2012 NFL Draft: 5 Players the 49ers and Jim Harbaugh Should Consider
The 49ers have only played two preseason games. Alex Smith (as usual) looks mediocre, Kaepernick has shown potential, and as expected the defense is outplaying the offense.
As a fan I have many doubts: Can Kaepernick lead this team to the playoffs? Is it too early to declare young Anthony Davis a bust? Will Aldon Smith become the edge rusher every NFL team needs? Michael Crabtree is not cutting it and Frank Gore has struggled to stay healthy. Vernon Davis and Patrick Willis are the only true studs on the field. It is not too early to think about the talent the 49ers could acquire if they have a high draft pick. Here are five players that would be great additions for the team.
Nate Clements was grossly overpaid and did not produce like fans thought he would. Dre Kirkpatrick can help fans forget about Clements. He has incredible size for a corner standing at 6 foot 3 and has shown the raw athleticism to lock down the best wide receivers in the SEC. Look for Kirkpatrick to be a high draft pick. Hopefully the 49ers will grab one of the better corners in college football.
This is a big year for Crabtree - he needs to play to his potential and become the dominant receiver he was in college. There is a good chance Braylon Edwards will only play in San Francisco for one year. Whoever the quarterback is in the future will need help: Alshon Jeffery is the answer. He is an absolute beast standing at 6 foot 4 and weighing in at 229 pounds. This is a player with an Andre Johnson-esque size. Most importantly he has the stats to impress - 88 receptions, 1,517 yards, and nine touchdowns. I like physical durable receivers over smaller players like Dasean Jackson. Jeffery is similar to Julio Jones who appears to be primed for an impressive rookie campaign.
When I saw the feature of Trent Richardson's performance in the Alabama weight room on ESPN's College Game Day my jaw dropped. He is incredibly strong weighing in at 224 pounds but maintains blazing speed with equally impressive acceleration. Last year Richardson averaged a great 6.3 yards per carry playing in the best conference in college football. Frank Gore has been great but has dealt with injuries. Today many NFL teams utilize the two running back system.I would love to see Gore and Richardson grinding down opposing defenses deep into the second half.
If Dre Kirkpatrick is taken - the 49ers should consider Janoris Jenkins. He is a gamble because of past transgressions but was a stud at Florida. Jenkins had to transfer to North Alabama after an unfortunate run in with the law for a misdemeanor marijuana charge. He will dominate in Division II and will need an impressive combine to show he is still worthy of a 1st round pick.
Andrew Luck is the clear number one choice for the 49ers. The connection with his old college coach would improve his transition to the NFL. He would have been a No.1 pick in the 2011 draft and is one of the best signal callers in recent years. Luck has the size, the arm, and the smarts to lead a team. Luck is deadly accurate: He completed 70.7 percent of his passes and threw for 32 touchdowns. There is no guarantee in the draft especially at quarterback. However Luck is a much more polished product than Cam Newton or Jake Locker. Fans would absolutely love to get a player of Luck's caliber.