2011 NFL Mock Draft: San Francisco 49ers, Seven Rounds 2.0
After receiving feedback from my first mock draft and having an idea for how to fix the 49ers defensive line, I decided to do a second version of my mock. I will act as if San Francisco is unable to trade. This is not necessarily what I think will happen but what could and should happen in this year's draft.
Thanks to cbssports.com/nfldraft and drafttek.com for round projections.
Round One, Pick Seven: Robert Quinn OLB North Carolina
Two things have made me change from Von Miller to Robert Quinn with this pick. One, Miller is getting a lot of hype and may be gone by seven. Two, after taking some time to calm down from Von Miller-mania, I am realizing that Quinn may actually be a better fit. He is two inches taller and has 30 lbs on Von and the Niners are already playing an undersized OLB in Parys Haralson.
Also, it is easy to forget (because he was out for a year) that Quinn is also a talented pass rusher and had 11 sacks the last season he played.
All of this being said, it Patrick Peterson is on the board he is the pick, but I do not think he will.
Round Two, Pick 49: Phil Taylor DT Baylor
At 6'3" 337lbs, Taylor is the prototypical size for a 3-4 defensive lineman and I am of the opinion that the 49ers need to get bigger on the D-line. If he is not available here, they should look at Jerrell Powe in round three. As soon as most Niner fans read this they will be screaming for Sione Fua, but don't worry your little hearts. I will address that in round four.
Round Three, Pick 76: Ras-I Dowling CB Virginia
Ras-I Dowling was considered a future first round pick going into 2010 but an injury shortened season will likely drop him to the second and maybe even the third round. Right now, CBS sports has him graded as a second to third round prospect and Drafttek has him falling to number 80 overall. If he runs a 4.5 or better at the combine, he will be a second rounder. If not, he is destined for late second/early third round.
If Dowling is not available, look for the Niners to look to Shareece Wright CB USC instead.
Round Four, Pick 107: Sione Fua NT Stanford
I know what you are saying to yourself, didn't you already have the Niners take a NT in round two? Yes, but there is a method to my madness.
Fun Fact: The Baltimore Ravens (where Vic Fangio was before joining Jim Harbaugh at Stanford) put a line together that looks like this Corey Redding DE 6'4" 292, Kelly Gregg NT 6'0" 320, Haloti Ngata DT 6'4" 350. They run what is really a hybrid of the 3-4, with only one true defensive end. This helps greatly in stopping the run and opens up holes for the linebackers.
If the Niners were to draft both Phil Taylor and Sione Fua (or is Tayloy is gone Powe) they would look like this: Justin Smith DE 6'4" 285, Sione Fua NT 6'2" 307+ (will add weight in NFL), Phil Taylor DT 6'3" 337. Ricky Jean Francois becomes the alternate at both positions.
Round Four, Pick 114: Thomas Keiser OLB Stanford
Really needs to add some weight to his frame but is a good pass rusher (9 sacks and 15 TFL last year) and could be someone who's stock could rise slightly because of the CBA unrest. Having two players (Fua and Keiser) who already know the defense you are going to run would be desirable for both Harbaugh and Fangio. Not that Keiser would drop that far anyway, he is likely a late fourth/early fifth guy.
Round Five, Pick 137: Cortez Allen CB Citadel
Allen needs some polish, he only played one year of high school football and went to a small school, but he has the right size and speed to play CB in the NFL. Drafting Cortez Allen could also free Ras-I Dowling to play safety, a position many think he could end up in anyway.
Round Six, Pick 168: Henry Hynoski FB Pitt
How can you not want a guy from Pennsylvania, who went to Pitt and who's last name ends in -ski to be your fullback? It just screams toughness!
He is not the fullback everyone wants, that would be Marecic but he is a very good substitute. He blocks well and can catch the ball out of the backfield. The only thing that really separates Hynoski and Owen Marecic is that Marecic would likely be a better special teams player because of his experience playing defense in college.
Round Six, Pick 185: Ryan Whalen WR Stanford
I have no idea where Whalen will land here but CBS sports has him as the 176th best player in the draft and in the fifth round and Draft tek has him 314th and undrafted so I put him in the middle as the second sixth round pick for San Francisco.
Whalen does not have elite speed but he does have good hands and a willingness to go over the middle. The Niner receivers have dropped a lot of balls recently and it would be nice to have a pair of hands you can count on for crucial third downs.
Round Seven, Pick 199: Zane Taylor G/C Utah
First team All-MWC player who would give the Niners the backup center that they could have used this year, as well as a player who can fill in at guard if needed.
With Chilo Rachal's struggles and Eric Heitmann's age, this could be a very nice value pick.
Round Seven, Pick 204: Mitch Mustain QB USC
Is it likely that the 49ers wait until the very last pick they have to go get a QB, maybe not but Mustain is a former High School player of the year who at one time (while at Arkansas) looked like he could be a future first round pick.
He has made questionable decisions off of the field and could not beat out Mark Sanchez or Matt Barkley for the starting job which is somewhat troubling. I think the success of Matt Cassel will make people take a second look at Mustain.
Rookie Free Agent: Vai Taua RB Nevada
Taua is a powerful back with good vision. He was a huge part of the success for Nevada this year. One of the knocks on him is that he lacks elite speed but the same could have been said about Frank Gore coming out of college.