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NFL Mock Draft 2011: Are The Niners About To Get The Heisman

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49er fans currently have the best of both worlds. They are rooting for a team that is only one game out of first place and that same team would currently be drafting eighth, if the season ended today. With that eighth pick, the good folks over at WalterFootball.com have the Niners taking Mr. Heisman, Cam Newton. WalterFootball expresses surprise that they have Newton going that high, but they admit his star is on the rise.

They are working under the assumption that it will be a new coaching regime in San Francisco and that regime will want to get their QB in place. They suggest they’ll be picking between Newton, Jake Locker and Ryan Mallet. At this point, it is hard to go against Newton. The biggest knock is one that is beyond his control and that is the offense he plays in. The Niners have a need at QB, because the last time they drafted a guy out of the spread option offense, Alex Smith, it has not worked out.

Still, Newton has shown all the tools. While Locker has all the tools, injury and accuracy issues remain a concern. Mallett shares a similar knock to Locker, in that his accuracy comes into question. Cam Newton has the physical tools of a once in a generation type of talent. He will be hard to pass up.

If the 49ers decide to go in a different direction in the first round, WalterFootball projects they would be looking at either a pass rusher on the edge or a cornerback. They mention Robert Quinn DE/OLB, North Carolina, or Brandon Harris CB, Miami, as possibilities.

As this stream progresses we will take a much more in depth look at all of these players and what to look for out of them in their upcoming bowl games.