Originally written on In The Neutral Zone  |  Last updated 11/16/14
When Todd McShay released his Mock Draft 4.0 it had plenty of changes and actually mirrored my upcoming update for most of the top 10 picks. However, what I really focused on was the three picks the San Francisco 49ers made. I would like to preface my analysis by stating that I do not believe the 49ers will actually pick at any of the three selections they have in the first two rounds. If they have a player they fall in love with they can move up and get him (think Kenny Vaccaro or Tavon Austin). If they are on the clock and have multiple players they want still on the board, look for them to trade their pick for a first rounder next year and select whoever falls to them two picks later. I wouldn’t even rule out trading their first round pick for a first rounder next year, and their second pick for a later second rounder and a second rounder in next years draft. Trent Baalke loves to accumulate picks and be very active. Let’s get to the draft grade for the 49ers if Todd McShay were correct. 49ers Draft Grade: C+ 1st round (31st overall) NT John Jenkins, Georgia I do not think this is a terrible pick but I would not call it a big winner. Part of McShay’s rationale is that Jenkins could play the DE in a 3-4 scheme. If that were to be true, then this pick could be even more valuable. The only problem is, in my eyes, Jenkins can only play NT. at 6’3″ and 350 lbs. there is no question he can play the NT position. What I do have trouble doubting is his ability to play outside. There’s no way he can pursue a RB on the outside or sniff out a bubble screen, he’s just too heavy. Because Jenkins is limited to NT in my eyes this isn’t a strong pick. The 49ers signed former LSU star and Kansas City chief top pick Glenn Dorsey who will see time at NT. They also have former Notre Dame NT Ian Williams who they locked up for 3 years this off season. I 100% agree that the 49ers need a new DE, it’s just that I, unlike Todd McShay, don’t think Jenkins can fill that role. If the 49ers were to address the defensive line with this pick according to McShay’s draft I would think they go with Datone Jones out of UCLA or Margus Hunt out of SMU. 2nd round (34th overall) TE Zach Ertz, Stanford Look, It’s not that I don’t think Ertz is a good player, it’s that I don’t think this is a good pick. First, I’ll try to guess at McShay’s rationale. Last year the 49ers ran a lot of two TE sets. They ran all of those sets to keep “back-up” TE Delanie Walker on the field as a vertical threat. Since the second TE was used so much in San Fran these past two years, McShay sees a whole and fills it with another athletic TE who can really catch the ball and is from Jim Harbaugh’s Stanford Cardinal to boot. At face value, this makes sense. However, the growing sentiment here in the Bay Area is that with the acquisition of Anquan Boldin, the 49ers will run far more three WR sets than two TE sets. This is largely due to the new dynamic offense expected under Colin Kaepernick. This would make Ertz a luxury pick when the 49ers do need to fill some serious holes. Assuming they’ve already addressed the D-line they need a safety (Matt Elam or John Cyprien). They could use a big CB (Blidi Wreh-Wilson) and if they wanted offense the would go WR (Justin Hunter or Robert Woods). 2nd round (61st overall) S John Cyprien, Florida International I love this pick. the 49ers come in to the draft with one real goal, draft a starting safety. They lost Dashon Goldosn to Tampa Bay and signed Craig Dahl from St. Louis. Dahl is not expected to be the starter. Most assume the 49ers will be drafting this years starting free safety. We also know what the 49ers desire in safeties, pure hitting power. Cyprien could be the hardest hitter in this draft. My problems with McShay’s mock draft is that I don’t think the 49ers will wait this long to address the safety position as well as the fact that I don’t believe Cyprien will last this long. This is an excellent year to need to draft a safety as there are probably __ safeties who could start from day one. Those safeties are Kenny Vaccarro, Eric Ried, John Cyprien, Matt Elam, and DJ Swearinger. I expect the 49ers to pick one they like and aggressively pursue him. If they have already taken a safety at this point, look for them to draft a big CB, a name to keep in mind is David Amerson.
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