San Francisco 49ers: 2010 Draft Picks (Pre-Combine Edition)
Here's my first take on who I believe the 49ers should draft with all of their draft picks. I've tried to keep it realistic and tried to include who I think would be the best available picks on the 49ers' board when they pick. I also tried to include trends of how GM Scot McCloughan has picked in the past. Scot appears to like players from the bigger conferences such as the SEC, although he does have a history of drafting small school players. I think the 49ers are not afraid to pick a player who has ability but requires coaching before he is able to contribute on a regular basis. This edition does not include compensatory picks, but I have included trades. I'll try and do a post-combine edition. Please let me know what you think.
Round One: No. 13 - SS - Taylor Mays - USC
I would love to see the 49ers draft CJ Spiller in this spot, but I believe he will be taken by another team such as Miami. The 49ers have Dashon Golson as the starter at free safety. Golson is a playmaking safety with range. As mentioned in my first-round mock article, you can't teach athletic ability and size. Mays provides a big, hard-hitting safety similar to Ronnie Lott and similar to how the 49ers now use Michael Lewis. The problem with Earl Thomas or even Eric Berry is their size. Sure they have playmaking ability, but how many games are they going to contribute during a season before they are injured? Bob Sanders has been injured often in the last few seasons, and Ed Reed is contemplating retirement. While a playmaking safety is great I would rather have a durable safety who is fast like Mays. I believe Mays starts the season behind Lewis to learn the position and learn that he doesn't always have to make the big hit. Mays would eventually replace Lewis as the starter towards the middle of the season.
Round One: No. 23 (Trade with Green Bay Packers) - MLB - Brandon Spikes - Florida
I have been thinking about this pick since my mock draft, and I could see the 49ers actually trading down with a team such as Green Bay that has a tackle need just as the 49ers do. I see the 49ers trading this pick so the Packers could select Trent Williams. The 49ers should pick a tackle with one of their first selections, but I believe they go with the best player available on their board. The 49ers would select Brandon Spikes with this newly acquired pick to eventually replace his cousin Takeo. Brandon Spikes will probably not run fast at the combine. The TED position for the 49ers doesn't require speed as much as being able to play the run and playmaking ability. Many people might disagree with me on not taking a cornerback, tackle, or pass rusher, but I believe the 49ers can address these needs later in the draft. I also believe that pass rusher isn't as much of a need as a returner/cornerback or tackle. Did I mention the 49ers would acquire the Packers' third round choice with the Packers obtaining San Francisco's second round choice in 2011?
Round Two: No. 49 - WR/ RB/ KR/ PR, Dexter McCluster, Ole Miss
I would love to see this happen as he would bring a change of pace back/slot receiver/return man in one package. He's not that big, and I think that will go against him in Scott McCloughan's mind; however, he did play in the SEC, which McCloughan will like. He is another dynamic playmaker that would help the 49er offense. I think he's worth the risk.
Round Three: No. 79 - OT, Sam Young, Notre Dame
The 49ers finally select a right tackle. Young will compete for the starting role from day one.
Round Three: No 86 - (Trade with Green Bay Packers) - Round 4: No. 114 - OG, John Jerry, Ole Miss
Huge guard prospect. Would add additional depth to the offensive line and would have a chance to earn a starting role.
Round Four: No. 114 - WR, Demaryius Thomas, Georgia Tech
Thomas broke his left foot and will not work out at the combine. The 49ers snatch him up in the fourth round to add depth to the receiving corp with the possible retirement of Issac Bruce and likely departure of Arnaz Battle. Thomas will have to earn a spot but is a big receiver.
Round Five: No. 147 - OT, Jared Veldheer, Hillsdale
An interesting prospect. He's a huge tackle with athletic ability. If he performs well at the combine, I believe he will be taken somewhere in the fourth to fifth rounds. Veldheer would provide depth at the tackle position and possible work into a starting role two or three years down the line.
Round Six: No. 185 - Round 5: No. 147 - CB/ KR/ PR, Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, Indiana of Pennsylvania
A big corner with return skills. I think the 49ers should take a chance on this guy.
Round Seven: No. 228 - OLB, O'Brien Schofield, Wisconsin
Unfortunatly, O'Brien Schofield tore his ACL in Senior Bowl practices; however, the 49ers could use his pass rushing ability and take him with this late round pick. Schofield probably wouldn't play at all his rookie year as he recovers but would have a chance to learn the playbook and other mental aspects of the game.