While the Bay Area deals with major heartbreak as our precious San Jose Sharks and Golden State Warriors were both eliminated from the playoffs this week, we still have one thing to brighten our spirits: the NFL Draft is upon us.
In honor of the day that will change many young men’s lives forever as they embark on the biggest transition of their life, I took the liberty of creating a mock draft to predict which of these young men will be heading to San Francisco this weekend. This mock draft does not feature any trades, but like I have stated in my previous article, I believe trading up in the draft would be the best course of action for the San Francisco 49ers. So here is my realistic mock draft for the 49ers without them trading any of their picks:
Pick 30: Kyle Fuller, CB – Virginia Tech
With a draft loaded with depth at the cornerback position, the 49ers can still get a top notch defensive back at the end of the first round. With plenty of experience, playing since his freshman year and also being a large contributor on special teams, Fuller could be an immediate impact player for the 49ers.
Although only listed at 6 feet, his 128.0 inch broad jump is among the best at his position. He could be a great fit in the 49ers’ dime packages, and I can see him becoming a solid starter in no time at all with the right coaching.
Pick 56: Marqise Lee, WR – USC
Okay, I admit this would be a bit of a stretch, even though his stock has been dropping lately due to concerns regarding his ability to stay healthy and how he struggles to break tackles. Marqise Lee could be a very ideal fit for the 49ers. He has the size and speed to always be able to contest for the ball and could strike fear into the hearts of safeties with his ability to get deep.
Pick 61: Jaylen Watkins, CB – Florida.
When you can match up against some of the quickest receivers in the SEC in college, you deserve to go in the second round. Watkins is an under the radar guy in a stacked draft of cornerbacks, and with the 49ers losing two starters in free agency this year, they can’t be afraid to pull the trigger on a few corners come draft day. While the ideal Watkins would be the one out of Clemson, Jaylen is extremely versatile and has that “it” factor about him.
Pick 77: David Yankey, G – Stanford
With extremely good body control and strength, Yankey would be a great fit for San Francisco. With Iupati’s recent string of injuries and contract running out, this could be a great player to jump into the starting line up in a few years. Oh, and obviously the Sanford-Harbaugh ties are there as well.
Pick 96: Christian Kirksey, OLB – Iowa
With the Aldon Smith debacle continuing to grow every offseason, there have been rumors of a suspension issued by the league. If this is the case, San Francisco will need to build depth at the position and Christian Kirksey out of Iowa could easily fit the bill. With three years of starting experience at Iowa, Kirksey has impeccable instincts and is very disruptive in the run game and could help the fellow All-Pro linebackers on the 49ers get in the backfield.
Pick 100: Craig Loston, S – LSU
Loston could fit what the 49ers do defensively at the safety position as he is a very solid tackler and very fluid in his movements. While he can be exposed in play action situations, the physical tools are there and sitting out a few years before starting could develop Loston into an impact player. San Francisco could have two LSU safeties on the back end of the defense in a few years.
Pick 129: George Uko, DE – USC
Justin Smith isn’t getting any younger, so drafting his protégé is a necessity for the 49ers this year. Uko is similar to Justin in the sense that the both have inhuman upper body strength that would allow them to manhandle the opposing lineman if they get in their frame. Uko could come in and play 10-15 snaps per game in his rookie year rotating in with Justin Smith and Ray McDonald.
Pick 170: TJ Jones, WR – Notre Dame
Extremely reliable hands, polished route running and has a knack for faking out opposing defensive backs. I like the 49ers taking two wideouts in this draft as it is common for receivers to end up as busts coming out of college. Jones could end up being a perfect slot receiver for San Francisco.
Pick 242: Tajh Boyd, QB – Clemson
One of, if not my all-time favorite college player (coming from a pretty die-hard Clemson fan). Although the 49ers acquired Blaine Gabbert via trade with the Jaguars this offseason, I still want to see them draft a quarterback to compete with Gabbert for the #2 spot behind Kap. Tajh is a proven winner and was one of the most dominant players in the ACC for the past three years. He has similar skill sets to Kaepernick coming out of college, and could fit into the 49ers system very nicely.
Pick 243: James Stone, C – Tennessee
With the 49ers not resigning their starting center in Jonathan Goodwin, it is resumed that longtime backup Daniel Kilgore will get the nod to become the starter, but that does not mean there shouldn’t be a little competition. A solid player during his tenure at Tennessee, Stone could also be a factor when the 49ers enter their jumbo formations.
Pick 245: Kevin Graf, OT – USC
The 49ers love big bodies. And so does their franchise rushing leader Frank Gore. No team likes playing the 49ers due to their smash mouth style on offense where they will line up 6-7 offensive linemen on a play and let Gore run wild behind the behemoths. Graf is a big body that could rotate into these formations right away, but is not necessarily starter material right off the bat. Especially when the 49ers have two of the top tackles in the league currently.
Go follow me on twitter so you can hear all of my venting this upcoming weekend during the NFL Draft!
Make sure you check out the rest of the articles written about the 49ers on isportsweb to get caught up on the 49ers off season!