptive athleticism. Not a vertical speed guy, but I think he can work the seams and the short to intermediate areas. One concern with him is he had some trouble catching the ball at times. He’s an athletic tight end. He’s very fluid for a man that size. In Rice’s offense he lined up all over – in the slot, split. He just had erratic hands. There were times he showed really strong hands and made great catches. There were other times he let too many balls get into his body and he dropped them. I think he’s a really intriguing prospect. You could argue that this kid is a smoother mover than Jason Witten. (via pressdemocrat.com)
That sounds a lot like Walker.
If there was anything bad to say about McDonald, it would be that he still needs help at inside blocking. He also needs some help in his receiving game. Fortunately, good coaching can assist McDonald in the areas needing improvement and the 49ers have plenty of good coaches. They also can recall that both Walker and Vernon Davis were not the best blockers early in their respective careers (ninersnation.com).
Projected as the 89th overall prospect in the draft and slated to go in the third round, San Francisco would be wise to use its 74th overall pick to select McDonald.
There is an argument that San Francisco may be better off with Cincinnati's Travis Kelce, but it is a concern how Kelce is relatively inexperienced at the position and has only one full year as a starter. His character issues may also diminish this likelihood of the 49ers selecting him (cbssports.com).
If they do draft McDonald, Walker's departure will not hurt the 49ers as much as they may have originally anticipated.
With the 93rd overall pick, San Francisco drafts Tennessee Tech wide receiver Da'Rick Rogers.
If you have read any of my draft-day articles, you would know that I am becoming a huge fan of Rogers and the 49ers should become fans as well.
San Francisco's situation at wide receiver is not as clear-cut as it may appear. While Michael Crabtree is the "no-doubt" head of the 49er receiving class, the remainder of the receiving corps does not look as solid. True, San Francisco was able to trade one of this year's draft picks for standout receiver Anquan Boldin, but Boldin is 32 years old and shall become a free agent after the 2013 season. Will San Francisco re-sign him? That is a tough question to ask and Boldin certainly does not look to be a long-term solution.
In addition, both Mario Manningham and Kyle Williams are returning from serious knee injuries suffered last year. How effective will they be even if they return at 100 percent? Both are also free agents after this upcoming season.
There is last year's first-round draft pick A.J. Jenkins in the mix, but Jenkins has yet to prove himself at the NFL level and it remains unclear what impact he will have in 2014.
All that considered, San Francisco should look towards Rogers.
Unfortunately (or fortunately if one chooses to look at it that way), Rogers has experienced some off-the-field issues which have hampered his hopes to become a top prospect. This element may benefit San Francisco however as they would be able to grab him with a third-round pick.
Projected by CBS Sports as the 95th overall prospect, Rogers may easily slide to the 49ers during the round. They have already expressed some interest in him and if they choose to select him during the draft, the 49ers would add a talented wide receiver who can be an explosive playmaker for years to come. It would also make the possible departures of Boldin, Manningham, and Williams not as significant.
There are the concerns surrounding his character, yet the 49ers have shown patience with some of their young stars and their own dealings with adversity. Look no further than Alex Boone or Aldon Smith. Good coaching can be vital here.
If that winds up happening, San Francisco would get an explosive receiver who can provide additional options for the 49ers' offense.
Current SF Picks in the Second Round: No. 2 (34 overall) and No. 31 (61 overall)
Scenario: 49ers draft safety Jonathan Cyprien out of Florida International with their 34th overall pick. 49ers then draft cornerback David Amerson out of North Carolina State.
Needs Addressed: San Francisco solves its need at safety and provides added strength in the secondary.
San Francisco uses the second round of the draft to address needs in the secondary.
The loss of Dashon Goldson via free agency necessitates this draft decision and Cyprien is the perfect fit to answer the 49ers' needs at the position.
For starters, CBS Sports analyst Rob Rang still has San Francisco drafting Cyprien with their 31st-overall pick (cbssports.com).
Yet other analysts like CBS Sports' analysts Dane Brugler and Clark Judge feel that Cyprien may fall a little further into the second round. Ranked as the 39th overall prospect by CBS Sports, the 49ers should let Cyprien at least fall to them with their first pick in the second round instead of spending their first overall on him.
Despite the recent signing of former Rams safety Craig Dahl, the 49ers are still looking for a top-tier safety coming out of this year's draft class. Cyprien fits that description perfectly.
While there are some concerns about his speed, Cyprien appears fit to fill a void that San Francisco needs to address. His style of play combined with his awareness on the field help make up for the concerns regarding his speed. That combination would provide ample reason behind future success at the NFL level for the former Florida International star.
