NFL Mock Draft 2012: How Will 49ers Look To Improve In the 2012 NFL Draft?

The NFL season is complete and the San Francisco 49ers begin looking to improve for 2012. Will wide receiver or cornerback end up as the position of choice in the first round? Or will it be a mystery position? For more on the 49ers, head over to Niners Nation.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: Mike Mayock Has San Francisco 49ers Taking Kendall Wright

The San Francisco 49ers had one serious weakness last year: Wide receivers. The 49ers were simply not good enough to get to the Super Bowl because they didn't really have the vertical passing game to move the ball down the field against the New York Giants.

Mike Mayock of NFL.com has his only mock draft, and the 49ers ended up picking Kendall Wright of the Baylor Bears to provide him more offensive weaponry for Alex Smith to utilize along with new additions Mario Manningham and Randy Moss.

For more explanation from Mayock, check out this video.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: Mel Kiper Has San Francisco 49ers Selecting Kevin Zeitler

The San Francisco 49ers have filled out a lot of their pressing needs in free agency and have a pretty full complement of players. If there's anything that needs to be upgraded, the Niners could possibly use an offensive line talent on the inside to try and produce a better running game and stronger offense.

Mel Kiper released his latest mock draft (which you can view here in its entirety if you have an ESPN Insider account), and it has the 49ers taking one offensive guard Kevin Zeitler from the Wisconsin Badgers with the 30th overall pick in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft. Kiper explains his reasoning for why the 49ers should take Zeitler.

The 49ers have gotten deeper at wide receiver in free agency, and if Hill and Fleener are off the board I think they'll go after a big need in the run game here. The 49ers may have more weapons on the edges, but if they can't run the ball effectively it won't matter. Zeitler can move people up front and start early.

See how 49ers fans feel about Zeitler at Niners Nation. Check to see how Wisconsin fans feel about Zeitler at Bucky's 5th Quarter. Talk about mock drafts over at Mocking The Draft.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: All Seven Rounds Of San Francisco 49ers Picks

NFL.com's Chad Reuter has been locked away from days, meticulously compiling his complete 2012 NFL mock draft, down to the very last pick on the very past day of the draft.

Reuter has mapped out the San Francisco 49ers plan to a T, and has them selecting mostly defensive players aside from their first and fifth round picks, using them on Georgia Tech wide receiver Stephen Hill and Mississippi State center Quentin Saulsberry. Check the picks out for yourself below.

First round:

30. Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech. The team can't assume Randy Moss will be an impact player, given his inactivity in 2011 and lack of production in 2010. Hill's a raw prospect worth a late first-round pick. He's capable of making a few big plays as a rookie for a team in need of a vertical threat.

Second round:

61. Jeff Allen, OG, Illinois. Allen started at left tackle for Illinois, but showed improvement inside as Senior Bowl week went on.

Third round:

92. Olivier Vernon, DE/OLB, Miami. Vernon's an intriguing conversion prospect, and the 49ers are always looking for depth at LB.

Fourth round:

125. Jaye Howard, DE, Florida. His athleticism makes him a potential impact starter at five-technique.

Fifth round:

165. Quentin Saulsberry, C, Mississippi State

Sixth round:

199. Jeremy Lane, CB, Northwestern State (LA)

Seventh round:

237. Christian Thompson, FS, South Carolina State

These are some solid additions to the squad, and I especially appreciate the attention to the secondary paid in the later rounds by Reuter in this draft, one of the areas where the 49ers have little depth as is. Harbuagh stayed away from his former Stanford players in this draft as well, something many have predicted he will not do, possibly taking Coby Fleener in the first round instead of Hill.

We'll just have to wait and see how these predictions hold up.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: 49ers Select Amini Silatolu According to Don Banks' Final Mock

With the 2012 NFL Draft about 24 hours away, everyone is just giddy with excitement over whom the San Francisco 49ers will take with their first round pick.

One of those folks in Sports Illustrated's Don Banks, who in his final mock draft before the actual draft has the 49ers selecting OG Amini Silatolu out of Midwestern State.

Here is Banks with the commentary:

The 49ers' need at right guard has led them to do their homework on Silatolu, and they like what they see of the small-school standout. As much as the re-pairing of Stanford tight end Coby Fleener and Jim Harbaugh might have made sense, he would represent something of a luxury pick for the 49ers.

The 49ers used two first round picks on offensive lineman a few seasons ago on Anthony Davis and Mike Iupati, but could look to do the same again with Silatolu. He certainly is a solid talent, though they may be better served using their pick elsewhere, possibly an offensive weapon. Nevertheless, another big body protecting Alex Smith is always a good thing.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: 49ers Take Amini Silatolu In Rob Rang's Final Mock

CBSSports and NFLDraftScout.com's Rob Rang submitted his final mock draft on Monday and like some of his peers, had the San Francisco 49ers selecting an offensive guard. The name might be a new one to you though.

30. San Francisco 49ers
Amini Silatolu, OG, Midwestern State: The Ravens' loss of a stellar interior line prospect could prove to be the 49ers gain, as San Francisco, like Baltimore, could use help up front. Silatolu's size, strength and tenacity would make him a welcome fit in Jim Harbaugh's power-running offense. Coming from his low level of competition, he's clearly a gamble but for a coaching staff understandably confident in their ability to teach (based on their immediate success last season), it is a gamble that could pay off huge.

Silatolu has been creeping up draft boards and sleeper lists and now he's fully established himself in the first-round discussion. The small schooler is known for being a physical freak of nature at 6'4, 311, and could help bolster the Niners' offensive line, and would represent the prospect for being a key cog in their quest to be a power running team.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: 49ers Take Kevin Zeitler in Dane Brugler's Final Mock

With but one day until the real deal takes place - the 2012 NFL Draft - analysts and football writers around the nation are submitting their final mock drafts, based on the most current information available. Generally speaking, these mocks are much more reliable (if any mock drafts could be considered 'reliable') than those from a couple of months, weeks, or even days ago, and as writers try and get as close to the real thing as possible, they eschew wild ideas and scenarios for what they believe will happen. CBS Sports' Dane Brugler's final mock has the 49ers going with someone that's becoming a familiar name in the Bay Area, G Kevin Zeitler.

30. San Francisco 49ers
Kevin Zeitler, OG, Wisconsin: In the last few years, San Francisco has invested three first round picks on the offensive line and with right guard a need position, it wouldn't be surprising to see the 49ers revert to their old habit of drafting a blocker early. It doesn't always look pretty, but Kevin Zeitler gets the job done as both a run blocker and pass protector, playing with the same killer instinct and competitive drive the NFL has grown to expect from a Wisconsin lineman.

You could probably chalk this one up as one of those picks that doesn't appear sexy at first blush, but with the Niners' penchant for running the football, the offensive line becomes key. Wisconsin is a lineman factory, churning out NFL caliber players year in and year out, and Zietler would be a nice addition to the 49ers offense.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: Greg Cosell's Mock Sends Peter Konz To The 49ers

NFL Films' Greg Cosell did his first mock draft and provided his own special perspective on the upcoming draft and the reasoning behind the picks he sees teams making due to his own personal film study and analysis.

Cosell presented an interesting name as the pick for the San Francisco 49ers at the no. 30 spot: Wisconsin center Peter Konz.

Konz isn't a name that's been brought up in this spot in other mock drafts but here is Cosell's reasoning behind the pick.

...While it might not be sexy, the pick here is Peter Konz from Wisconsin. Konz played center for the Badgers but could easily slide to guard in the NFL. Another highly disciplined Wisconsin offensive lineman, Konz played with an excellent combination of movement and strength. He was not a road grader but in tandem with his active and constantly moving feet he was effective moving defensive linemen. The other attribute that stood out: Competitiveness.

We're almost at draft day and new names are still popping up in the first round. Stanford's Coby Fleener still gets mentioned the most but nothing will be in stone until the card is turned in so stay tuned in.

For all news and information regarding the San Francisco 49ers, please visit Niners Nation. For lots more on the 2012 NFL Draft, check out Mocking the Draft.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: 49ers Select Stanford TE Coby Fleener

If any of the mock drafts turn out to be correct, Stanford tight end Coby Fleener can breathe a sigh of relief. Fleener heading to the San Francisco 49ers with the no. 30 pick in the draft is one of the most consistent late first round pick selections among mock drafts, including Ryan Van Bibber of SB Nation's latest mock.

This is what Van Bibber had to say about the pick.

The 2-tight end attack is going west, though I doubt Fleener has the bro-ness to turn it into the kind of knuckle-bumping road trip, a la Gronk. He is not as imposing as Gronkowski. Still he catches the ball well and makes matchup headaches for defenses.

Mel Kiper ranks Fleener as the best tight end in the draft and as the only likely first rounder who plays the position and Sports Illustrated's Peter King has Fleener headed to the Niners as well.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: 49ers Select Troy OG James Brown In 1st Round

The 2012 NFL Draft is less than a week away and the speculation continues to swirl about who the San Francisco 49ers will pick in the first round.

The latest mock draft over at Draft Tek suggests that the 49ers will use their No. 30 overall selection to pick Troy Trojans offensive guard James Brown.

The ex-LOT projects very well inside at the NFL level. He's got great "OG" footwork and an impressive initial punch and recoil. He fights through the whistle with impressive upper-body strength and physical hands. The Niners have invested several high round picks into the interior offensive line in recent drafts. Some good (Iupati) others not so (Rachal). But small-schooler Brown may need time to develop.

This is certainly an interesting take, particularly since most mock drafts in the past couple of weeks have suggested that the Niners would be selecting Stanford Cardinal tight end Coby Fleener.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: 49ers Select Coby Fleener, Should Pick Stephen Hill According to SI's Peter King

The San Francisco 49ers are all about competition. Competing against other teams, competition within their club; if you aren't getting better than you are getting worse, as they say.

But now there seems to be some competition within the ranks of the 2012 NFL draft, as Sports Illustrated's Peter King says they should draft wide receiver Stephen Hill, but will draft tight end Coby Fleener in King's latest mock draft.

Here is Peter King with the commentary:

(Should pick: Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech). Jim Harbaugh likes smart, physical, versatile skill players, and because he had Fleener for four years at Stanford (including Fleener's redshirt season of 2007), no coach knows a player in this draft better. Fleener isn't as athletic as Vernon Davis, but he did gain 17.8 yards per reception in his last two seasons for the Cardinal.

King actually gives us two picks here, the player the 49ers 'should' take, and the player he thinks they will take. Seems like a good way to ensure you are right once the draft comes along, but I'm sure if either of these youngsters end up with San Francisco the team will be more than satisfied.

GM Trent Baalke has already said they have one player in mind they'd like to go after with the No. 30 overall pick, it could very well be one of these two.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: 49ers Plans Still Unknown, Could Take Coby Fleener

The San Francisco 49ers have few holes to fill on their team. While some figured they were a lock to draft a wide receiver in the first round, the team signed numerous receivers in the offseason, including Randy Moss and Mario Manningham. GIven their sudden depth at the position, many draft experts started to believe they will look to improve on the defensive side of the ball.

