OK, so my hopes of Taylor Mays staying in California and being a 49er have been dashed. Mays, the All-American Safety from Southern Cal, announced he will come back for his senior season. It is a win for the Trojans considering the talent that will be jumping to the NFL in about three months on defense. But now that Mays is staying in school for another year, the 49ers need a "Plan B."
The biggest need this offseason was a playmaking safety from either free agency or the draft. The 49ers went 7-9 this season and wound up with the 10th draft pick. With the needs of other teams this draft season, Mays would almost have surely wound up in the 49ers' lap. But now that he won't be there, who will we choose?
Here are the following possibilities.
1) Everette Brown—OLB/DE from Florida State
He has a motor that won't stop and has a projected 4.60 40 time. He had an amazing 2008 season with 13.5 sacks and four forced fumbles. I'm not sure if I want Brown considering that OLB Manny Lawson was "supposed" to be that Shawne Merriman-type pass rusher coming off the edge. I want Lawson to fulfill his potential at LOLB and still be a 49er, and if that means we don't select Brown, then so be it.
2) Vontae Davis—CB from Illinois
Yes, we know there is already ONE Davis on this team. But we would select another Davis with raw athletic ability; he is 6'0", 200 pounds, and his projected 40 time is 4.39. He would make Reggie Smith, the team's third round pick last season switch to free safety, and with Davis and Clements, this potentially would be a great duo to stop the young, talented, and very amazing Cardinal duo of WRs with Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald.
3) Jason Smith—OT from Baylor
Smith has the best athletic ability here at this position. He has the best feet and is a great run blocker. Also, Singletary wants to have a more physical run-oriented attack now, and what better way to start than drafting an OT?
With selecting Smith they can now have this OL in 2009: LT Staley, LG Baas, C Heitman, RG Rachal, RT Smith. Also, I have a feeling that RT Jonas Jennings will be a salary cap casualty, and Smith would replace Jennings immediately. The Giants and Titans showed us how it's done; with a great RB and OL, teams do get far in the playoffs (somewhat). I don't have us selecting two OL in three years though.
4) Matt Stafford—QB from Georgia
SAY WHAT?! Stafford has the POSSIBILITY of falling to the 10th spot. Sam Bradford, Colt McCoy, and Tim Tebow all are staying next season for their senior seasons. I think Stafford's stock has just risen dramatically.
If the 49ers do have a chance to select Stafford, I think they should snatch him immediately because he has the arm, the accuracy, and has played with the best speed defenses in the SEC and had impressive numbers. Also, he would upgrade a position that has been like musical chairs since Jeff Garcia was foolishly let go after the 2004 season.
Other players that I could see 49ers drafting here are CB Malcolm Jenkins, LB Rey Maualuga, LB Aaron Maybin, and C Alex Mack.
There are my possibilities. Hopefully Singletary realizes that if we cannot get Mays, the best thing for him to do is select Davis. Make Reggie Smith a safety, and then go after a pass rusher in the offseason. My pick now is hopefully Vontae Davis.