A growing trend is Patrick Peterson falling to seventh overall. A scenario that was at one point just hope, is becoming more realistic day by day. ESPN's two draft analysts, Mel Kiper and Todd McShay, concur on Peterson landing in San Francisco.
At this point, it seems more mock drafts have Peterson at seven even though most big boards see Peterson as a top-three prospect.
However, there is a history of the top athlete, especially cornerback, dropping due to teams investing in greater needs.
In '89, Deion Sanders was graded even higher than Peterson and dropped to fifth. In '99, Champ Bailey dropped to seventh despite having the best grade of all players.
It is odd that about three months ago I wrote a similar article on Nebraska's Prince Amukamara dropping to seven but, at this point, Amukamara will be looked at as a consolation prize.
San Francisco has long needed a shutdown corner. The Nate Clements signing was huge, but has not payed its dividends. As Clements continues to age, the more apparent it is that a move must be made. Whether it's obtaining a true corner and moving him to safety, or just cutting him—change is imminent.
Peterson would fit in well in any defensive scheme, however Vic Fangio's blitz-heavy defense can thrive with a corner of his caliber.
Patrick Willis has longed for a defensive teammate on par with his skills since he became a 49er.
A true rush linebacker is also a necessity, however anyone who loves football, especially defense can tell you that the best way to improve pass rush is to improve coverage.
Landing Peterson would be a huge victory for the nearly entirely new defensive staff, but also new special teams coach Brad Seely.
Seely was considered one of the best special teams coaches in the league with the Cleveland Browns. We all saw the success he had with Josh Cribbs.
Peterson also excels in the return game, and teaming up with Ted Ginn would be dynamic. Peterson has said on NFL Network that he has no interest in returning kickoffs, so Ginn won't be out of his job.
Explosiveness is the trending quality to have in this age of the NFL, and a Ginn-Peterson tandem would be just that.
Patrick Peterson is the best athlete in this year's draft hands down. Some think he is the best player period.
If his stock drops, the cut off is in San Francisco.
A pick of value and need, Peterson would be utilized to his maximum level on defense and special teams, and could help Patrick Willis lead a rising defensive unit.
The one-time hope is a reality, and faithful should anticipate welcoming Peterson to "Niners' Nation."