USA Today recently surveyed five draft experts and asked them to project the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft. Four of the five picked a different player.

Staff writer Jarrett Bell has the 49ers taking defensive tackle Devon Still out of Penn State. Jim Corbett has the club going with Wisconsin guard Kevin Zeitler, while Nate Davis has them going with another Wisconsin player in center Peter Konz.

Rob Rang of NFLDraftScout.com also has San Francisco going with Zeitler. Wes Bunting of National Football Post has them taking Stanford tight end Coby Fleener, who played under head coach Jim Harbaugh in Palo Alto two seasons ago.

The first round of the draft is set for Thursday, April 26 from New York City.

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2012 NFL Mock Draft: San Francisco 49ers Pick Stephen Hill

The San Francisco 49ers might have shored up their wide receiving depth in free agency when they landed Mario Manningham and Randy Moss, but they still probably wouldn't mind another guy who could go out there and stretch the field a little bit better for Alex Smith. With the 30th pick in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft, the Niners have plenty of likely options of who they could take, depending on who they're looking for come Thursday night.

Wes Bunting of the National Football Post releases his latest NFL mock draft, and the Niners do take a receiver with their first round pick, one Stephen Hill of Georgia Tech. Bunting explains his reasoning.

Hill is going to need to become a more consistent route runner. However, at 6-5 he showcases some natural short-area quickness to his game and knows how to go up and get the football vertically. He’s one of the draft's elite size/speed combos at the receiver spot and his stock is on the rise.

To discuss how good HIll is with Georgia Tech fans, check out what they're saying at From The Rumble Seat. To talk about Hill and whether he'd match up well with the 49ers, head on over to Niners Nation.

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NFL Draft 2012: San Francisco 49ers Pro Day Includes Coby Fleener

The San Francisco 49ers are a team that has completed most of their overall needs. They don't really need anyone in particular that would significantly upgrade their team; their starters are pretty well set.

The Niners don't have anyone lined up to be their first round draft pick. One player that could be in the mix is Coby Fleener of the Stanford Cardinal, who is familiar with Harbaugh. And he was at 49ers Pro Day yesterday. Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area files this report.

Fleener met with 49ers coaches but did not participate in any of the drills. Fleener is a possibility for the 49ers to select with the No. 30 overall pick. Fleener caught 34 passes for 667 yards and 10 touchdowns as a senior.

Stanford wide receiver Chris Owusu, who did not return to action after an early-November concussion, was also in attendance Wednesday but did not take part in drills. Owusu received full medical clearance after the season. He ran blistering 40 times from 4.31 to 4.36 seconds at NFL scouting combine in February

The local pro day is generally to get a lot of talent from local colleges their chance to shine. So you'll see a lot of Cal, Stanford, and San Jose State players showing up, along with other regular Bay Area and Northern California high school talent. Fleener is definitely the most significant player to show up there.

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2012 NFL Mock Draft: 49ers Select TE Coby Fleener According To SI's Don Banks

The 2012 NFL Mock Draft is only about a week away, and the San Francisco 49ers are on the clock. Well, technically they won't be on the clock for a while, but they are certainly busy planning out their draft day strategies and looking to lock up some serious talent.

One of those talented youngsters the 49ers might take is Stanford tight end Coby Fleener, who according to Sports Illustrated's Don Banks and his latest mock draft will be the Niners' first-round choice, No. 30 overall in 2012.

Here is Banks with the commentary:

I still think Fleener makes plenty of sense for the 49ers, with head coach Jim Harbaugh dreaming up new ways to attack a defense with his former collegiate tight end paired with Vernon Davis. Once upon a time, back in the Kezar Stadium days, the 49ers always raided the Stanford roster for talent.

The obvious connection between Fleener and Harbaugh makes this seem like a no-brainer, having much expertise and understanding of how Harbaugh's systems work and how to go about his business. Pairing Fleener up with TE's Vernon Davis and Delanie Walker could also make for some funk-nasty three-TE sets between them, an Alex Smith special to say the least.

Also, back in the Kezar Stadium days the 49ers were not that good, though "raiding the roster" of the Cardinal this year would probably be a decent choice with all the talent they have entering the draft. There are multiple routes for the 49ers to take with their first-round pick, but taking a talent like Fleener could pay dividends down the line.

For more on the 49ers, make you way over to Niners Nation. For more on the draft in general, check out Mocking the Draft.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: 49ers Address Offensive Line, Defensive Secondary

CBSSports.com's Dane Brugler published his latest mock draft on Monday and had a couple of interesting projections for the 49ers, with San Francisco picking an offensive guard in round one and a corner in round two. At the 30th overall pick in round one, Brugler explains his pick:

Kevin Zeitler, OG, Wisconsin: In the last few years, San Francisco has invested three first round picks on the offensive line and with right guard a need position, it wouldn't be surprising to see the 49ers revert to their old habit of drafting a blocker early. It doesn't always look pretty, but Kevin Zeitler gets the job done as both a run blocker and pass protector, playing with the same killer instinct and competitive drive the NFL has grown to expect from a Wisconsin lineman.

In round two, Brugler has the Niners addressing the other side of the ball, picking Oklahoma's Jamell Fleming with the 61st overall pick. Brugler:

Even with Carlos Rogers returning to the Bay, young depth at the cornerback position will be a priority on draft day.

An interesting pick by Brugler in this one, projecting Kevin Zeitler to the 49ers with several very solid interior line prospects still on the board. Our own James Brady published his interior linemen rankings on Tuesday, and had Zeitler ranked fifth. Per Brady:

5. Kevin Zeitler: He'd probably be the top guard in the class if his movement wasn't so poor. Actually, that's not true, because DeCastro exists. But yeah, you know what I'm getting at. Zeitler doesn't get off the ball quickly in the pass game .. you can actually see the delay as the rest of the line moves and then Zeitler moves. That being said, he's very strong and uses leverage well whenever he's able to get set for it. He's tough, flexible and definitely durable. He pulls very well and mauls in the run game. Zeitler is almost a finished product - he can start as a rookie, but I'm not sure there's an insanely high ceiling there. Immediate upgrade for San Francisco but not necessarily worth a first-round pick given the relatively low ceiling.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: San Francisco 49ers Take Kendall Reyes

The San Francisco 49ers are probably one of the most complete teams going into the 2012 NFL Draft, so they really don't have any actual needs they have to address to fix their current roster issues. There really isn't any one player the team needs to grab in this draft to complete their team. They can make do with what they have.

Ryan Van Bibber of SB Nation released his latest mock, and it has the 49ers trying to bolster their overall defensive depth. The 49ers take defensive end Kendall Reyes of the Connecticut Huskies with their first round pick.

San Francisco does not have to make this pick to fill a need. Reyes gives them depth behind Justin Smith and Ray McDonald and an eventual successor ahead of the ravages of time and the realities of business.

To discus how good a fit Reyes would be with 49ers fans, go to Niners Nation. To talk about Reyes with UConn football fans, head on over to The UConn Blog. Check out Mocking the Draft to learn more about mock drafts in general.

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2012 NFL Mock Draft: San Francisco 49ers Pick Kevin Zeitler, Jared Crick

The San Francisco 49ers aren't at the point where they need all that much in the 2012 NFL Draft; they're a pretty complete team thanks to free agency moves. So they don't exactly have the most pressing needs and can go a little wild.

DraftTek released their latest mock and has the 49ers going out and making some interesting picks. With their first rounder at the 30th spot, the Niners take offensive guard Kevin Zeitler from Wisconsin to shore up the interior line, arguably the weakest part of their team.

OK, so without a grab on Fleener, the 49ers address their top remaining need, the interior of their OL. However, they do it in grand fashion with a substantial reach. This, to me, highlights why the 49ers will either grab Fleener or try and trade the pick - the value isn't there for the other positions of need. Zeitler is a stud though, and would bring a very technical approach to the 49ers trench dominance. He produces great leverage and can get to the 2nd level to complete the play.

With the 61st pick in the second round, the 49ers go to the defensive end to shore up depth, taking Jared Crick from Nebraska.

Even though Fleener is still on the board, the 49ers look on the other side of the ball and add considerable value with Crick. After making a lot of noise in '09 and '10 with 18.5 sacks, Crick faced a lot more double-teams in '11. He lacks athletic ability, but his motor runs hard. He sets the edge well against the run, and has good height to disrupt passing offenses. He'll need to add some bulk to his frame and work on his technique, but Crick would do great bringing depth to the SF DL.

To discuss the NFL draft with 49ers fans and whether Zeitler or Crick are good picks, head on over to Niners Nation. To learn about how good Zeitler is from Wisconsin fans, go to Bucky's 5th Quarter to talk with Badger fans. Check out Corn Nation to learn more about whether Crick fits the 49ers right. Get more of your mock draft coverage at Mocking the Draft.

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2012 NFL Mock Draft: 49ers Looking At Guards, Cornerbacks In CBS Sports 2-Round Mock

In many NFL mock drafts that have taken place this offseason, the San Francisco 49ers have been taking wide receivers and tight ends in the first round to surround quarterback Alex Smith with more weapons. However, in two separate CBSSports.com mock drafts, put together by two different analysts, the Niners select an offensive lineman in the first round and a cornerback in the second round.

Rob Rang predicts that the Niners will select Wisconsin guard Kevin Zeitler:

Kevin Zeitler, OG, Wisconsin: The Ravens' loss of a stellar interior line prospect could prove to be the 49ers gain, as San Francisco, like Baltimore, could use help up front. Zeitler's size, strength and tenacity would make him a welcome fit in Jim Harbaugh's power-running offense. The former Badger would likely slide right into the starting lineup at right guard, as well as provide an adequate backup option at center.

Dane Brugler also believes the Niners will target Zeitler:

Kevin Zeitler, OG, Wisconsin: In the last few years, San Francisco has invested three first round picks on the offensive line and with right guard a need position, it wouldn't be surprising to see the 49ers revert to their old habit of drafting a blocker early. It doesn't always look pretty, but Kevin Zeitler gets the job done as both a run blocker and pass protector, playing with the same killer instinct and competitive drive the NFL has grown to expect from a Wisconsin lineman.

Back to Rang, who selects Montana cornerback Trumaine Johnson for the Niners in the second round:

Trumaine Johnson, CB, Montana: Cornerback is not an area of immediate concern for the 49ers but Johnson might offer too much value for the team to overlook at this point in the draft. Based purely on talent, Johnson deserves first-round consideration. Off-field concerns, however, could push him significantly down the board.

And then Brugler selects a corner for the Niners in the second round, but instead of Johnson, it's Oklahoma corner Jamell Fleming:

Jamell Fleming, CB, Oklahoma: Even with Carlos Rogers returning to the Bay, young depth at the cornerback position will be a priority on draft day.

Maybe this means that the Niners are content with Randy Moss catching passes from Smith. For more on the 49ers, head to Niners Nation, and for more mock drafts and draft updates, follow SB Nation Bay Area's StoryStream.

