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NFL Draft 2011: Is Aaron Williams What San Francisco 49ers Need?

DALLAS - OCTOBER 02:  Cornerback Aaron Williams #4 of the Texas Longhorns drops a pass intended for Ryan Broyles #85 of the Oklahoma Sooners in the second quarter at the Cotton Bowl on October 2, 2010 in Dallas, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Kyle VassaloFeatured ColumnistApril 22, 2011

The San Francisco 49ers are in desperate need of a corner. This year, the 49ers hold the No. 7 overall pick, but it is unlikely that they will be able to land top cornerback prospect Patrick Peterson.

If Peterson is gone, Nebraska's Prince Amukamara will likely be on the board still. Whether he merits the seventh overall pick is debatable, and rather than reach for Amukamara, it may be more logical for the 49ers to wait for a corner to fall into their hands in the second round.

Texas' Aaron Williams could go in the late first round, but may be a guy who slips. If he makes it past the first round, there is a solid chance that the run on quarterbacks in the second round could allow him to drop all the way to the 49ers.

Williams is 6'1", 195 pounds and runs a 4.44 40. He is a sure tackler and has the ability to provide the big hit.

Williams may project better as a free safety at the next level. Usually, corners try to distance themselves from safety talks, as safeties generally make less money and the position change calls for an adjustment period.

It seems as though Williams is indifferent as to which position he plays, which speaks to his team first mentality. This might be detrimental to the 49ers' chances of landing him. His versatility and willingness to comply with team demands make him more desirable.

Should the 49ers need to trade up, there are a few different scenarios I have posted that would allow them to do so if they see the right guy waiting for them at the end of the first round, or beginning of the second.

The 49ers are in desperate need at corner, but the future at safety is also uncertain. Dashon Goldson regressed a bit in 2010 and did not have the breakout year everyone was anticipating. It is unclear if the 49ers are going to be willing to shell out elite safety money to a slightly above average safety.

Taylor Mays may be able to find a place in the Vic Fangio defense, but he may continue to be a special teamer.

With all of the uncertainty in the secondary, drafting a guy who can do it all may be in the best interest of the 49ers going forward. Some may argue that he can only be in one position at once, but his ability to fill multiple needs as the coaching staff sees fit makes him an ideal prospect.

Ronnie Lott had a somewhat successful career and fit the corner/safety mold. Williams might not have half the success Lott had during his career, but he could secure a starting job in his rookie season.

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