Last year I wrote an article titled "49ers-should-look-to-draft">Players The San Francisco 49ers Should Look to Draft." For 2010 there are still some of the same needs the 49ers had last year and there are other needs that the 49ers need too address as well.
Last years article stated that the 49ers should look at getting a wide receiver, linebacker, cornerback, safety, defensive end, and defensive tackle. This year the needs are a little different.
For the 49ers the needs are anything to improve the offensive line be it a guard or tackle, safety, defensive tackle, running back, and return man regardless if it's put returns or kick returns.
This year the 49ers have two picks in the first round number 13 and 17. Here are the players that the 49ers should look at.
First Round 13th Pick:
1. Trent Williams, Offensive Tackle: At the combine Williams a University of Oklahoma product showed off more athleticism than what was anticipated by scouts. He also ran a 4.88 40. He seems to be an ideal fit for the 49ers and at 6'5 315 he definitely provides some bulk to the line.
2. Bruce Campbell, Offensive Tackle: Another offensive tackle he's out of the University of Maryland he is projected to go to the Oakland Raiders with the eighth pick of the draft, but you never know with the Raiders. He's big at 6'6 315 and he's very strong. At the combine he benched 225 pounds 34 times. He'd definitely be a great fit for the team. The only problem is that he will more than likely be already taken before the 13th pick.
3. Taylor Mays, strong safety: He can make plays. The only knock on him is his coverage ability. He's a big hitter and could be a big time play maker for the 49ers reminiscent of another USC product that the 49ers drafted in Ronnie Lott. Not too mention the fact that Mays ran an outstanding 4.3 40
4. Joe Haden, Cornerback: Not the ideal pick for the 49ers especially since cornerback is not a need right now especially with the rumors of Pacman Jones possibly signing. Some experts would say he would be the best available for the 49ers at the picks, but I think it depends on where some of the offensive linemen go.
Haden ran a 4.43 40 he has decent size at 5'11 193. He's a solid tackler and is projected to be a top 13 pick.
First Round 17th Pick:
1. Terrence Cody, Nose Tackle: At 6'4 350 Cody takes up space and would be an excellent choice for the 49ers in terms of stopping the run and is compared to Kris Jenkins. The issue with Cody is his weight he was at 370 before the combine, but was able to lose that weight and put in the effort which shows he's willing to work.
2. C.J. Spiller, Running Back: if Spiller is still on the board he should supplant Cody as someone the 49ers should go after. The 49ers need another running back to mix it up with Frank Gore. According to his combine 40 time he clocked in at 4.27 which definitely gives the 49ers change of pace back they need.
3. Jahvid Best, Running Back: Another running back that would be a change of pace to Gore. Best can catch the ball out of the backfield and he would also make a great return man for the 49ers as well. The knock on his best is that he's had a history of injuries hip in his freshman year and concussion that knocked him out his junior year.
4. Jermaine Gresham, Tight End: Another Oklahoma product Gresham was considered the best tight end in the nation before his season was ended by an injury. He's not projected in the first and second round. He has excellent size 6'5 260 to become a great blocker at the NFL level but with his size and his ability to catch the ball he would be a load to bring down.
2nd Round Picks:
1. Sergio Kindle, Outside Linebacker: Coming out Texas, Kindle has excellent size at 6'3 250 he ran a 4.65 40, but his ability to get into the backfield he definitely would help the 49ers out and he can develop to be the eventual replacement to Takeo Spikes.
2. Toby Gerhart, Running Back: The man is a beast! Tough to bring down he isn't going to wow anyone with his speed, but he's durable, he holds onto the ball, and he could be used in short yardage situations and as someone to catch the ball out of the backfield. He could play running back or fullback in the NFL. Reminds me of the next Mike Alstott!
3. Jamar Chaney, Linebacker: The 49ers should love his versatility at Mississippi State he played both inside and outside linebacker. He's strong benched 225 26 times and he ran the fastest time out of any linebacker at 4.51 for the 40. He's good size at 6'1 240.
4. Chris Cook, Safety/Cornerback: Cook was slowed down in his senior season by a strained groin but managed four interceptions. He has excellent size at 6'2 212 and he could offer the 49ers someone who could play both safety and cornerback depending on the situation or what the 49ers want to do with him.
3rd Round Picks:
1. John Skelton, Quarterback: I realize that the 49ers just signed David Carr as a backup for Alex Smith and they may even have a competition in camp for the starting job. Skelton could be a sleeper here and he could take his time before putting into a starting role.
At 6'5 243 he is a load to bring down and has great arm strength. He's projected as a third round pick and he was also invited to the combine so all teams could take a look at him.
2. Mitch Petrus, Guard: Petrus is incredibly strong he benched pressed 225 pounds 45 times. At 6'3 307 he's got the size to help out on the 49ers weak line. Blocked for running backs Darren McFadden and Felix Jones at Arkansas. Isn't the most fleet of foot ran a 5.25 40.
