Tuesday, April 26, 2011

San Francisco 49ers: 2011 NFL Draft Preview & Predictions

The sports world has not seen an NFL Draft like this in awhile. The team drafting #1 will most likely be picking a quarterback that has legitimate shots at being either an okay quarterback, a total carwreck or a cash cow...or all of the above. That's the probable #1 pick?

The offensive talent in this year's draft is nothig special, to say the least. The defense, as the kids would say, is where it's at in this year's NFL Draft. Big, burly defensive linemen, and quick and physical specimens in the secondary. This draft is a draft rich in defense, and they will be going quick come Thursday night.

So where do the 49ers fall in all of this?

They have 12 picks in the first seven rounds of the draft, but they picked a terrible year to need a starting quarterback as soon as possible, as you will not find a quarterback of your team's future in this draft.

Currently, David Carr is the only quarterback signed to the 49ers' 2011 roster. So they will be drafting a quarterback at some point in this draft.

Here is how the draft sets up for the 49ers through the all important first three rounds of the NFL Draft:

1st Round---7th pick

2nd Round---13th pick

3rd Round---12th pick

One thing to remember is that there is talent deep in this draft. I'm talking in rounds four through seven. There are players that can change a team's dynamic, and the teams must know when it is appropriate to take them.

With so many picks in the first seven rounds, the 49ers will most likely be on other team's radars for trade possibilities. And do not leave the 7th pick out of a trade possibility either.

As far as most experts and analysts are concerned, the 49ers will have their shot at three possible players in any scenario. They are QB Blaine Gabbert, CB Patrick Peterson, or CB Prince Amukamara.

Recent reports are that Gabbert, who was supposed to be drafted anywhere in the top five picks, could fall to the 49ers at #7, and they need a quarterback desperately.

Peterson is the 49ers' first choice. There is zero doubt about that. If he falls to the 49ers, it will be a huge steal at #7.

But say Peterson doesn't fall. Then what? That's when trade possibilities become a reality.

The 49ers want Peterson, but if they can't have him then they want Amukamara, who may end up being a better cornerback than Peterson one day, as Peterson could potentially move to safety because of his size. The problem is Amukamara is projected to be drafted anywhere from 10-15. If the 49ers could swing a trade somewhere in there and still acquire a pick like the 12th or 13th, then they could still pick Amukamara while also acquiring another player to boot.

I have a headache...


All reports point to Peterson falling to the 49ers, who will take him with the #7 overall pick.

The 2nd round gets a little fuzzier, and so does the 3rd, but it doesn't hurt to try.

With their pick in the 2nd round, the 49ers will most likely be taking a quarterback, and they will have several options, any of which may be available or not come pick #13 of the 2nd round. It still isn't clear.

Quarterbacks that may be there are Andy Dalton, Christian Ponder, Ricky Stanzi or Ryan Mallett.

Dalton and Ponder are both wildcards at this pick because they can go anywhere from the late-1st round to mid-second round. Make no mistake, if either of them are there at pick #13 of the 2nd round, the 49ers will take them.

Maybe a little more realistic is the pick of Stanzi from Iowa, but it is not sure if the 49ers would want to pick him as their quarterback of the future or any future for that matter.


Christian Ponder of Florida State

The rest of the way is a blur. It always is.

I will throw out a few names, though, for that 12th pick of the 3rd round.

OLB Chris Carter of Fresno State. The linebacker is a terrific pass-rusher with huge physical ability.

NT Kendrick Ellis of Hampton University. At 6'5" and 346 lbs., he is the prototypical nose tackle.

QB Colin Kaepernick of Nevada. Odds are he doesn't fall this far, but the 49ers would gladly scoop him up, especially if Dalton and Ponder are gone by their pick in the 2nd round.


If I had to make a pick, it would be Carter going to the 49ers at #12 of the 3rd round.

The 49ers have needs to fill and picks to fill them with. They must address two positions with those first two picks, cornerback and quarterback.

Expect the 49ers to fill those positions early, and make some trades along the way on what will be a wild and crazy NFL Draft.

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