2011 NFL Mock Draft: What Are the San Francisco 49ers' Top Needs?

Casey CrailCorrespondent INovember 7, 2010

2011 NFL Mock Draft: What Are the San Francisco 49ers Top Needs?

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    Thus far in the 2010 NFL season, the San Francisco 49ers seem lost. Once the divisional favorites, many are looking to next season to see if the Niners can fulfill this years expectations.

    Many wonder whether the Niners should look to draft a Quarterback in the First Round, or perhaps to look at the free agency or trade market.

    The one truth is that San Francisco is far from becoming a championship-caliber team. However if they can draft well and get immediate impact players, then perhaps this April they will deserve the high expectations received a year too early.

Elite Cornerback

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    BATON ROUGE, LA - SEPTEMBER 25:  Patrick Peterson #7 of the Louisiana State Univeristy Tigers runs for a touchdown against the West Virginia Mountaineers at Tiger Stadium on September 25, 2010 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Ima
    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    When the 49ers brought in Nate Clements from Buffalo, there were high expectations. These were never reached as Clements had a few good years, but was never the play maker they hoped they signed.

    That being said, Clements is 30 and there is a need for an elite corner.

    If San Francisco doesn't turn it around and has a likely top-10 pick, the expected pick would be LSU's Patrick Peterson or Nebraska's' Prince Amukamara.

    If the 49ers wait to the Second Round Texas's Curtis Brown would be a likely pick.

Quarterback

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    RALEIGH, NC - OCTOBER 28:  Christian Ponder #7 of the Florida State Seminoles drops back to throw a pass against the North Carolina State Wolfpack during their game at Carter-Finley Stadium on October 28, 2010 in Raleigh, North Carolina.  (Photo by Street
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    The Quarterback situation is an interesting one for San Francisco.

    Alex Smith still isn't the guy that he was built up to be since being selected 1st overall in 2005.

    David Carr isn't the answer.

    Troy Smith won his first start in the last three years, and it will be interesting to see how he plays for the remainder of Alex's injury period.

    Unless Stanford's Andrew Luck drops to them, the First Round does not seem to be the area that the future Quarterback will come from. Jake Locker's decision to return for his Senior year has been a complete mistake and at this point he could drop to the Second Round. His play has been an abomination, and the Niners might even pass on him if he drops out of the First Round.

    FSU's Christian Ponder could be the second round pick if the Niners do not trade or sign a quarterback prior to the draft.

Tall Receiver

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    BATON ROUGE, LA - OCTOBER 16:   Terrence Toliver #80 of the Louisiana State University Tigers is tackled by Pat Williams #90 of the McNeese State Cowboys at Tiger Stadium on October 16, 2010 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  The Tigers defeated the Cowboys 32-1
    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    Michael Crabtree was selected 10th overall in 2009, and has shown signs of promise. While Josh Morgan has not been bad as the number two option at wide receiver, neither players possess the height to give their Quarterback the option to lob a ball up and rely that they will come down with it.

    The 49ers should look to the Third or Fourth Round for a lengthy receiver.

    LSU's Terrence Toliver would be a good selection at 6'5 and he a good pair of hands.

Explosive Playmaker

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    JACKSONVILLE, FL - JANUARY 01: Running back Noel Devine #7 and wide receiver Alric Arnett #82 of the West Virginia Mountaineers celebrate Devine's first quarter touchdown in the first quarter against the Florida State Seminoles during the Konica Minolta G
    Doug Benc/Getty Images

    From watching the 49ers this season you will realize that there is no explosion on either side of the ball. Some thought Ted Ginn might be able to be this type of play, but thus far has not shown anything that leads to believe he can contribute to the offense.

    A "home run hitter" would be huge for San Francisco. Some speculated that C.J. Spiller or Dexter McCluster could be drafted last April, but San Francisco was never really given the opportunity to select either player.

    Brian Westbrook was signed, but has not played so he not been given the opportunity to make plays.

    Noel Devine from West Virginia could be drafted in the third or fourth round to bring some much needed explosiveness to this team.