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NFL Draft 2012: Stephen Hill, Georgia Tech WR To Visit 49ers

Stephen Hill, a wide receiver prospect out of Georgia Tech, will visit the San Francisco 49ers this weekend according to Matt Barrows from the Sacramento Bee.

The planned visit, may be the first of many for Hill if several mock drafts end up being correct. In SB Nation's bloggers mock draft, Niners Nation picked Stephen Hill at No. 30 overall for the 49ers in the first round.

Hill hauled in five touchdowns and accumulated 820 receiving yards in his junior season at Georgia Tech. The Georgia-native surprised some fans when he decided to forgo his senior season and declare for the NFL draft back in January.

In initial draft evaluations, NFL scouts and executives did not believe Hill to be drafted within the first three rounds. However, due to an impressive showing at the NFL combine, Hill is not only considered to be a first round pick, but was chosen as one of the 26 players to attend the draft at Radio City Music Hall in New York on April 26th.

For more draft news on the 49ers, visit Niners Nation and SB Nation Bay Area. And click here to follow along the rest of SB Nation's NFL mock draft.

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2012 NFL Mock Draft: San Francisco 49ers Select Kendall Reyes, According To Todd McShay

The San Francisco 49ers probably don't really have a clear idea of who they'll pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. Their pick comes so late that it doesn't really make any sense to come to a consensus on who SF can select--there's just too many variables ahead of them. Stanford tight end Coby Fleener has become a very popular pick the last few weeks probably because of his previous relationship with Jim Harbaugh, but it's hardly likely that he'll be the one picked.

Todd McShay released his latest mock draft (you can view the whole thing if you have an Insider account), and he goes in a different direction on who the 49ers should take with their first round pick. McShay has the Niners grabbing defensive tackle Kendall Reyes.

Scenario 1: San Francisco would love to see Hill drop to this spot and add a dynamic weapon to the passing game.

Scenario 2: Trade out. Defensive linemen such as Ta'amu and Clemson's Brandon Thompsonare not worth the pick, but moving back could allow the Niners to fill a need position with a better value, perhaps Zeitler, Silatolu or a 3-4 defensive lineman.

Scenario 3: They could elect to go with the best defender available, meaning they might get comfortable with Jenkins or look to McClellin to bring some pass-rush help opposite Aldon Smith.

Scenario 4: Reyes might not appear on the surface to be the best fit, but he's a smart, versatile player who can pick up the system quickly and inject some youth into an aging defensive front.


To talk with 49ers fans about whether Reyes is a good matchup for what the 49ers need, go to Niners Nation. To talk about Reyes with UConn football fans, hit up The Uconn Blog.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: 49ers Select TE Coby Fleener According To SI's Don Banks

With the 2012 NFL draft only weeks away, Sports Illustrated's Don Banks has been sorting through the film and taking copious notes on this year's draft class, trying to decode which player will go when in the draft and why. Banks thinks he's got it figured out in his latest mock, with the San Francisco 49ers selecting tight end Coby Fleener 30th overall.

Here's Banks with the commentary:

Though a defensive tackle like Michigan State's Jerel Worthy or UConn's Kendall Reyes is tempting, Jim Harbaugh takes his former Cardinal tight end and joins the growing two tight end craze in the league.

Many have thought that this would be a match made in heaven for Harbaugh, reuniting with his former player from Stanford. But I doubt that he would make the pick on sentimentality. If Fleener does end up with San Francisco, it will be because Harbaugh, Trent Baalke and the rest of the 49ers braintrust feel it's the right pick at the right time.

There's no doubt Fleener's quite a talent and would certainly be a nice fit on the 49ers, but if the 49ers feel a better team pick could be made here, they certainly will make it.

For more news and notes on the 49ers offseason, including free agency and of course the draft, make sure you check out Niners Nation, the interwebs hottest spot for anything Niners.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: Would 49ers Take Another Defensive End?

49er fans got a mock draft respite on Tuesday from Stanford TE Coby Fleener when CBSSports.com's Pat Kirwin mocked Syracuse DE Chandler Jones to San Francisco. Though the vast majority of mocks project that the 49ers will go with a tight end or receiver, or possibly a guard or tackle, fewer project another defensive end/outside linebackers to the Niners in the first round, following their selection of Aldon Smith in 2011. Per Kirwan:

Chandler Jones, DE, Syracuse: He has been rising up draft boards after teams are satisfied with his recovery from a knee injury that kept him out of five games last year. He has long arms and could pack on more good weight with his frame.

It would boost the 49ers already elite defense and Vic Fangio could certainly find interesting ways to work Jones into their schemes. At worst, it's someone new for 49er fans to research as we sweat out the final two weeks prior to the Draft.

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2012 NFL Mock Draft: San Francisco 49ers Select Coby Fleener. Again.

Another mock draft comes and goes, and the inevitable occurs. The San Francisco 49ers take tight end Coby Fleener of the Stanford Cardinal. This mock draft comes courtesy of our very own Ryan Van Bibber of SB Nation, and he explains the reasoning behind the pick.

The two tight-end system, the high-end version a la New England, is coming to the West Coast. Really, it makes a ton of sense with Alex Smith at quarterback.

It feels like Fleener and San Francisco are becoming synonymous with each other. The 49ers have no pressing needs, so why not start stocking up on tight ends to give this team more depth at that position behind Vernon Davis and Delanie Walker? Plus Fleener came from Stanford, and Jim Harbaugh came from Stanford, and all that jazz.

Still, you'd think there would be more variety coming from the 30th pick. How is everyone coming to a consensus that Fleener and the 49ers are meant to be?

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49ers Host Cal State Fullerton's Andre Hardy

Could the San Francisco 49ers be looking to take a page out of the San Diego Chargers' playbook? They just might as the Niners hosted Cal State Fullerton's Andre Hardy for a visit on Friday in Santa Clara after being one of seven teams at Hardy's workout in San Diego last week, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Hardy is a 6-foot-5, 244 pound former basketball player at Oral Roberts and Fullerton who is looking to play tight end in the NFL even though he hasn't played football since high school.

Still, Hardy has all the makings of a football player. He has the size plus he ran a 4.7-second 40-yard dash and has a 79-inch wingspan. With the success of the Chargers' Antonio Gates and the breakout season of Saints tight end Jimmy Graham, former basketball players converting into dominant tight ends with limited football backgrounds is something with a proven track record.

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2012 NFL Mock Draft: San Francisco 49ers, Coby Fleener Popular Match

Mock draft season is in full swing. No one has any idea to pick, but it's about that time where any pick can gather a huge consensus, regardless of what position they're at and how unlikely that pick will end up happening.

Such a crowdsourcing issue appears to be occurring here, as the SB Nation 49ers site Niners Nation has a mock draft database which compiles all the most recently updated mock drafts. It appears that Coby Fleener has become the latest most popular pick based on the most recent mocks.

There's a lack of consensus outside of Fleener, which is mostly because the 49ers are at No. 30, but definitely worth noting. Last year out of the majority of mocks, there were a majority picking Prince Amukamara. The 49ers end up going with Aldon Smith, who was barely on the mock draft database radar.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: 49ers Select WR Stephen Hill In First Round

The San Francisco 49ers have made it a point of emphasis in the offseason to improve their wide receiver options. They signed a veteran in Randy Moss and added a guy in Mario Manningham who could be primed for a breakout role should he be given the opportunity. Despite these additions, could the 49ers be looking at selecting a wide receiver in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft?

The guys over at Mocking The Draft have been going through each pick of the first round. They recently discussed the 30th overall pick with Niners Nation, our excellent 49ers blog.

The San Francisco 49ers have put themselves in a position where they can with the long-term future in mind, as opposed to getting immediate big production. The 49ers added Mario Manningham and Randy Moss this offseason, but even if they both play well this year, the only receiver signed beyond 2013 is Michael Crabtree. Stephen Hill is a very raw prospect, but the 49ers are in a position where they can develop him without rushing him. At the same time, his performance at the Combine and his YAC this past season show a guy who can make significant contributions at the next level. The 49ers are looking for Moss to stretch the field, but if the veteran receiver shows his age, Hill could be the guy who can stretch things out. Other possibilities at this spot include Coby Fleener, offensive line help, or trading down.

Certainly an interesting pick, and it does seem like the 49ers are strong enough at most positions around the field that they could afford to take a chance on Hill. There is a pretty weak crop of wide receivers available this season, so there is a chance that Hill is not on the board by the time San Francisco's pick arrives.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: San Francisco 49ers, Coby Fleener Matching Up

The San Francisco 49ers have no pressing needs in the 2012 NFL Draft. Who should they try taking with one of the last picks in the first round?

Well, Jim Harbaugh likes tight ends. Jim Harbaugh came to the 49ers via Stanford. A Stanford tight end appears to be available in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft. Seems like all the stars are aligning for this partnership to happen.

Don Banks of Sports Illustrated files his latest mock draft, and he has Coby Fleener ending up in San Francisco.

Just playing a bit of a hunch here, but why not give Jim Harbaugh his old Cardinal tight end? With Vernon Davis and Fleener, San Francisco could be fully engaged in the NFL's two-tight end craze, and Alex Smith's receiving weapons will have gotten a major upgrade this offseason.

The 49ers need to add talent to the passing game, but if there isn’t a receiver on the board worthy of the pick, don’t be shocked to see them look at Fleener. Head coach Jim Harbaugh loves to run multiple tight end packages and Fleener has the ability to create a ton of mismatches in the pass game on all levels of the field.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: Mel Kiper Has 49ers Picking Stephen Hill, Brandon Brooks

The San Francisco 49ers don't really have any pressing needs that they haven't addressed in free agency, so they can probably spend most of this draft filling in the coffers.

Mel Kiper releases his latest mock draft (you can view by clicking here). The 49ers have a lot of minor needs that they can address with their first picks.

In the first round, the 49ers pick another wide receiver, one Stephen Hill from Georgia Tech with the 30th overall pick.

Hill is the biggest home-run threat in the draft when you combine his speed and size, and it's no secret the 49ers need some help at wide receiver, even with the additions of Randy Moss and Mario Manningham. He'll need an adjustment period as he gets used to doing more in terms of scheme than he was asked at Georgia Tech, but he's the kind of weapon this offense needs to expand.


The 49ers then decide to grab an offensive lineman with the 61st overall pick in the second round, one Brandon Brooks of Miami (Ohio).

The 49ers have tried to help the passing game, but this is still a team that needs to pound up front.

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Right Guard Probably Doesn't Fit 49ers' Draft Plans At No. 30

Many had the San Francisco 49ers taking a wide receiver with the No. 30 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, and many more agreed that it was a solid option before free agency began. Now, with the addition of Randy Moss and Mario Manningham, the pick is starting to change from guys like Stephen Hill to guys like Janoris Jenkins and players at other positions. One position that's mentioned a lot is offensive guard.

