We've seen how most of the main dream mock draft sites have had the 49ers picking in the upcoming 2011 NFL Draft. The results have been pretty varied up to this point, and SB Nation Bay Area is revealing its own mock draft over the next week or so, starting later on today. But first, I figured a quick look at all of SB Nation's wonderful team blogs and their mocks would be pertinent. Not every blog is running one, but we'll take a quick look over them and what the San Francisco 49ers are doing in said drafts. We begin by looking at the AFC and NFC North blogs and their mock drafts.
We'll start with the Daily Norseman, SB Nation's Minnesota Vikings blog. In their community mock draft, they took a vote on who the 49ers should select. Nick Fairley, the defensive tackle out of Auburn was still on the board, but the voters eclipsed him (second place with 21%) and gave the 49ers Prince Amukamara, the cornerback out of Nebraska, with 33% of the vote. Their post announcing the pick is right here.
If Newton and Gabbert are indeed gone... I say Prince goes here. Then I'd say the Niners would be the front-runner in the Carson Palmer trade talks.
That's a quote from the comments of the article, and it's something that I see is a startling trend. It's obviously possible that the 49ers would take one of Cam Newton or Blaine Gabbert, but is it really that likely? They have not worked out either quarterback, and head coach Jim Harbaugh had only a few good things to say about Newton, who doesn't appear to fit in the 49ers 2011 offense. The outward perception regarding the 49ers seems to be that they'd take one of these guys, at least among fans of other teams, which I believe to be wrong. I see it as more likely in the second round.
One of the writers (Mr MaLoR) at Baltimore Beatdown, our Ravens blog, put together a three-round mock draft on his own and it's looking good at this point. The first round sees Von Miller, the outside linebacker out of Texas A&M falling to them, and they take advantage of that right away. In the second round, San Francisco also fills a big need as they grab Ras-I Dowling of Virginia, a definite starting cornerback for them. Round three has them going in a bit of a different direction, but it's a pick that makes sense either way, as they grab Shane Vereen, the running back out of Cal.
If Miller falls to #7, I don't see how the 49ers could pass on him. While SF already has a solid group of 3-4 LB, Miller is too good to pass up and immediately creates an insane LB combo of Willis and Miller.
He's absolutely right in that the 49ers would not pass on Von Miller, and their linebackers would be absolutely insane at this point. The only player who could wrest Miller from their grasp if they both were to be available at the pick would be Patrick Peterson.
San Francisco passed on Amukamara and Smith in the 1st because of Von Miller being available, so Dowling here makes alot of sense. He can start right away at the #2 spot next to Clements. The 49ers are building one hell of a defense if the draft plays out this way.
Sound logic in this pick, Dowling is a starting corner and would immediately take over the second spot opposite Nate Clements, and potentially the number one spot over the course of his rookie season.
Frank Gore is still the man there, but Vereen can be a very good back up to an already strong running game.
This is definitely a weird pick, because the 49ers need a quarterback and there are still some worthy prospects on the board for Jim Harbaugh and Greg Roman to work with in 2011. I suppose they'll be looking to free agency or trade to address the need in this scenario, but there are still some guys available in the fourth round to consider, which is good.
Cincy Jungle, SB Nation's Cincinnati Bengals blog, had the 49ers taking Prince Amukamara in their mock draft. Both Blaine Gabbert and Cam Newton were still on the board at this point, but citing a struggling 2010 pass defense and a reluctance to take undeserving quarterbacks so high, they went with the number-two cornerback in the draft. Our Cleveland Browns blog, Dawgs By Nature echoed the sentiments with Prince going in their mock,while Nick Fairley, Blaine Gabbert and Robert Quinn were all on the board at the time.
To break the mold a little bit, we'll get away from Prince Amukamara for San Francisco, as Behind The Steel Curtain, our Pittsburgh Steelers blog, went a different direction in their mock draft. Blaine Gabbert fell to pick seven once again, and in their mind, he is the pick for the 49ers. He's definitely more likely than Cam Newton, to say the least.
Second, John Harbaugh can make a talented and accurate Quarterback a star in his system. The Niners underrated how good Jeff Garcia was for their system, so they let him go without ever finding a replacement. Harbaugh runs a similar West Coast system to those old Niners teams, and with a QB who hits over 62% of his passes, you are looking at some serious damage with an already solid supporting cast in the skill positions. Gabbert is only a Junior so he has room to develop and he will have time since no one is expecting Harbaugh and his 5-year deal to win immediately.
Now, it's a bit of a misconception that Harbaugh's West Coast Offense will be similar to the great 49ers teams of the eighties and nineties, it will actually be more of a run-oriented system and would look more like Mike Singletary's intended vision than Bill Walsh's. That being said, the pick isn't far off, here. Gabbert is accurate and would fit a position of need, but is he a better pick than Amukamara?
Finally, there isn't much of a need at other positions with value at this pick. They need a shutdown corner, but Amukama doesn't grade out as better value for this team than Gabbert - however Peterson would be the pick over Gabbert if he falls
Right here is where I mind myself disagreeing - I would say that Amukamara grades out as a better value pick than Gabbert. What say you?