Triple Shot: San Francisco 49ers
By Eric Judd
San Francisco 49ers
Major Need: Cornerback
Best Shot: Desmond Trufant CB Washington. Sitting at (nearly) the end of the first round, San Francisco won’t be in a position to draft the class’ top cornerback. Trufant, however would provide an immediate upgrade to, and replacement for, Chris Culliver, who is on his way out of San Francisco, for more than one reason. Trufant is a physical cover corner with decent size (right about 6’ 190lbs), speed (estimated in the 4.4 range), and the skills to play the ball in the air. Trufant can jump for days, and should shine in drills at the NFL Scouting Combine in February.
Long Shot: Tharold Simon CB LSU It’s never a bad bet to draft the leader of Cornerback University, better known as LSU. Simon might not be anywhere near the quality of the last 2 CBs drafted from LSU (Patrick Peterson in 2011 and Morris Claiborne in 2012), he is a big CB (6’2” 192) and knows how to get involved with receivers and backs alike. With his physicality, you would like to see Simon get off WR blocks better but with his tools, and the proper coaching system in place, Simon could be a solid brick in the 49ers secondary foundation.
Shot in the Dark: Robert Alford CB SE Louisiana Small school player with big numbers. Exactly the kind of risk you take on day 3 of the draft. Especially when your franchise was 5 yards from a Championship. Robert Alford, even though he played in the illustrious Southland conference, Alford has quality experience in both press and zone coverage. His has good feet and better top end speed. It will be important to watch his hips and backpedal at the scouting combine, as his most important skills were rarely tested in college. Alford is a low risk, high-reward type player, and would be a good addition to the abused San Francisco secondary.