Hello Everyone. Here are the reults for the 49ers in Irish Dawg's 2010 Collaborative Mock Draft. The philosophy I took with the 49ers is an 8-8 team with a front office that needs to bring in impact players to help make the playoffs. This is the same front office regime since 2005, so it's do or die now. Another losing season for the 49ers may spell the end for the current front office and even HC Mike Singletary. The 49ers under Nolan/McCloughan have taken calculated risks on talent over character over the years. Vernon Davis (immaturity), to Antonio Bryant (insubordination), to Tarell Brown (minor brush ups with the law) are a few examples. I tried to take the same approach. Here are the results.
1st rd, #13 - Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers - My feeling is that the 49ers are very high on Davis. Davis has the talent to be the best OT in this year's draft, even over Okung and Bulaga. Character issues dealing with motivation and immaturity have gradually knocked Davis out of the top 10 and possibly even lower on some teams boards. However, the 49ers felt Crabtree was the second best player in the 2008 draft. Davis may not be that high up the 49ers board this year, but I'm thinking that the approach is similar in terms of how he is ranked. Davis' issues are the kind that Singletary excels in dealing with. I don't have any idea how Davis interviewed with the 49ers, so this will be the x-factor come draft day. Why didn't I wait until #17 to draft Davis? Seattle trade out of #6 and still needed an OT at #14. Davis doesn't really fit the zone blocking scheme, but there was still the risk of losing him to Seattle. There is the possibility that current LT would move back to RT if Davis excels at LT.
1st rd, #17 - Taylor Mays, SS, USC - This was my first controversial pick. I think most of the GM's that participated in this mock feel that Mays is grossly overrated and that I reached on him early. I can understand the positioning of some teams. I also feel that Mays can have the best and quickest success in the right system. I believe the way that the 49ers have utlized Michael Lewis the last two years typifies what Mays would be asked to do. Mays quite possibly would be more successful than Lewis do to the difference in athleticism. Coincidentally enough, Mays and Lewis are similar in size. Lewis is a very large SS as well. If the 49ers really draft Mays, it will be with the intention of moving him to SS. Lewis is in the final year of his contract, so Mays would not need to start right away. This goes against the immediate impact player philosophy I described above but with two picks in the first round, I can see a team taking more chances on a project with great athleticism. It's a luxury pick. And let's be realistic, was Mays performance in 2009 really that bad? He made some great plays and he made some poor ones. The poor ones seem correctable with good coaching and the 49ers secondary coaches have done well grooming FS Dashon Goldson and CB's Shawntae Spencer & Tarell Brown in recent years.
2nd rd, #49 - Perrish Cox, CB, Oklahoma St - If there was a truely great controverial pick, it was this one. Cox has great talent. I think he was one of the best returners (if not the best), in this years draft crop. He also has immense talent as a CB. I feel that Cox has shutdown ability. This combination of talent at CB and return ability really attracted me to him. Also, CB's were flying off the board at this point. From a talent perspective, I do not think any CB drafted after this spot is better from a pure talent standpoint. Now on to the negatives. Cox has major character issues. He had repeated discplinary issues. He also has 3 kids and was popped for driving on a suspended license. I did research the insubordination and disciplinary issues. I felt that a strong locker room (which the 49ers have) along with Singletary as coach would help. What I admittedly missed on is the 3 kids and driving infraction. Had I caught this, I would've passed as I dont' think that's what Singletary would approve of. The general consensus was that I reached on him...and I agree. Cox could've probably been had anywhere between rounds 3-6 because of character concerns.
3rd rd, #79 - Jon Asamoah, G, Illinois - This was a rather "safe" pick, but BPA at #79. However, it was also very much needed. The team hasn't committed long-term to Baas. It's possible that Baas breaks out in 2010, but he will also be an UFA. Asomoah is the second best Guard prospect available. John Jerry's name is being mentioned as well, but he is also a Tackle. Asomoah seems to have the mentality that a Singletary coached team would want. He plays with nastiness. Asomoah is also very intelligent and a good locker room personality. Asomoah may be able to play both G spots. he would compete against Baas right away.
