San Francisco 49ers 2011 Draft Synopsis: A Case for Trading Down
This year I have done one San Francisco 49ers mock draft and found finding players to fill all of the holes that the Niners need filled very difficult. They need at least one CB and OLB. If San Francisco doesn't re-sign David Baas, Aubrayo Franklin or Dashon Goldson, they will need an RG, DT and S, respectively. An upgrade at FB is also necessary.
Those are just the positions of need that merit being filled through the draft. Then there are the "luxury" positions. The Niners could use a change-of-pace running back, a "ball hawk" safety and a wide receiver with reliable hands. A defensive end who could rush the passer opposite Justin Smith would also be nice.
In short, the Niners could use more picks this year, and if they had a few more next year, they might be able to stockpile enough picks to go and get the coveted Andrew Luck. I am going to go through the players that may be there at No. 7 for San Francisco, and identify comparable players who may be around later in the draft.
Patrick Peterson CB LSU: I would not trade down if Peterson were available. He could start right away at cornerback for the 49ers or could play safety. I could see him as an Ed Reed/Troy Polamalu/Charles Woodson-type playmaker at the safety spot.
Von Miller OLB Texas A&M: Miller is another player that it would be hard to trade down from because of his pass rushing ability. But that may make the spot more valuable to someone trading up.
If all were available, who is a must draft for the 49ers?
If they traded back into the 10-15 range, Aldon Smith (Missouri) or Ryan Kerrigan (Purdue) are both talented OLB prospects who would be available, or they could wait until the second round and take Brooks Reed (Arizona).
Prince Amukamara CB Nebraska: Amukamara would be a good pick at seven, but there is a lot of CB depth in this draft.
In the mid-first there is Jimmy Smith (Colorado) and in the late first and early second there is Brandon Harris (Miami), Davon House (NM St) Aaron Williams and Curtis Brown (Texas). Ras-I Dowling's stock has fallen and there is talk that he may go late second or even third.
Robert Quinn OLB North Carolina: Talented player but with some question marks; the list would be the same as the one for Von Miller.
Cameron Jordan DE Cal: Could Harbaugh change his trend of passing on talented Cal prospects?
Jordan's stock has risen with a great performance at the senior bowl but if the Niners traded back into the mid-first round they could have JJ Watt, and in the late first they could draft Cameron Heyward (Ohio St.).
Any QB: If the Niners are looking at first-round QBs, they should trade back and start looking at next year's first-rounders. Andrew Luck and Matt Barkley are two QBs that Harbaugh is very familiar with, and there are others who could rise next season.
The Niners could get a very good player at No. 7 but they need to be open to the right offer. San Francisco has a lot of holes to fill, and could always use more draft picks. They need to follow the mold the Patriots have been using and stock up!
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