Two offensive tackles are here—Trent Williams and Bruce Campbell—who might both shift to right tackle, which is something the 49ers desperately need.
However, it’s unlikely that that two of the next three teams—Seattle, the Giants, and Tennessee—will take offensive tackles and even more unlikely that all three will go offensive line. So, the 49ers would have a bunch of latitude here to nab one of the tackles at 17, opening up their options for the 13th pick.
RB CJ Spiller has gained some buzz among the 49er beat writers and is very tempting here. Not only would he compliment, rather than duplicate Frank Gore's skill set, but he would fill a huge need at kick/punt returner. The 49ers were terrible returning kicks last season and the poor field position hurt the offense.
Spiller would fix that.
While Glen Coffee can spot for Gore when need be, he's not all that exciting. I think another year or so and Coffee will be a nice complimentary back, but that's all.
A real speed demon, Spiller is a guy who actually runs just as fast with his pads on as he does without. His quickness and burst of speed make him a risk to break a big run at any time and he's deadly once he gets into space.
He shows great patience and vision when looking for gaps in the run defense, and exploits them easily when he spots them.
Spiller can also catch the ball well.
He has some question marks: most notably his size. Spiller isn't as big as teams like their backs to be and he's not the most physical either. He's not always on the field on third downs as he isn't a great blocker.
With his smallish size, you have to be a bit concerned with durability and how much of a load he could carry.
Still, the 49ers wouldn't be asking him to carry the load and most rookies have to get better in their blocking anyway.
His return skills, however, are flat out the best in the draft and in this case the minuses and risks are more than balanced out by his play-making ability and upsides.
We know Singletary and company will pick the Best Player Available (or BPA ) if he's there—Michael Crabtree was that guy last year. I think they'll do it again and now they have a very good chance at snagging Williams, Campbell, or at worst case, Mike Iupati , the guard from Idaho with the second first round pick a few spots later.
I think (especially in this mock) there is a fair chance Spiller will NOT drop past Seattle. If I'm gambling, I like my odds that I will be able to get a rock solid O-line addition at 17 versus hoping Spiller falls.
This is a win-win here.
Just a few weeks ago I wasn't on board with this, but looking at the game film again recently and considering the 49ers terrible return game, I've really started to like the idea the more I think about it.
I'm not sure if this scenario will play out in April's Draft. If it does, the choice could be real simple for them.
I look forward to seeing how my gamble looks three picks from now at 17.