It's mentioned a lot because the 49ers are missing a starter there, as it happens. The line is set outside of that, with Joe Staley, Mike Iupati, Jonathan Goodwin and Anthony Davis taking the left tackle, left guard, center and right tackle spots, respectively. Adam Snyder took over for Chilo Rachal in 2011, and played very well - well enough to earn himself a nice contract with the Arizona Cardinals.

Rachal? He ain't coming back. He's the Kwame Harris of offensive guards.

So we're hearing a little mention here or there of the 49ers taking a guard at No. 30, to compete with 2011 draftee Daniel Kilgore, who played just one snap in 2011. But is it all-that likely that the 49ers take a guard at No. 20? As Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle noted a few days ago, it's not very likely, given the precedent, or lack thereof.

The overwhelming majority of top guards in the NFL didn't come out of the first round, but there are definitely exceptions to the rule. Mike Iupati was the last guard to be drafted in the first round, by the very same San Francisco 49ers, and that's looking like it's going to turn out well, no? And the fact that the 49ers are picking at No. 30 does make it a bit easier to swallow.

Still, it is an outside chance at this point, unless there's somebody that's can't-miss at that point, which is something rarely seen in a guard prospect. San Francisco will likely be looking to take the best player available at No. 30, and a right guard isn't likely to be that player.

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2012 NFL Mock Draft: 49ers Select Stanford TE Coby Fleener

In what seems like one of the only consensus picks in round one, at least among those conducting mock drafts, SB Nation's Ryan Van Bibber still has the San Francisco 49ers taking Stanford tight end Coby Fleener with the no. 30 overall selection in his latest mock draft

The Niners are just looking to add depth and firepower to a team that's already on the cusp of a Super Bowl appearance. But the addition of Fleener is something that could take their opportunistic offense to the next level.

This is what Van Bibber had to say about the selection.

"...Adding Fleener could make this team one of the more potent offenses in the league, a West Coast version of the Patriots, except for Tom Brady."

A more versatile passing game to go along with the bruising power running game of Frank Gore would make the Niners that much more of a contender for the Super Bowl. Time will tell if they pull the trigger on the pick and bring in Fleener.

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2012 NFL Mock Draft: 49ers Select OT Cordy Glenn According to Mocking The Draft

The San Francisco 49ers have been one of the busiest teams in free agency this offseason, but can also make some solid improvements to their squad in the 2012 NFL draft as well, with a number of talented youngsters on their radar already.

SB Nation's own Brad Wells over at Mocking the Draft has recently released his lastest version, and has the 49ers trading up to Pittsburgh Steelers' No. 24 overall pick this year to nab offensive lineman Cordy Glenn out of Georgia:

Jim Harbaugh and the 49ers send their No. 30 pick and their second rounder this year (61st overall) to move up seven spots in an effort to shore up a big need position along their offensive line. One could argue that this team, and not the Patriots, was the second best club in pro football last year. Adding Glenn provides stability and versatility along the o-line.

The loss of Adam Snyder will certainly sting a bit, but picking up a guy like Glenn could help ease the pain, joining a young, talented O-line in San Francisco already. Alex Smith likely would not argue with this selection as their first round pick.

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2012 NFL Draft Needs: San Francisco 49ers Could Use Wide Receiver, Right Guard

The San Francisco 49ers seem to have filled up a lot of their great needs in free agency. They found a couple of wide receivers in Randy Moss and Mario Manningham. But in general they're in good shape. They've found two quarterbacks in Alex Smith and Josh Johnson. Their defense is solid at almost every position. They really don't need to look at the 2012 NFL Draft as anything more than stocking up on depth.


Related: 2012 NFL Mock Draft: Todd McShay Has San Francisco 49ers, Stephen Hill Matching Up


They did lose an offensive lineman though, which might be a decent enough need to look at. Chad Reuter of NFL.com files the following report.

If Harbaugh believes those [wide receiver] moves are sufficient enough to improve the passing offense (and he might not with the uncertainty surrounding Moss), then a relatively high draft pick might be used to replace departed right guard Adam Snyder.


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2012 NFL Mock Draft: Todd McShay Has San Francisco 49ers, Stephen Hill Matching Up

The San Francisco 49ers definitely needed wide receivers coming into the 2012 offseason. But they seemed to solve those issues by picking up guys like Randy Moss and Mario Manningham this offseason. It seems to solidify their depth overall at their position, meaning San Francisco can look elsewhere to fix their draft needs.

Todd McShay of ESPN released his latest mock draft, and he still thinks the 49ers will further stock up at the wide receiver position. McShay has wideout Stephen Hill of Georgia Tech getting picked.

Hill is as raw as they come for a prospect from a BCS conference, but his size (6-4, 215) and big-play ability (29.3-yard average on 28 receptions) make him hard to ignore, especially after he turned in one of the most impressive combine workouts I've seen from a receiver.

You can check out McShay's full mock draft if you have an insider account by clicking here.

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2012 NFL Mock Draft: San Francisco 49ers Pick Coby Fleener

Jim Harbaugh doesn't have any real pressing needs right now from the 2012 NFL Draft. The San Francisco 49ers signed a slew of free-agent wide receivers, which should provide the necessary fixes to the strained passing game.

There aren't many other positions that need looking at. San Francisco has great defensive talent at every position on the field. They have Alex Smith and Josh Johnson ready to compete for the starting quarterback spot. They don't really need to upgrade too much.

Why not draft a tight end instead? Harbaugh loves himself some tight ends, and it'd be nice to upgrade the depth behind Vernon Davis. Ryan van Bibber released his latest mock draft in SB Nation, and he has the 49ers picking tight end Coby Fleener.

The sheer number of Stanford products that could go in the first round of this draft is amazing and is a testament to Jim Harbaugh. He knows exactly what kind of player Fleener is, a speedy receiving option that will pair with Vernon Davis to give the 49ers what might be a better version of the two-tight end set in New England.

To discuss Fleener with 49ers fans, hit up Niners Nation. To talk about Fleener with Stanford football fans, check out Rule of Tree. To learn more about mock drafts in general, go to Mocking the Draft.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: San Francisco 49ers Select Coby Fleener, According To The Bleacher Report

The more mock drafts you look at the more Stanford tight end Coby Fleener's name pops up as the no. 30 pick to the San Francisco 49ers. Now add The Bleacher Report to the growing list of mock drafts who have Fleener staying in the Bay Area for the start of his NFL career.

Here is what The Bleacher Report had to say about Fleener and his fit with Niners.

Delanie Walker will be gone next year and hasn't been impressive to date anyway. Fleener would be a pain in the rear lined up across from Vernon Davis and would help overcome a lackluster group of wide receivers (yes, including Randy Moss). He blew everyone away at Stanford's pro day and would be a heck of a draw for the Bay Area 49ers.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: San Francisco 49ers, Coby Fleener Becoming Natural Pairing

The San Francisco 49ers are a bit of mystery right now regarding their NFL Draft concerns. They've fulfilled almost all their wide receiver needs in free agency, so it's not as much of a certainty which position the Niners will draft for with their first round pick.

Niners Nation has updated their mock draft database, and it's looking like the 49ers might end up drafting a particular tight end--one Coby Fleneer of the Stanford Cardinal.

Fleener makes plenty of sense. The 49ers do have a clear starting tight end in Vernon Davis, but San Francisco would love to go more multiple and provide a more diversified offensive attack. Jim Harbaugh loved using multiple tight end sets at Stanford, and you figure he'd want to do something similar at the next level to create more mismatches against defenses.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: 49ers Continue To Strengthen Wide Receivers With Stephen Hill

In NFL.com's Charles Davis' latest mock draft, the San Francisco 49ers continue to build the wide receiver corps and add weapons around quarterback Alex Smith. With the No. 30 pick in the 2012 NFL draft, Davis believes the Niners will select Georgia Tech wide receiver Stephen Hill, saying only, "Hill's a little raw, but he has really impressed this offseason."

Hill is coming off his best season with the Yellow Jackets in which he caught 28 passes for 820 yards and five touchdowns. However, it was his combine workout and his interviews that allowed him to increase his draft stock into the first round. He is considered a top-five receiver in this year's draft class. He stands at 6-foot-4 and weighs 215 pounds, which makes him a big target for Smith, and he also has good top-end speed.

With Hill playing next to Randy Moss and Mario Manningham, and with tight end Vernon Davis in the mix, the 49ers could have a very potent passing offense in 2012.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: 49ers Select WR Stephen Hill, According to SI's Don Banks

The San Francisco 49ers have been busy this offseason re-signing key players like quarterback Alex Smith and cornerback Carlos Rogers and brining in weapons like Mario Manningham and Randy Moss to help extend the field.

But according to Sports Illustrated's Don Banks and his latest mock draft, the 49ers will continue to add weapons, picking up wide reciever Stephen Hill out of Georgia Tech with the No. 30 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.

Here's how Banks feels about the Niners taking Hill in this position:

The signing of both Randy Moss and Mario Manningham means the 49ers are no longer desperate at receiver, but imagine if they could land a blazer of a deep threat like Hill, whose 4.3 at the combine made everyone sit up and take notice. Alex Smith got over his hurt feelings and re-signed in San Francisco because he knew what was good for him.

Moss certainly isn't a 'blazer' anymore at 35 years old, Michael Crabtree has never really had than runaway speed, and Mannigham is quick, but not Hill quick. The Niners re-sigend Ted Ginn Jr. as well, likely the fastest receiver they currently have, but adding another dimension with Hill would certainly behoove the 49ers offensively.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: 49ers Select Doug Martin, RB, Boise State, According To Pro Football Talk

The San Francisco 49ers had one of the stoutest defenses in all of football in 2011, and have added a number of playmakers already this offseason with the likes of Mario Manningham and Randy Moss, but which way will they go with their first pick in the 2012 draft?

Well, Evan Silva and the folks over at NBC's Pro Football Talk think that the Niners should keep adding to their offense by selecting running back Doug Martin out of Boise State with their first round pick this year.

Silva's reasoning was very simple, the 49ers had to "re-settle" for quarterback Alex Smith, which means they will continue to run the ball, meaning they should grab Doug Martin. Anthony Dixon hasn't shown much in his few years with the team but Kendall Hunter certainly had his bright spots in a backup role to Frank Gore last season. Gore is certainly slowing with age, meaning Martin could prove useful if Gore gets hurt and a capable option further down the line along with Hunter.

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2012 NFL Mock Draft: Could 49ers Address Offensive Line?

The 49ers entered free agency with some fairly specific needs at wide receiver, in the secondary and along the offensive line. They addressed the first two areas fairly quickly and with some intriguing options. They signed Randy Moss before free agency began, and then added Mario Manningham over this past weekend. In the secondary, they elected to franchise Dashon Goldson, re-sign All-Pro Carlos Rogers and add Perrish Cox.

The 49ers' primary focus now is on Peyton Manning, but they are considering a variety of secondary areas as well. As they approach the 2012 NFL Draft, the recent additions could allow them to go with a bit more of a best player available mode for the first round, rather than targeting a specific position.

