These aren’t necessarily the picks I would make. These are the picks I think Trent Baalke will make.
Round 1. Danny Shelton, NT, Washington. Baalke likes to build from the inside out. Every player he has drafted in Round 1 primarily plays in the middle of the field (except A.J. Jenkins). Shelton is a nose tackle – he plays in the middle of the defensive line. Baalke will draft him hoping Jim Tomsula can make him the next Vince Wilfork or Haloti Ngata.
Round 2. Laken Tomlinson, G/C, Duke. (This assumes Stephone Anthony already has been picked.) No one blocked Shelton better than Tomlinson at the Senior Bowl. Tomlinson is a powerful interior lineman who can play guard or center.
Round 3. Jaquiski Tartt, SS, Samford. Tartt is 6-1, 221 pounds, he runs a 4.47 40-yard dash and a 3-cone drill of 7.03. He is big and athletic enough to cover fast tight ends like Jimmy Graham.
Round 4. Mike Hull, ILB, Penn State. Hull has traits Baalke likes in an inside linebacker. Compare his athletic numbers to NaVorro Bowman’s.
Hull: 6-0, 237 pounds, 4.64 40-yard dash, 31 bench-press reps of 225 pounds, 6.99 3-cone drill, 4.15 20-yard shuttle, 110-inch broad jump. 30.5-inch vertical jump, 30.5-inch arms.
Bowman: 6-0, 242 pounds, 4.62 40-yard dash, 26 bench-press reps of 225 pounds, 6.70 3-cone drill, 4.20 20-yard shuttle, 127-inch broad jump, 35.5-inch vertical jump, 33-inch arms.
Bowman is a better athlete than Hull, but not that much better. Hull is one of the most athletic inside linebackers in the draft. He has the strength and speed to play “Mike” for the Niners.
Round 4 (comp). Charles Gaines, CB, Louisville. One of the best cover corners in the draft. He will fall to the fourth round because he’s small (5-10, 180 lbs.). But the Niners aren’t put off by small corners. They recently signed Shareece Wright (5-11, 182 lbs.).
Round 5. Ty Montgomery, WR/KR, Stanford. Big, explosive kick returner and slot receiver. Injuries have slowed him down a bit.
Round 6. Matt Jones, RB, Florida. Big, powerful running back who averaged 4.9 yards per carry in the SEC last season.
Round 7. Bryan Bennett, QB, Southeastern Louisiana. Small-school prospect who has the talent of a first-round pick.
Round 7 (comp). Terry Poole, OT, San Diego State. A powerful run-blocker who can play right tackle or guard.