A column written by Trevor Woods on Niners Nation highlighted exactly how Cyprien would fit in with San Francisco:
He's a rangy safety with great size who's not afraid to help out in the run game. Intimidating hits, often causing turnovers, has been part of the 49ers safety position for a long time. Cyprien is also adept at tracking the ball from center field and can get to the sideline to make a play. He's very instinctive when he can see the play and does a good job in man coverage, when asked, though he plays near the line of scrimmage often as well. Has experience blitzing off the edge, too. (ninersnation.com)
Those attributes would help alleviate Goldson's departure and set up San Francisco's secondary for years to come. Considering that the 49ers will probably start a rookie safety in 2013, Cyprien may be the most plausible option.
With their second pick in the round, the 49ers draft cornerback David Amerson out of North Carolina State.
Slated as the 69th overall prospect by CBS Sports, Amerson could fall to the 49ers with their 61st overall pick.
San Francisco needs to examine its cornerback needs in this year's draft. For starters, incumbents Carlos Rogers and Chris Culliver both had poor showings in last year's playoffs and Super Bowl. Tarell Brown is also going to be a free agent after 2013. Despite the recent signing of former Eagles safety Nnamdi Asomugha, the cornerback position remains a significant concern moving forward.
Amerson put up impressive numbers at the combine and would be a tremendous fit for San Francisco. Possessing good height and arm length for the position, Amerson would benefit in the press-based coverage that the 49ers typically employ.
CBS Sports Dane Brugler highlighted his attributes by saying:
Amerson has rare height and length for the position and actually played primarily at safety in high school. He has the size and ball skills for the next level, but scouts are also impressed with his competitive drive to get better, showing vast improvement between his freshman and sophomore seasons. And the coaching staff says there is no problem keeping Amerson hungry, as he is one of the top practice players each week. Could prove a fit in a press-based scheme. Highly aggressive defender who intercepted many of his passes reading the eyes of quarterbacks and jumping short routes. (cbssports.com)
49ers.com columnist Taylor Price also feels Amerson would be a good fit in San Francisco. His physical attributes combined with a tremendous work ethic would be a huge benefit to the 49er defense (49ers.com).
As the 49ers look to the future and potentially past the possible departures of Brown and Asomugha, Amerson will quickly fill the void.
Current SF Picks in the First Round: No. 31 overall
Scenario: 49ers draft defensive end Datone Jones out of UCLA.
Needs Addressed: The 49ers find an anchor on the defensive line to replace the aging Justin Smith.
"With the 31st overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the San Francisco 49ers select..."
Datone Jones out of UCLA
If 49er fans know anything, they know that the team has to find a replacement for incumbent defensive end Justin Smith. They know what it was like to have Smith playing at 100 percent. They saw how he created opportunities for his teammates to rush the passer, thus making the 49er defense appear immovable. They also saw what happened when Smith was injured in Week 15 and subsequently came back to play not fully healthy.
Fans also know that Smith is entering the final year of his six-year, $45 million contract. At 33 years old, it is probable that San Francisco is looking to replace the aging veteran with someone who can play at a similar level.
Enter Datone Jones.
Assuming that the recent Yahoo Sports article by Jason Cole is incorrect and San Francisco does not trade up to the middle of the first round, the 49ers would be wise to draft the former UCLA standout.
Jones is a physical specimen of immense talent. In college, Jones totaled 148 tackles and 12.5 sacks, thanks in large measure to the aggressive defense employed by UCLA's head coach Jim Mora (sports-reference.com). Jones would figure to benefit in a similarly aggressive offense led by 49ers' defensive coordinator Vic Fangio.
CBS Sports' Pete Prisco has the 49ers taking Jones with their first-overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft (cbssports.com).
It would make sense to do so. The 49ers need to find Smith's replacement and drafting Jones this year would give him the opportunity to play underneath Smith's tutelage for one full season. While it is possible that San Francisco could grab a traditional defensive tackle in the first round, such as Jesse Williams from Alabama, Jones may be the better fit.
Williams on the other hand is not the best pass-rusher and the 49ers need help in generating pressure on opponents' quarterbacks.
That is something Jones did well in college.
While there are some questions regarding his consistency and technique, there are no doubts about his physique and potential. Hopefully San Francisco's coaching staff can work on improving his shortcomings.
49ers.com columnist Alex Espinoza also feels that Jones would be a tremendous fit, stating that Jones already has the type of attitude that 49er head coach Jim Harbaugh wants in his players (49ers.com).
If Jones can bring that type of attitude to San Francisco and combine it with his physical attributes and abilities, the 49ers' defensive line will continue to be a dominant force.
In all, San Francisco will probably not draft 13 prospects. Yet if they were to do so in similar fashion to the mock draft presented here, they would be solving a number of key problems currently facing them. Not only would they alleviate some of their immediate needs, but they would also be adding depth to some key positions.
While it is almost impossible to determine exactly what the 49ers will do come draft day, it is reasonable to assume they will have a solid draft class to work with.
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