SB Nation released their latest 2012 NFL Mock Draft and they have the 49ers selecting Ohio State offensive lineman Mike Adams. Although Adams has some folks viewing him as having strong first-round talent, tools and measurables, he has dealt with some off-field issues that have resulted in suspensions.

Does he fit for the 49ers? They are looking more to address the right guard position, so it depends on whether one thinks someone could rotate into that guard role. The 49ers seem content with Joe Staley and Anthony Davis at the two tackle positions, with Alex Boone as the primary backup. I'm not quite sure Adams is the fit for now. While the 49ers might be able to look at the best player available, I still think it will be moderately adjusted based on some of the remaining 49ers' needs.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: San Francisco 49ers Pick Coby Fleener

Jim Harbaugh loves himself tight ends. He stockpiled them at Stanford en route to rebuilding them into one of the strongest programs in the country.

Why not get another one to complement Vernon Davis, and why not get one of those? Draft Tek's latest mock has Harbaugh picking a former Stanford tight end, one Coby Fleener with the 30th pick in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft.

WR priority is reduced, but Morgan to DC may change that. Fleener is grabbed in round 1. He is another weapon familiar with the Harbaugh offense, that should pair well with Vernon Davis. Fleener will take advantage of the more open passing middle with Moss on the outside.

The 49ers are pretty content with Davis as their number one wideout, but Fleener as the number two option could be incredibly useful. The Niners need to upgrade their receiving corps if they plan to continue to contend, and getting players like Fleener that can catch passes anywhere on the field will improve San Francisco's passing game.

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Mel Kiper, Todd McShay Mock Draft: 49ers Select Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech

One of the most glaring needs for the 2011 San Francisco 49ers was at the wide out position, one of the few true weaknesses the NFC West champions had last season. But the 2012 49ers are looking to change that, as both ESPN's Mel Kiper and Todd McShay have the Niners taking WR Stephen Hill from Georgia Tech in both of their latest mock drafts.

Per Kiper on ESPN:

Hill set Indy ablaze, going sub-4.4 in the 40 while measuring 6-foot-4. San Francisco, meet the deep threat you've been looking for. It's no secret the 49ers need more out of their wide receivers, and Hill brings a new aspect to the table, with elite size and track speed to stretch defenses both for himself, and to open up things underneath. He'll need an adjustment period as he gets used to a more conventional offense, but some team is going to fall in love with the measurables.

Per McShay on ESPN:

This is a big high for a raw prospect like Hill, but with the Patriots and so many other teams looking for size and the ability to stretch the field it won't surprise me to see him off the board this early. Hill (6-4, 215) showed flashes of his big-play ability in 2011 (28 catches, 820 yards), and he had one of the best combine workouts I've ever seen from a wide receiver. The 49ers have a bigger need at cornerback, but with Josh Morgan and Ted Ginn headed for free agency they could be left with Michael Crabtree and a whole lot of nothing at receiver when draft day rolls around.

I believe it's a bit of a no-brainer trying to pick up a wideout this draft for San Francisco, especially if a talent like Hill is still on the board at the end of the first round. Luckily there area few top receivers projected to go in the first round, so they may have their pick come draft day.

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NFL Mock Draft Database 2012: 49ers Often Linked With Stephen Hill, Mohamed Sanu

The San Francisco 49ers are preparing for the upcoming 2012 NFL Draft. Following last week's NFL Combine in Indianapolis, the team has a new wave of information to pore over and will need to weigh what they've seen and scouted this season with their needs for 2012 and their positioning in the first round of the draft.


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David Fucillo at Niners Nation has compiled a database of the 30 most recent mock drafts. Specifically, he lists the player that each analyst has predicted will be selected as the Niners' first round draft pick. You can find that database by clicking right here.

The names that pop up the most often for the 49ers are Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets wide receiver Stephen Hill and Rutgers Scarlet Knights wide receiver Mohamed Sanu. It's no secret that the biggest deficiency of the current 49ers team is in the wideout slot.

Hill has seen his stock skyrocket after an impressive showing at the Combine. His time in the 40 was impressive and he performed well in all wide receiver drills. If he's still on the board when the 49ers first round pick rolls around, they could do a lot worse than selecting him.

For all news and information regarding the San Francisco 49ers, please visit Niners Nation. For lots more on the 2012 NFL Draft, check out Mocking the Draft.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: San Francisco 49ers Select Brandon Boykin From Georgia

The San Francisco 49ers had a breakout season in 2011 and were a few fumbles away from a Super Bowl appearance. Not only is the team talented at most positions on the field, but they're also deep enough to help cover any injuries that arise. There are few positions that undoubtably need upgrading at the 2012 NFL Draft, but cornerback is one of them.

The latest mock draft from Peter Schrager and FOX Sports has the 49ers improving their secondary with the No. 30 overall pick:

30. San Francisco 49ers: Brandon Boykin, CB, Georgia: This may surprise some folks at the outset, but Boykin's been a talented performer since he first got to Athens.

Boykin doesn't have a big frame, but he plays taller and stronger than he appears. He's got great hands, can pull double-duty in the return game, and has a wonderful knack for the ball.

San Francisco would love to grab a playmaking wide receiver here, but they won't reach to grab one.

As mentioned above, most feel the Niners would like to take a wide receiver here, but there isn't a ton of talent available once Justin Blackmon is off the board. Unless the team finds a way to get creative, it seems like they will go the secondary route at the 2012 Draft.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: San Francisco 49ers Select Janoris Jenkins

The San Francisco 49ers need to figure out what they're going to do with their first round draft pick. No one knows what they'll do quite yet. Wide receiver still remains a big issue, but it's not clear if San Francisco can get a sure thing so late in the first round. They might have to look elsewhere to satisfy their needs.

However, there's a possibility that they might have to lose one of their defenders to free agency because the team will be out of cap space if they sign as much of their team back. Ryan Van Bibber of SB Nation has released his latest mock draft, and the 49ers end up taking a cornerback with the 30th pick. The cornerback? One Janoris Jenkins of North Alabama. Van Bibber explains why.

The 49ers might not be able to re-sign Carlos Rogers. After locking down Ahmad Brooks, safety Dashon Goldson looks like the next logical priority. Jenkins is a big risk to take given his checkered past. If they feel like he is ready to move past those issues, the 49ers could get a real steal in Jenkins.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: Would 49ers Take a Chance On A Speedy Wideout?

Georgia Tech's Stephen Hill didn't see a lot of targets in the Yellow Jackets' run-heavy offense - he only had 28 catches in the 2011 season - but he made the most of each of those catches, averaging 29.0 yards per reception. He racked up 820 yards and five touchdowns and his ability to provide a deep threat down the field is making him shoot up draft boards. Rob Rang has Hill in the first round in his latest mock draft, going 28th overall to the 49ers.

Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech: A lack of speed and playmaking ability at wide receiver played a significant role in San Francisco's vanilla ball-control attack in Jim Harbaugh's first season as head coach. Hill is undeniably raw after having played in Georgia Tech's triple-option offense geared around the running game but is an accomplished blocker with the size and speed to threaten deep. He won't be universally graded as a first round prospect due to his relative lack of polish but after a season in which Harbaugh and his assistants proved as strong of teachers as any coaching staff in the league, they may have the confidence to gamble on Hill's upside.

Hill blew scouts away over the weekend by running 4.3 in the 40 yard-dash at 6'4, 206 pounds. His size/speed ratio makes him an intriguing option for the 49ers, who could certainly use that type of weapon downfield to complement Vernon Davis and Michael Crabtree.

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2012 NFL Mock Draft: 49ers Stick With USC's Nick Perry In SB Nation's Latest

USC Trojan outside linebacker Nick Perry has been a name tossed around a few times as a potential target for the San Francisco 49ers in the 2012 NFL draft. Many draft experts believe that the Niners should go after a wide receiver in the first round to help their offenses, but adding a player similar to Aldon Smith could be just as effective as no opposing quarterback would be safe.

SB Nation's latest mock draft, put together by Brad Wells, has the 49ers doing exactly that with the 30th overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft.

The 49ers saw firsthand against the Giants in the NFC Championship Game just how important it is to have a cadre of pass rushers. Perry is better suited as an outside rusher standing up than as a three-technique linemen, which means he will fit in well in Vic Fangio's 3-4 scheme.

San Francisco's defense carried them throughout the majority of the 2011 season and brought them all the way to the NFC Championship game and adding a talented pass rusher, especially since the NFL is a passing league, is always a smart move. Besides, the free agent class of wide receivers is very deep.

For more on the San Francisco 49ers, head to Niners Nation.

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2012 NFL Mock Draft: Nick Perry Needs Big Performance At NFL Combine, Selected By 49ers

The San Francisco 49ers had a big season in 2011 and used a strong showing from the NFL Draft to propel themselves to the NFC Championship Game. The team is as hungry as ever to get back to the playoffs and they will need yet another quality showing in April if they hope to duplicate their success. There are not too many question marks with the team as of now, but there is always room to improve.

Most mock drafts have the 49ers taking a wide receiver to bolster the passing game or a cornerback to improve the secondary, but the latest update from SB Nation has them going with a player similar to Aldon Smith.

30. San Francisco 49ers, Nick Perry, OLB, USC

Everything about this pick says it should be a cornerback or an offensive lineman. The 49ers need both, but they could also find help on the free agent market. The Giants reminded the 49ers that you can never have enough pass rushers. That will be especially true if they lose Ahmad Brooks in free agency this year. Perry would probably not be ready for a three-down role, which would still leave the 49ers with questions to answer.

This seems like a questionable pick to me, but I guess there is always a need for capable front-seven players. With players like Smith and Patrick Willis already in place, Perry would have plenty of time to develop, but the 49ers seem like a franchise set on winning right now.

There is the chance the 49ers are willing to let go of OLB Ahmad Brooks, but that would require San Francisco to take a considerable risk handing the job over to a rookie. And with their system already in place, it may take some time for Perry to pick it up. Does Jim Harbaugh and Co. feel like taking a big risk at linebacker after such a strong season in 2011?

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NFL Combine 2012: Event Schedules, Player Report Dates And More

The NFL Combine is always one of the more entertaining events of the offseason for both fans and players, and this year figures to be no different. College athletes from all around the country will be reporting to Indianapolis this week as they prepare to raise their draft stock in any way possible with a strong showing in workouts and interviews with various coaches and front office members.