4th rd, #113 - Andre Roberts, WR, Citadel - I was questioned about taking Roberts a little early. However, at the rate that WR's moved off the board in the 2nd and 3rd rounds, I thought Roberts was good value in the middle of the 4th round. Bigger names like Taylor Price, Carlton Mitchell, Marty Gilyard, Jordan Shipley and Jacoby Ford were all off the board. Roberts one true greatest asset is his hands. His greatest knock is the lower level of competition. He had a good showing at the combine. Roberts performed well at the Senior Bowl, which the 49ers like to see. This also alleviates some of the lower level of competition concerns. Plus, his final college production #'s are just astounding. His value as a punt returner combined with his hands may even get him drafted earlier.
5th rd, #145 - Micah Johnson, ILB, Kentucky - Going into the 5th round, things tend to get a little more muddled in terms of valuing prospects and where they whould be drafted. You start seeing players here that should have been gone in the 3rd round or a player that may not even be drafted. Micah Johnson could swing on either side of that pendulum. Johnson has been plagued by injury throughout his entire collegiate career. He may developed into a 3rd round prospect without all of his setbacks. At the same time, some teams may just knock Johnson off their big board altogether. The reason I drafted Johnson is that he reminds me a little of Takeo Spikes, except not as athletic. The 49ers need a big, strong LB to matchup with the FB and Johnson has these traits. The 49ers also drafted Scott McKillop in the 5th round last year. He's shown some flashes, but Spikes' replacement still remains unsettled. Plus, 49ers love those SEC players.
6th rd, #182 - Antonio Coleman, OLB, Auburn - Another SEC player and an outstanding pass rusher. 49ers re-signed Ahmad Brooks for two more years, but Manny Lawson is on the fence. The 49ers did well in tieing for 3rd in sacks for 2009. However, those sacks came in bunches and the 49ers have not established an elite pass rusher. Those sacks were by committee. Coleman was a dominant force in the SEC. Coleman is Auburn's #3 all-time sack leader. A minor injury hobbled him in 2009. He will be a project as a 3-4 OLB, but the skillset is there...especially with his pass rushing skills.
6th rd, #207 - Crezdon Butler, CB, Clemson - This was the 49ers' comp pick. This was more of an insurance policy if Cox doesn't get his head on straight. I don't think CB is the weakest position on the 49ers in terms of talent, but it is the position that gets hit the hardest by injury every year. Butler was part of a defense that ranked 15th in the nation last year. he was the CB that QB's avoided so he didn't put up guady statistics. The challenge will be much tougher in the NFL. He has decent size (6' & 195 lbs) and speed (4.4 40 range).
7th rd, #224 - Ekom Udofia, NT, Stanford - Udofia is projected to be a rotational player at best. However, his strength and size are his best attributes. These are similar traits to 49ers current NT, Aubrayo Franklin. Franklin had a breakout year yet the team has not committed him to a long-term deal. franklin was also a 6th round pick leading me to believe that Udofia is capable of a similar career path. There are reports that the 49ers are bringing him in for a workout.
Before the draft, I had identified the top needs as RT, LG and KR/PR. Lower priority needs for depth and long-term replacements for other positions include CB, SS, ILB, NT, and C. I walked away from this mock draft feeling pretty good about addressing those needs and prioritizing them accordingly. Davis and Asomoah would compete right away at RT and LG respectively. At the same time, Cox and Roberts would provide immediate help in the return game. Mays, and the other remaining selections address positions that do not have immediate needs, but will in the near future.
There were certain philosophies I tried to maintain last year while Scot McCloughan was the GM. I had read that McCloughan didn't feel particularly comfortable drafting CB's in the first round. He also likes "larger" RB's. He feels that the NFL is a "big man's" game. However, McCloughan is gone. If McCloughan were still calling the shots this year, I would've guessed that Haden and Spiller would be far down on the big board. But McCloughan isn't with the team anymore and to be quite honest, I haven't a clue on how his replacements may act on draft day. They could very well take Haden or Spiller.
With regards to "questionable" character, my feeling is that Singletary will take a chance on talent over character provided they are more closely related to immaturity instead of criminal issues. That's why I would predict Davis will could be drafted and miscalculated on Cox. Anyways, let me know your thoughts.