In the last update, we took a look at how SB Nation's AFC and NFC North blogs viewed the 49ers and their seventh overall pick in various mock drafts. There was some interesting perspectives, after dealing with ESPN, Walter Football, Draft Tek and the likes of those, it was actually refreshing to just get an honest fan's take on things. So now we're going to continue the series and move into the NFC and AFC West.
We begin with Blogging The Boys, SB Nation's Dallas Cowboys blog. In their community mock draft, the 49ers landed Von Miller, the outside linebacker out of Texas A&M. In this draft, Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert was still on the board, but they (wisely) went with Miller, filling a big team need. They rationalized the pick very well, to the point as well:
Purely going best player available. Von Miller is the DeMarcus Ware of this draft. No questions about it. It also fills a huge hole with the 49ers defense. Miller is a exceptional pass rusher and can do it all. His leadership and athletic ability made it an easy choice.
That's high praise from a Cowboys fan, as DeMarcus Ware is probably the best pass rusher in the NFL. Miller fills a huge team need for the 49ers and is also the best player available at this point, depending on where you rank Gabbert. I obviously do not rank him all-that-high.
From there, we move to Bleeding Green Nation, our Philadelphia Eagles blog. In their community mock draft, the 49ers actually picked sixth because the silly Cleveland Browns couldn't get their pick in on time, but no harm was done as they didn't intend to pick the guy San Francisco ultimately went with: Prince Amukamara, the cornerback out of Nebraska.
Prince is the second best corner in this draft following Peterson and he isn't far behind. Yes San Fran needs a qb, but this is a team that has gaping holes in multiple phases of the game, especially in the secondary. Shawntae Spencer and Nate Clements scare no one. ... Prince on the other hand is everything you want in a corner. Elite speed with good ball skills to match. He can lock down one side of the field like the best in college. Whether that translates is yet to be seen. However, I believe Prince will make the jump just fine
Emphasis mine. It's absolutely true, Clements and Spencer don't scare anybody. Teams will force balls in their direction, and big, physical receivers will have their way out there, see Vincent Jackson in the San Diego Chargers game last year for an example. Clements, and to a lesser extent Spencer, is a decent corner, but he needs somebody shutdown on the other side. Amukamara is definitely the best pick in this scenario and he can immediately be a number two corner with the ability to progress to number one as early as this season. The need for somebody shutdown bodes well in the next couple picks, however.
In a seemingly collaborative effort, The Phinsider, SB Nation's Miami Dolphins blog and our Jets blog, Gang Green Nation, both have the 49ers landing Patrick Peterson. Matty's mock over at The Phinsider has him falling after Buffalo takes a quarterback, which may be instrumental in San Francisco's ability to land him.
7. San Francisco 49ers: Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU. The steal of the draft right here. Peterson is going to be a stud and he falls to pick 7 simply because of the needs of the top 6 teams.
That's the best way to put it: Peterson is undoubtedly the steal of the draft when your needs as big as San Francisco's and you're dealing with someone who might be the best player in the draft at the seventh overall pick. Here's a link to Gang Green Nation's pick, as well.
Pats Pulpit, SB Nation's blog for the New England Patriots, had their community mock span through two rounds thus far, and the 49ers have went defense both times. Reader BJA had the team lined up to take either Robert Quinn or Nick Fairley, this is with both Peterson and Amukamara off the board, Da'Quan Bowers still on the board and Cam Newton eventually falling to the Washington Redskins! The pick was prioritized for Robert Quinn, and that's who the 49ers ended up with after Cleveland took Amukamara one pick prior.
While San Francisco needs a quarterback more than anything else I don't think Jim Harbaugh is in love with the idea of making that guy Cam Newton. If he's in fact thinking of adding a young quarterback I think he'll more likely see what there for him in the second round (Andy Dalton, Colin Kaepernick).
The 49ers need a pass rusher and a cornerback as well and the option likely comes down to Prince Amukamara or Robert Quinn. Quinn would be an instant upgrade as a 3-4 OLB and would add a dimension to the pass rush the teams hasn't seen in a while.
The pick definitely makes sense, especially with the top two corners gone, but my gut tells me that would instead be Nick Fairley. Either way, their mock extended into the second round and the 49ers took care of their cornerback need with my sleeper of the draft, picking Davon House, the cornerback out of New Mexico State.
This is not a dream scenario for the 49ers. I think Jim Harbaugh might be eyeing a QB to develop here to eventually become either the starter or the backup (if he were to say pick a guy named Andrew Luck next year). In this scenario there isn't anyone worthy of a selection here.
He goes on to rationalize picking House over Brandon Harris, and I honestly could not agree more. That wraps things up for the mocks roundup for the ... oh wait, we still have another mock to look at. Big Blue View, our New York Giants blog, had their community mock draft and the 49ers came out with a rather surprising back. After the Cincinnati Bengals took Blaine Gabbert and the Browns took Marcell Dareus, it came down to a somewhat familiar scenario for the team, they found themselves drafting for BPA and taking A.J. Green, the wide receiver out of Georgia.
But who is available at this point in the draft who addresses any of these needs at a reasonable value? Only three names are worth mentioning: Prince Amukamara, Robert Quinn, and Da'Quan Bowers. I don't see Prince as a top 7 talent; Justin Blackmon would agree. Robert Quinn missed an entire season, and he didn't exactly shine at the combine. I don't think the reward outweighs the risk. Finally, Bowers seems to be a better fit for the 4-3, although he could certainly play in any defense. Indeed, Bowers was really the only "need" pick I strongly considered.
Interesting picks all around.