Here is a complete list of all the events taking place this week and when the players will be reporting:

Group 1 (Special Teams, Offensive Linemen), Group 2 (Offensive Linemen), Group 3 (Tight Ends)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - Travel to Indianapolis, Registration, Hospital Pre-Exam & X-rays, Orientation, Interviews
Thursday, February 23, 2012 - Measurements, Medical Examinations, Media, Psychological Testing, Interviews
Friday, February 24, 2012 - NFLPA Meeting, Psychological Testing, PK/ST Workout, Interviews
Saturday, February 25, 2012 - Workout (timing, stations, skill drills), Departure from Indianapolis

Group 4 (Quarterbacks, Wide Receivers), Group 5 (Quarterbacks, Wide Receivers), Group 6 (Running Backs)

Thursday, February 23, 2012 - Travel to Indianapolis, Registration, Hospital Pre-Exam & X-rays, Orientation, Interviews
Friday, February 24, 2012 - Measurements, Medical Examinations, Media, Psychological Testing, Interviews
Saturday, February 25, 2012 - NFLPA Meeting, Psychological Testing, Interviews
Sunday, February 26, 2012 - Workout (timing, stations, skill drills), Departure from Indianapolis

Group 7 (Defensive Linemen), Group 8 (Defensive Linemen), Group 9 (Linebackers)

Friday, February 24, 2012 - Travel to Indianapolis, Registration, Hospital Pre-Exam & X-rays, Orientation, Interviews
Saturday, February 25, 2012 - Measurements, Medical Examinations, Media, Psychological Testing, Interviews
Sunday, February 26, 2012 - NFLPA Meeting, Psychological Testing, Interviews
Monday, February 27, 2012 - Workout (timing, stations, skill drills), Departure from Indianapolis

Group 10 (Defensive Backs), Group 11 (Defensive Backs)

Saturday, February 25, 2012 - Travel to Indianapolis, Registration, Hospital Pre-Exam & X-rays, Orientation, Interviews
Sunday, February 26, 2012 - Measurements, Medical Examinations, Media, Psychological Testing, Interviews
Monday, February 27, 2012 - NFLPA Meeting, Psychological Testing, Interviews
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - Workout (timing, stations, skill drills), Departure from Indianapolis

The 2012 NFL Combine will feature a ton of talent and fans will finally get to catch a glimpse of the players their favorite team may draft come April. Enjoy it.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: 49ers Select Arizona WR Juron Criner In First Round

The San Francisco 49ers are working on their offseason moves and looking forward to a stronger team in 2012. One thing that most analysts and evaluators can agree on is that the Niners can definitely use a wide receiver.

In their latest mock draft, Draft Tek 49ers analyst Tim Hudson suggests that the 49ers will look to the PAC-12 for assistance in the 2012 NFL Draft. Hudson suggests the 49ers will select Arizona Wildcats wide receiver Juron Criner in the first round, as the No. 30 overall pick.

I really can't see the 49ers targeting another position at #30. The need is profound and was evidenced throughout the entire season. When the 49ers needed a big pass play, they dialed up...their TE?! Sure the Patriots are bringing the two TE offense into vogue, but that pairing for Vernon Davis isn't available at #30, so the 49ers resort to selecting Juron Criner, the 6'2" 220lb Wildcat. Let's start with the bad: he's slow (around 4.6-40 slow), struggles to get off the jam, and comes from a pass happy offense (inflated numbers?). The good? Oh, there's plenty. Don't worry about the 40 time, he plays faster than the stopwatch. He also has outstanding ball vision, reliable hands, and he runs beautiful routes. His stock is running high after an impressive Senior Bowl, and would be an instant upgrade for the 49ers WR corps.

If there's one position that the 49ers absolutely have to upgrade, it is at wide receiver. With the No. 30 pick in the first round, Criner might be the best option still on the board at the time.

For all news and information regarding the San Francisco 49ers, please visit Niners Nation. For updates and perspective on the Arizona Wildcats, head on over to Arizona Desert Swarm. For lots more on the 2012 NFL Draft, check out Mocking the Draft.

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Mel Kiper Mock Draft 2012: 49ers Select Reuben Randle, WR, LSU In First Round

ESPN's Mel Kiper is known for two things: unflappable hair and scrupulous NFL mock drafts.

Kiper released his 2.0 version of the later on Wednesday, with the San Francisco 49ers selecting LSU wide receiver Reuben Randle with their first round pick, 30th overall.

Here is Kiper's analysis of the pick:

San Francisco 49ers. Record: 13-3. Rueben Randle, WR, LSU

Randle could be a steal. This is a guy who, in a more dynamic passing offense, could have been far more productive. Obviously, the combine will tell us a lot, but Randle could be preferred over Alshon Jeffery of South Carolina, because he has the length, but will be a lot quicker into and out of his breaks because he's got a leaner frame. He's better suited to beat opposing defenses over the top. The Niners need a big target in the passing game outside of Vernon Davis, and Randle could be that guy.

San Francisco has really lacked that 'go up and get it' receiver since Terrell Owens, and although few players will be at the athletic capability of T.O. back when he was a 49er, Randle would make a great addition to an offense in need of more deep threats.

For more on the Niners head over to Niners Nation. For more on the draft in general, head over to Mocking the Draft.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: 49ers Take Rutgers WR Mohamed Sanu In First Round

Our friends over at National Football Post have released their latest mock draft for the 2012 season, and have the San Francisco 49ers selecting wide receiver Mohamed Sanu out of Rutgers University with their first round pick, 30th overall.

NFP's Wes Bunting describes his reasonings for having the Niners select Sanu with their first round pick:

The 49ers have a glairing need at the wide receiver position and could be looking to upgrade. Sanu is a monster with good quickness for his size and a real physical dimension to his game. He offers the ability to run after the catch and can contribute inside from day one.

at 6'2" he would become the Niners largest receiver height wise, who really lacked that 'go up and get it' type of receiver after Braylon Edwards and Josh Morgan went down with injuries last season. Speedy guys like Kyle Williams and Ted Ginn are great to have, but the Niners really need a talent like Sanu on their squad to add that extra crease to their passing game along with the terrific tight ends and play makers already on the roster.

Hopefully he'll still be around on draft day when the 30th pick comes around.

For more on the Niners, head over to Niners Nation. For more on the draft in general, head over to Mocking the Draft.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: 49ers Select Offensive Lineman Peter Konz

The San Francisco 49ers were on the cusp of a Super Bowl appearance just a few weeks ago and the franchise is determined to take that next step towards greatness. After a stellar showing in the draft last year, the team will look to repeat their success once again at the 2012 NFL Draft. There are few glaring weaknesses with the roster as it is constructed now, but you can always improve in one way or another.

This latest mock draft from NFL Draft Update sees the 49ers bolstering their offensive line in the first round.

San Francisco doesn't have many very glaring holes and despite not being a weak link in 2011, Jonathan Goodwin is not a long-term solution to the center position. Peter Konz is the draft's top center and may even be able to help at guard as rookie as well. A prototype at his position, Konz joins tackles Joe Staley, Anthony Davis and left guard Mike Iupati as 1st round picks playing on the 9ers offensive line.

Many would like to see the 49ers take a wide receiver to help Alex Smith and the passing game, but there are slim pickings this year once Justin Blackmon comes off the board. San Francisco could also look to take a cornerback with free agency looming.

To discuss the upcoming draft and the 49ers, head on over to Niners Nation.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: San Francisco 49ers Pick Stephen Hill As Their New WR

The San Francisco 49ers have one big priority in their 2012 NFL Draft: Wide receiver. Everyone who watched the NFC Playoffs knows San Francisco had only one real receiving option down the stretch, and Vernon Davis is not going to be enough. Michael Crabtree and Josh Morgan could be a capable duo, but they aren't close enough to being the weapons the Niners need to make the offense just as potent as the defense.

Stephen Hill of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets is the choice. Draft Tek has more.

Hill's 6'5", 206 lb frame should be a nice compliment to the 49er offense - a big target to steal CB coverage from Vernon Davis, and he brings a willingness to block that fits in nicely with the running game Harbaugh has established in the Bay. Unforutnately, the blocking experience Hill received at GT cut into his route tree development as a WR. GT has produced some fine receivers of late (Calvin Johnson, and Demaryius Thomas) that suggests the NFL transition won't take that long. Hill has a well developed skill set in the form of athletic ability and straight speed, but he needs to work on his hands. He's an exciting player to watch, and provides a lot of big play ability (in 2011, his 30 ypc led the nation). But enough from me, if you want to see the exciting ball location and athletic playmaking ability Hill can bring, look no further than here.

Hill does seem to fit the physical profile the 49ers want to see from their receivers. He should also be useful in not just pass-catching, but also blocking downfield and helping the run game and short pass game from moving up. Seems like a perfect fit.

To discuss Hill with 49ers fans, go to Niners Nation. To talk about Hill with Georgia Tech fans, head on over to From The Rumble Seat. To talk more about the NFL Draft in general, check out Mocking The Draft.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: San Francisco 49ers Select Stephon Gilmore To Bolster Secondary

The San Francisco 49ers were minutes away from a Super Bowl bid this past season and they are looking to take yet another step towards a championship with a strong showing in the 2012 NFL Draft. While they will not have the early selection they have had the last few years, you can still find very capable players with the No. 30 overall pick, which is what the 49ers will have to work with this time around.

The latest update from SB Nation has San Francisco improving their secondary in the first round.

30. San Francisco 49ers, Stephon Gilmore, CB South Carolina

Conventional wisdom in most of the recent mocks gives the 49ers a receiver here, but all the first-round worthy guys are off the board. Gilmore would be a nice addition for the 49ers, who run a lot of zone coverage out of the base defense. He also has tremendous ball skills.

As mentioned in the blurb above, many would like to see the 49ers improve their offense with the addition of a wide receiver, but the top players available will likely be off the board by the time the end of the first round arrives. Gilmore played very well at South Carolina this past season, and while he may lack the potential to become a star at the next level, he will likely have a long career with whichever team selects him.

For more on the 49ers and to discuss the upcoming draft, head on over to Niners Nation.

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2012 NFL Draft: 49ers Not Expected To Receive Any Compensatory Picks

It doesn't come as much surprise, but the San Francisco 49ers aren't likely to gain any compensatory draft picks this offseason. As Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area points out, the 49ers had an even number of gains and losses in free agency this past season. Teams are awarded compensatory draft picks when they have net losses in free agency, but it only applies to players who hit the scheduled free agency, and not when they are released.

This means that Nate Clements don't count as losses, and Madieu Williams, Larry Grant and Blake Costanzo don't count as gains. Last season, the 49ers saw some key contributors go, but seemed to get a much better return on their free agents, so there's really no argument for a loss, even if the numbers weren't even. Aubrayo Franklin was the best to go, but Isaac Sopoaga filled in for him well. Manny Lawson, David Baas, Takeo Spikes and Travis LaBoy all left.

As it happens, the 49ers only replaced Baas through free agency, getting Jonathan Goodwin, who was very solid for them this past season. Carlos Rogers, Donte Whitner, David Akers and Braylon Edwards were the other gains, and aside from Edwards, they all had something like career years for the 49ers.

Compensatory draft picks are just a bonus, really - something that teams just hope to hit on. San Francisco has had some luck in that regard, especially on the defensive line, where they got Ricky Jean Francois and Ray McDonald - a versatile backup and a starter at left defensive end, respectively.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: Where Does Cornerback Fit In For 49ers?

