I seriously considered beginning this article likening Prince Amukamara to the Prince of Bel-Air with a Bay Area lyrics twist (In Glendale, Arizona, born and raised - at Nebraska - is where I spent my college days ...) but I couldn't do that to you folks. Instead, we'll note how the Nebraska talent is once again being pegged as coming to the San Francisco 49ers with their seventh overall pick in the upcoming 2011 NFL Draft. SB Nation's latest 2011 NFL Mock Draft is out, and the pick re-surfaces:
7. San Francisco 49ers: Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska. San Fran is a bit of a wild card in the Top 10, with several legitimate directions the team could take. We keep coming back to Amukamara, a safe prospect in an area of need for Jim Harbaugh's club.
It's a scenario in which Patrick Peterson, Von Miller and both of the (widely perceived) top two quarterbacks in Blaine Gabbert and are gone. That covers the top three needs for the 49ers, which is definitely not the ideal scenario, but as noted in the past, Amukamara is not a consolation pick. In fact, he's the exact opposite. Pegged as the only number one corner in this draft aside from Peterson, Amukamara would come to San Francisco and immediately be a starter over Shawntae Spencer, and potentially give the team wiggle room with Nate Clements and his monstrous contract.
In this case, Nick Fairley, the defensive tackle out of Auburn, has fallen. For the 49ers, Fairley would be a 3-4 defensive end, and this writer thinks he'd be a great fit there in Vic Fangio's defensive alignment. Just a few weeks ago, Fairley was almost the consensus first overall pick to the Carolina Panthers, and now he's falling to the 49ers at seven.
Akumara is definitely the safe pick here, but no team could go wrong with Fairley, so it's a clear case of need vs BPA, and at that point, the 49ers would probably go with need and the number two corner in the draft. The poll results on Niners Nation would seem to indicate the same, with 39% taking Prince Amukamara, only 15% taking Nick Fairley, while 19% would have grabbed A.J. Green, 2% are absolutely crazy (grabbing another player) and 21% think the 49ers should trade the pick.