This is my pre-combine edition of the 2011 San Francisco 49ers Mock Draft. The 49ers will look to find a quarterback in this draft. It doesn't appear that any of the quarterbacks in this draft can start right away but there are a few with potential. The 49ers might pick up some in the middle rounds.
The 49ers need to add some cornerbacks and at least one pass rusher.
Here are my round-by-round selections for the 49ers, taking into account where players should be after the 49ers select in each of those rounds.
Please feel free to leave comments, but note this is the pre-combine edition.
The Cam Newton photo in the introduction was to throw people off. I do not see the 49ers drafting Cam Newton, although he could be the X-factor in this draft. I could see the Bills drafting him at No. 3 and causing Patrick Peterson to potentially fall to No. 7 if he could make it past Arizona and Cleveland.
If this were to happen, then this would be a no-brainer pick. If he isn't here, Prince Amukamara would be my second choice.
I took a lot of heat for mocking Christian Ponder here in my last mock and probably will take a lot of heat for mocking Jake Locker. Ponder is smart and accurate, but his injury history and arm strength are questioned.
Locker has all the tools you look for in a quarterback except accuracy. I watched the Washington-Nebraska bowl game, and it didn't help that Washington's receivers were not that good. He also had a bad Senior Bowl, which hurt him even more. Unless he really dazzles at the combine, he will fall to the second round.
Locker could be an excellent quarterback in the NFL if he had a couple of years on the bench to learn.
I think the 49ers will purse Josh Johnson from Tampa via trade to come in and start or they might keep Alex Smith around one more year.
I've heard Brooks Reed compared to Clay Matthews, probably because of the hair. However, Reed is a solid player with a high motor. If there isn't a pass rusher in the first round the 49ers like, then I could see them going after someone in this point of the draft.
The problem with Reed is he'd probably just be a pass rusher (third down outside linebacker). The 49ers already have a few of those on their roster, and no one besides Manny Lawson who could play every down.
Manny Lawson will probably be gone in free agency.
Andy has great accuracy and is a winner. He could become a starter in the NFL, but would definitely be an excellent backup.
Jalil Brown was the cornerback on the other side of Jimmy Smith at Colorado. He's a big corner with all the tools, but needs some coaching.
The 49ers pick up another nose tackle prospect behind Franklin and Jean Francois. Fua also is familiar with the 49ers defense, which is a big head start for a nose tackle.
The running back class is deep this year, as it has been in recent years. Because of his size, Dion Lewis might fall this low, even though it's hard for me to believe.
Dion Lewis is the change-of-pace back the 49ers have been talking about drafting for the past few years. He's also more of a West Coast offense back, similar to the guy he succeeded at Pittsburgh, LeSean McCoy.
Winterswyk might be able to move to outside linebacker. If he could add another 20 to 30 pounds, he could play defensive end in the 49ers' 3-4.
Zane could add additional depth on the offensive line, especially if Eric Heitman doesn't return to his previous form.
The 49ers love to add SEC defensive linemen in the later rounds of the draft.
Jeff Maehl, WR, Oregon (pictured)
Anthony Gray, NT, Southern Mississippi
Junior Tui'one, OLB, Utah
Scott Lutru, ILB, UConn
Tori Gurley, WR, South Carolina
Ryan Taylor, FB, North Carolina
Byron Bell, OT, New Mexico