Most of the NFL mock drafts across the Internet have focused in on the wide receiver position for the San Francisco 49ers. The team had incredibly poor production from the position in the NFC Championship Game, and generally seemed to lack a monster big play threat for much of the season. Vernon Davis stepped up in the playoffs, so that might raise some confidence in what the team already has on its roster.

Aside from wide receiver, an intriguing position for the 49ers is cornerback. This season saw a dominant season from Carlos Rogers, a strong step forward from previously questionable Tarell Brown, and a solid rookie season for Chris Culliver. As is, that is a solid group to build around. The big question is whether or not Rogers priced himself out of the 49ers budget with his monster season. If that is the case, Brown and Culliver are likely one and two on the depth chart, but the depth does take a hit.

SB Nation released their first post-Super Bowl NFL Mock Draft and they have the 49ers selecting South Carolina cornerback Stephon Gilmore:

Conventional wisdom in most of the recent mocks gives the 49ers a receiver here, but all the first-round worthy guys are off the board. Gilmore would be a nice addition for the 49ers, who run a lot of zone coverage out of the base defense. He also has tremendous ball skills.

The 49ers could be in a best player available mode in the draft, which opens the door for a lot of possibilities. I would be a little bit surprised to see them go with a cornerback given their apparent happiness with guys like Brown and Culliver, but in a pass-heavy league, I suppose you can never have another secondary depth.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: Todd McShay Predicts San Francisco 49ers Select Alfonzo Dennard

The 2012 NFL Draft is right around the corner and the San Francisco 49ers are eager to improve their team after coming up just short this past season in the NFC Championship Game. While there aren't too many glaring areas to improve, the secondary could benefit from an influx of talent. According to Todd McShay of ESPN, the 49ers will select a cornerback with the No. 29 overall pick.

Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska

Dennard has some durability issues and lacks ideal recovery speed, but he shows good instincts and a physical style, and his 2010 tape is far better than the injury-plagued version we saw in 2011. He could be a good fit for a 49ers secondary that could lose Carlos Rogers to free agency and needs an overall talent upgrade.

Dennard played well at Nebraska and could definitely be underrated due to the injury plagued season he had in 2011, but he would need a clean bill of health before San Francisco would even consider taking him. The 49ers have also been linked to various wide receivers with their first round pick, but it looks like it may be slim pickings by the time they're on the clock.

For more on the 49ers and their potential draft selections, head on over to Niners Nation.

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2012 NFL Mock Draft: Rutgers WR Mohamed Sanu Lands With Niners

The San Francisco 49ers were two devastating plays away from playing in the Super Bowl. But the biggest thing you could take away from that heartbreaking loss is that the 49ers defense is an elite, championship-level defense that just needs a little bit of help from its offense in order to take the next step and play for a title.

That's what SBNation believes it will do with the 30th pick in the NFL Draft as SBNation's mock draft has the 49ers selecting Rutgers wide receiver Mohamed Sanu. The Niners need to add some depth to their skill positions and after the Braylon Edwards experiment failed, looking for another wideout to pair with Michael Crabtree could be a good place to go early in the draft.

The junior wide receiver from South Brunswick, NJ recorded 1,206 yards on 115 receptions and seven touchdowns this season. At 6-2, 215 lbs., he brings great size to the position and will be able to run after the catch in the west coast offense.

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NFL Draft 2012: San Francisco 49ers Look At Juron Criner, Marvin McNutt, Keenan Robinson

The San Francisco 49ers know very well they should be looking at a wide receiver with their first pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, especially based off their performance in the NFC Championship where they got no help from their men on the outside. So it makes sense that they would be examining wideouts at the 2012 Senior Bowl.

Alfie Crow of Big Cat Country was at Senior Bowl practice, and examined the 49ers being interested in former Arizona wide receiver Juron Criner and former Iowa wide receiver Marvin McNutt Jr. Both of them are big physical receivers that could very well fit into the hard-hitting offense that Jim Harbaugh Linebacker Keenan Robinson was also examined, potentially to fill in more depth at the linebacking corps.

To discuss the 49ers picking any of these guys, check out Niners Nation. To talk about Criner with Wildcat fans, head on over to Arizona Desert Swarm. To learn more about McNutt from Iowa fans, Black Heart Gold Pants is where to go. To find out about Robinson from Texas fans, check out Burnt Orange Nation.

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2012 NFL Mock Draft: San Francisco 49ers Select Wide Receiver Mohamed Sanu

The San Francisco 49ers have struggled to find a consistent passing game over the years and it may be time to use yet another first round pick on a wide receiver to bolster the unit. While some of the blame has to fall on Alex Smith for his inconsistent play, it's not exactly like anyone other than Vernon Davis stepped up in 2011. This latest mock draft from CBS Sports has San Francisco going with an under-the-radar wide receiver with the No. 30 overall pick.

Mohamed Sanu, WR, Rutgers: The injury to Josh Morgan and relative disappointment that Michael Crabtree has been since being the 49ers' 2009 first-round pick makes wide receiver an area of concern. A prototypical receiver for the West Coast system, Sanu's size, physicality and toughness make up for a lack of elite speed.

Sanu ended his senior season with upwards of 1,200 receiving yards and seven touchdowns after beginning his career as a flex player of sorts. He did not receive as much exposure as other guys on the draft boards, but many feel he has the talent and work ethic to have a long, successful career in the NFL. He may not be the home run threat some teams are looking for, but that's not exactly the 49ers' style, either.

For more on the team, head on over to Niners Nation.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: San Francisco 49ers Take Alshon Jeffery

The San Francisco 49ers just fell out of the 2012 NFL Playoffs, which means it's time to fix things up. And the biggest issue for the offense was magnified in the NFC Championship Game, where San Francisco had only one significant threat as a receiver, that being tight end Vernon Davis. San Francisco needs some big-time wide receivers to change things up, or Alex Smith and the 49ers offense will encounter similar problems in later seasons.

The newest mock draft has been released by Ryan Van Bibber of SB Nation.

San Francisco needs another wide receiver to pair with Michael Crabtree. He definitely has some red flags to clear up between now and the draft. One strike against Jeffery is his speed, but that becomes less of a factor in the 49ers' West Coast offense, where his ability to get yards after the catch will be more valued than his forty time.

Jeffery definitely just sounds like the type of guy that fits in with what Jim Harbaugh would like to see in San Francisco. He's big, he's physical, he catches footballs, he can block. The perfect tough receiver for one of the toughest teams in the NFL.

To discuss the idea of Jeffery on the 49ers, go to Niners Nation. To talk about Jeffery with the Gamecocks, head over to Garnet and Black Attack. To talk about the NFL draft in general, head on over to Mocking the Draft.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: 49ers May Select Virginia Tech CB Jayron Hosley In Second Round

The San Francisco 49ers are now officially moving into their offseason following their loss in the NFC Championship Game. With the loss, the Niners will now have the No. 30 overall draft pick in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft. The draft is fast approaching, so the 49ers will now be turning their attention to which prospects they will be selecting.

In their latest mock draft, Draft Tek makes a suggestion as to who the 49ers might select in the second round of this year's draft. Draft Tek analyst Tim Hudson believes that the Niners may target cornerback Jayron Hosley of the Virginia Tech Hokies in the second round. Here is what Hudson has to say:

The Draft Sim mocks Hosley to the 49ers defense for the second straight week. Despite 2 interceptions, the pass defense allowed 4 TDs and 462 yards and almost let the Saints take the playoff game. Enter the ball-hawk Jayron Hosley at the #62 pick in our DraftSim. His ball skills are like a wide-receiver (comes to the highest point of the pass) and he can match the breaks of NFL route runners. His tackling skills will need improvement, but he shows a willingness to provide the the run-support. His quick break, great hands, and sharp eyes project well as a zone corner to start, and with work on his jam and backpedal he can progress toward a cover corner. There are some durability concerns with his slight frame (172lbs at 5'10"). The larger concern is his lack of top speed, but Hosley could be a dangerous weapon in a defense that forces offenses to pass.

If there is any one aspect of the vaunted 49ers defense that can stand to be beefed up next year, it is the pass defense. Hosley may be a player worth keeping an eye on.

For all news and information regarding the San Francisco 49ers, please visit Niners Nation. For updates and perspective on the Virginia Tech, head on over to Gobbler Country. For lots more on the 2012 NFL Draft, check out Mocking the Draft.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: 49ers May Target Arizona WR Juron Criner

The 2012 NFL Draft is on its way and most of the analysts seem to agree that the San Francisco 49ers will be looking for first-round help in the form of a wide receiver in some form or another. There is a new suggestion for the Niners that involves a draft prospect from within the Pac-12.

The latest mock draft from Draft Tek suggests that the 49ers might use their overall No. 31 pick to draft Arizona Wildcats wide receiver Juron Criner as the penultimate selection in the first round. Here is what Draft Tek 49ers analyst Tim Hudson has to say:

This week it's Criner to the rescue for the 49er passing woes. Vernon Davis is a great asset, but a WRF on the roster will open passing lanes for Davis and ensure better matchups for the offense. There are those who knock Criner for his lack of straight-ahead speed and weakness off the line against press coverage, but here at DraftTek we see great value in Criner. Going into 2011, Criner was a borderline 1st round pick and managed 75 catches for 956 yards and 11TDs this season despite a 4-8 Arizona record, losing time in the summer with a mystery illness , and suffering an appendectomy in week 2. Criner possesses elite body control and ball awareness, and is a great target for Alex Smith. He recorded play of the week catches twice: This vs UCLA , and this vs Toledo. Combine that with his blocking ability and you've got a complete WRF to stand-out in the 49er corps.

It is certainly no question that the 49ers want to shore up their receiver depth and Criner is an option that will almost certainly still be available late in the first round.

For all news and information regarding the San Francisco 49ers, please visit Niners Nation. To find out more about Criner or the Arizona Wildcats in general, head on over to Arizona Desert Swarm. For more on the 2012 NFL Draft, you can always check out Mocking the Draft.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: Mel Kiper Has San Francisco 49ers Taking Alshon Jeffery

The San Francisco 49ers are getting set for the NFC Championship Game against the New York Giants, and it seems like the last thing on their mind would be the 2012 NFL Draft. But there's definitely something the Niners will probably wish they had for Sunday's contest: a big play wide receiver that could stretch the field against opposing defenses. San Francisco lacks that element to their game, with only tight end Vernon Davis and wide receiver Michael Crabtree being reliable pass-catching options.

Mel Kiper seems to outline that need for a big-time receiver (need an Insider account for the full draft), as Alshon Jeffrery of the South Carolina Gamecocks is the guy he has the Niners picking in the first round of the draft. Kiper says "Jeffery is an absolute beast, a guy who plays at more than 230 pounds and easily could top 6-foot-4 when he measures out."

To discuss Jeffrey with South Carolina fans, go to Garnet And Black Attack. To talk about Jeffrey and the 49ers, check out Niners Nation. To discuss the draft in general, head to Mocking the Draft.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: San Francisco 49ers Select Wide Receiver Mohamed Sanu

The San Francisco 49ers shocked the football world in 2011, easily winning their division and claiming the second-best record in the NFC. While the team is still battling for a chance at the Super Bowl, the 2012 NFL Draft will still be a very big day for the franchise as they continue to build for the future. There are a few areas of the team the front office may look to improve upon, but according to SB Nation's latest mock draft the team will go with a wide receiver.