3. Sam Young, Offensive Tackle: Played all four years at Notre Dame started since he arrived on campus. He's tall and has good size at 6'8 315. Had a good senior bowl in pass protection and opening lanes for running backs. Only issue for him was his bad senior season. Ran a 5.19 40 at the combine.
4. Jacoby Ford: Ran a 4.28 40 at the combine. Pretty good receiver at Clemson catching 56 passes for 779 yards and six touchdowns. Knock on him is that he's only 5'9! He also did damage as a punt returner which is a key area the 49ers are looking for.
Fourth Round Pick:
1. Eric Norwood, Outside Linebacker: Had a big time season for South Carolina with 62 tackles including 11.5 for a loss and seven sacks. In his junior season he had 14.5 tackles for loss and nine sacks. So, he can definitely get to the quarterback and at 6'1 245 he has excellent size.
2. Mike Neal, Defensive End: Neal can play multiple positions which gives the 49ers versatility in using him. He was an honorable Big-10 mention he had 34 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss, and 5.5 sacks.
3. Mike Johnson, Guard: Johnson was an AP All-American and is ranked as the number one zone blocking guard. Has also played tackle as well but is better suited as a guard. At 6'6 312 he does have good size at the NFL level. Ran a 5.31 40.
4. Myron Rolle, Safety: Rolle is most famous for his chance at turning down a pro career to further his studies. Rolle would be an excellent choice for the 49ers, but he would be a project after sitting out a year from football. He started as a freshman for Florida State. At 6'2 215 he has excellent size for a safety, he does need to get back into football shape ran a 4.68 40.
Fifth Round Picks:
1. Barry Church, Safety: An excellent tackler started all four years at Toledo. In the last two years had 191 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, and 2.5 sacks. Made the All-Mac first team his junior and senior seasons.
2. Syd'Quan Thompson, Cornerback: Size is a concern for Thompson and his 40 time didn't help his cause either. He has the ability to return punts at the next level. Thompson is an excellent tackler especially against the run. Needs to work on being more physical.
3. Legarrette Blount, Running Back: Blount is a load to bring down at 6'0 240. He would be a perfect short yardage back in the NFL and with his speed it will surprise a lot of teams. Character is a concern for Blount who was suspended twice last year once for missing workouts and the other for his infamous incident at Boise State.
4. Jordan Shipley, Wide Receiver: Shipley could be an answer for the 49ers as a possession receiver. It seems like most of the playoff caliber teams have a receiver that they can count on in third down situations. Shipley may not be the fastest guy out on the field but he has great hands. His size is a concern at 5'11 193, but he also can return punts as well.
Sixth Round Picks:
1. Danario Alexander, Wide Receiver: The 49ers should take Alexander if he's available. At 6'5 215 he would bring another dimension to the 49ers offensive especially in the redzone. He had an outstanding year at Missouri with 113 catches for 1781 yards and 14 touchdowns. Definitely a player the 49ers should be looking at.
2. Eric Decker, Wide Receiver: Decker will be a possession receiver at the NFL level. Again like I mentioned before most playoff teams have a receiver that comes up big on third down situations. Decker is bigger than Shipley and with Decker's foot injury ending his senior year early, he maybe a steal for the 49ers there.
3. Brandon Banks, Special Teams: In the NFL a 5'7 149 receiver will not make it very long. But, in this case the 49ers are looking for specifically a return man and Banks provides that. He had a 28.9 yards per kickoff average for Kansas State and he brought back four kickoffs for touchdowns.
4. Ciron Black, Offensive Tackle: Black had a disappointing senior season which dropped his stock way down. He also didn't perform well at the combine. What's impressive is that he made 53 consecutive starts for LSU. The year before he was a second-team All SEC selection. So, there's definitely something there for the 49ers.
1. Rafael Priest, Cornerback: It would be interesting too see if the 49ers had a defensive secondary with a safety Church and a cornerback Priest. At 5'10 he maybe a little bit undersized, but he was so good that no team would throw his way. He recorded only 18 tackles, but had six passes defended.
2. Jarvis Geathers, Outside Linebacker: Geathers could be someone the 49ers could use his pass rush situations. Ran a 4.59 40. He has good size at 6'2 238 and his ability rush the passer is what makes him an intriguing prospect for the 49ers who desperately need a pass rusher. Had 14 tackles for loss and 11 sacks at Central Florida.
3. Adrian Tracy, Outside Linebacker: Tracy has excellent size at 6'3 248. Played at William & Mary. Had 12 sacks in his senior season. In his 47 career starts for William & Mary he had 62.5 tackles for loss and 31 sacks. Definitely would help out on the weak pass rush the 49ers have.
4. Stephen Williams, Wide Receiver: Williams has excellent height at 6'5 needs to put on a little weight at 210 that's rather small for someone of his height. With his height he'd be an excellent option in the redzone.
At this point the 49ers should look to draft the players that are best suited to their needs in the first few rounds. There will be plenty of opportunities for the 49ers to find players that aren't necessarily needed, but can add depth to the team such as cornerback.
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