29. San Francisco 49ers, Mohamed Sanu, WR, Rutgers

Remember this time last year when everybody thought the 49ers would be in the running for Andrew Luck? Now, they need to think about adding some offensive weapons for Alex Smith. Sanu has the size and hands to impress, but he lacks the speed to be drafted higher. No need. His ability to get yards after the catch are a perfect complement to Smith.

Of course the 49ers still do not know their actual draft position with the playoffs still going on, but the team should at least be able to hone in on where they will likely end up come April 26. As for Sanu, a junior out of Rutgers, he recorded 115 catches for 1,206 yards and seven touchdowns this past year. Prior to the 2011 season, he served as both a receiver and running back, where he put up respectable numbers at both positions.

For more on the team and their potential draft plans, head on over to Niners Nation.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: 49ers May Select Virginia Tech CB Jayron Hosley In Second Round

The San Francisco 49ers are headed to the NFC Championship Game, but that doesn't mean that the 2012 NFL Draft will arrive any later. Nor does it mean that the discussion and analysis of potential selection is going to fade away. A recent intriguing development is regarding who the Niners might select with their second-round draft pick.

Mock draft website DraktTek believes that the 49ers might use their second-round pick (the No. 62 overall pick) to select Virginia Tech Hokies cornerback Jayron Hosley. Here is what Tim Hudson, the 49ers DraftTek analyst, has to say on the matter:

49ers Pro Bowl CB Rogers will turn 31 this summer, and the 49ers need an option on the other side if they're going to punish the pass-heavy NFC teams. Enter the ball-hawk Jayron Hosley at the #62 pick in our DraftSim. His ball skills are like a wide-receiver (comes to the highest point of the pass) and he can match the breaks of NFL route runners. His tackling skills will need improvement, but he shows a willingness to provide the the run-support. His quick break, great hands, and sharp eyes project well as a zone corner to start, and with work on his jam and backpedal he can progress toward a cover corner. There are some durability concerns with his slight frame (172lbs at 5'10"). The larger concern is his lack of top speed, but Hosley could be a dangerous weapon in a defense that forces offenses to pass.

If there's one aspect of the vaunted 49ers defense that could use shoring up, it is pass coverage in the secondary. The Hosley move would make a lot of sense.

For all news and information regarding the San Francisco 49ers, please visit Niners Nation. For lots more coverage on the 2012 NFL Draft, head on over to Mocking The Draft.

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2012 NFL Mock Draft: San Francisco 49ers Take Stephen Hill, Georgia Tech WR

The San Francisco 49ers are in the NFC Championship game, so it's unlikely the the Niners fanbase is really looking ahead in the Bay Area to the 2012 NFL Draft. Still, it's clear this team still has some improving to do, and probably needs more depth in their receiving corps. It's amazing that San Francisco managed to get to the NFC Championship without relying on a single marquee wideout, as Jim Harbaugh continues to do it the old-fashioned way.

But expect a wide receiver to be the biggest priority in the draft next year. Tim Hudson of Draft Tek talks about the 49ers potentially going with a player like Stephen Hill of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets as someone who could fit their team the best.

The 49ers have the NFL's 33rd ranked WR in Michael Crabtree with 874 yards (25th in the NFL with 72 receptions). To improve upon their 29th ranked passing offense, the DRAFTSIM model has mocked Stephen Hill to the 49ers. His imposing frame (6'5" and 210 lbs) and athletic ability (state high school jumping record holder) will create opportunities and mismatches. Coming from the triple option, Hill has the blocking credentials that Harbaugh and the 49er running game will love. He'll need to work on his route tree and won't be as fast as fellow GT alums Calvin Johnson or Demariyus Thomas, but his average of 25.5 yards per reception over his career are encouraging for his NFL prospects. His production trailed off with some dropped balls this season (only 28 catches), but he does have great run after the catch ability (820 yards).

To discuss Hill in San Francisco, head to Niners Nation. To talk about Hill with Georgia Tech fans, check out From The Rumble Seat. To take a look at the NFL draft in general, go to Mocking the Draft.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: San Francisco 49ers Select Mohamed Sanu

The San Francisco 49ers are busy with the whole playoff thing right now, but they are one loss away from organizing their draft board. And their clearest need is at wide receiver. Outside of Michael Crabtree, the 49ers really have no reliable wide receivers. Josh Morgan is recovering from injury, Ted Ginn has great speed but average hands, Kyle Williams still is hit-or-miss, and the Braylon Edwards experiment flamed out.

Pick256 of Mocking The Draft has released their latest mock draft, and the 49ers would be taking a wide receiver in Mohamed Sanu of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights to fulfill their needs. Here's his explanation of that pick.

San Francisco has been searching for a top WR for a long time. Michael Crabtree didn't work out as expected and the veterans they have brought in haven't fared much better. Sanu isn't the downfield threat some 49er fans covet, but he's got a great skill set and a knack for finding holes in the opponent's defense. He'd be a perfect fit in Jim Harbaugh's West Coast Offense and will give Alex Smith a quality receiver other than TE Vernon Davis.

Sanu definitely fits the profile of a big-time receiver who can fit the system Jim Harbaugh likes to run, and while he might not be as talented as other wideouts on the board.

To discuss the 49ers and their draft prospects, head to Niners Nation. To talk about Sanu with Rutgers fans, go to On The Banks. To talk about the NFL Draft in general, go to Mocking the Draft.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: Dwight Jones, 49ers And The Wide Receiver Need

SB Nation released their latest 2012 NFL Mock Draft yesterday and for the second consecutive week, they have the 49ers selecting North Carolina wide receiver Dwight Jones. The 49ers offense has been up and down in 2011 and the common refrain among draft prognosticators is that the 49ers need to invest in some wide receiver help.

As the roster currently stands, the 49ers wide receiver corps features Michael Crabtree, Ted Ginn Jr., Kyle Williams, Brett Swain and Joe Hastings. The 49ers have Joshua Morgan on injured reserve, and while he is a free agent after this season, there has been verbalized interest from both sides about his potential return.

The 49ers added Braylon Edwards in the offseason, and early in the season it seemed like a great idea. Edwards brought size that none of the other 49ers receivers have. The 49ers other receivers are all talented, but none could bring the needed size to get physical in a jump ball or provide a consistent target on end zone fade routes. Unfortunately, Edwards struggled through a variety of injuries and was ineffective down the stretch before being released.

It would be not be surprising to see the 49ers go for a wide receiver early, particularly given that they are building the team in a manner that is conducive to best player available. Jones is a guy who is all over the place on draft boards and will look to use the coming three month draft process to establish himself as a first round talent. He improved on all his numbers in 2011, most notably his touchdown total, boosting it from four to twelve.

The 49ers could use another red zone threat to help boost their consistency down inside the opponent's 20. Jones brings great size to be that guy, but also brings enough speed and athleticism to be a solid every down receiver.

There remain some questions about his route-running, consistency and some of his off-the-field activities, but there is a lot of talent. Even if it will take some time to smooth off the rough edges, the 49ers are in a position to find a guy who can do a few things quite well already and take their time rounding him into shape as an overall threat.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: Would 49ers Really Target a Defensive End?

The folks at National Football Post have a solid crew of draft analysts and one of them, Wes Bunting, put together his first mock draft of the 2012 NFL Draft season. We only know the order of the first 20 picks, but mock drafts still provide opportunities to assess where players fall and what needs each team will look to assess in the first round.

Bunting's mock has the San Francisco 49ers drafting Nebraska defensive end Jared Crick with the No. 29 pick. Whatever the changes we'll see when the actual order is decided, this strikes me as a bit of an odd projection. I find it odd not because of the specific player, but rather the position.

Crick is projected as a defensive end in the 3-4. The 49ers currently start Justin Smith and Ray McDonald at their two defensive end positions. McDonald just signed a contract extension and at only 27 years of age, he would seem set on one side of the line. Justin Smith will turn 33 at the start of next season, but is signed for two more years and is playing arguably the best football of his career.

The 49ers might be moving into a position where they can afford some developmental draft picks, but it seems like defensive end is lower on that priority list. Even if the 49ers want to consider Justin Smith's replacement now, that would entail either being content to give the replacement minimal playing time the next couple years, or expecting Justin Smith's play to go off a cliff.

The only other possibility is that the team thinks Crick can bulk up enough to move in at nose tackle, but even there he might be a bit tall and Ricky Jean Francois has made solid strides as a possible long term replacement for Isaac Sopoaga.

Given some of the 49ers other more pressing needs, this just strikes me as an odd choice. Some folks may disagree, but for now I just find it a bit confusing for a first round pick.

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2012 NFL Mock Draft: San Francisco 49ers Could Look At Zach Brown, Billy Wynn

The San Francisco 49ers don't have any big holes at any big position, particularly based on their draft placement. With a low pick in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft, they won't be able to get any top marquee talent. However, San Francisco proved that they could find good players regardless, so draft positioning might not matter so much.

The 49ers look to continue replenishing what is proving to be a strong defense, as in one particular mock draft, they draft two defensive players with their first two picks, with Zach Brown of the North Carolina Tar Heels going in the first round and Billy Wynn of the Boise St. Broncos picked in the second. It'd be an unorthdox move considering how good San Francisco looks defensively, but some of the playmakers for the Niners are on the older side, it might not be the worse move to make.

Interestingly, San Francisco waits until the third round to get a wide receiver, arguably a position of need. T.Y. Hilton of Florida International is elected. Then safety George Iloka of Boise State is picked at safety in the fourth round to help shore up a position where the Niners haven't been too strong defensively.

To discuss the 49ers and the NFL Draft, head to Niners Nation.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: Would 49ers Look To Upgrade Their WR Corps With First Pick?

The latest SB Nation mock draft is out and Ryan Van Bibber has, most likely, wisely chosen to project Andrew Luck to go to the Colts with the number one pick. Can't say I disagree with that assessment, though it should get interesting should Luck decide playing behind Peyton Manning for 3+ seasons is not for him. Regardless, after that first pick, the waters get a little murkier. It's still early, obviously, and many things can change between now and Draft day, but Van Bibber has an intriguing prospect projected to the 49ers.

29. San Francisco 49ers, Dwight Jones, WR, North Carolina

Is this too high for the man who invented "Casual Sexxxy"? Maybe, but the 49ers need another receiver to pair with Michael Crabtree. More: Check out SB Nation's latest NFL mock draft.

Dwight Jones is a very talented receiver that may make his way up some draft boards before Draft day rolls around, and at 29, where the 49ers are projected to pick by Van Bibber, could be a steal. At 6'4, 225, he's the prototypical size for a #1 receiver and as Van Bibber points out, would complement Michael Crabtree quite well.

For more on the 49ers, make sure you check out Niners Nation.

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