Here’s how the 49ers 2012 draft will play out.
1. They’re going to draft the best player available in the first round, and he will be Stanford TE Coby Fleener. He will instantly improve the Niners’ biggest weakness – their passing attack – and he will eventually replace Delanie Walker, who will be a free agent after this season.
2. They’re going to trade up in the second round for Amini Silatolu, a guard from Midwestern State who’s drawn comparisons to Mike Iupati. They’ll swap second round picks with their trade partner, and then they’ll include their fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh round picks for Silatolu, who will be the Niners’ right guard of the future. In 2012 he will compete with Daniel Kilgore – the Niners’ center of the future – for the right guard job, along with a veteran the team will sign after the draft. The veteran will probably win the job this year and Silatolu will back him up while Kilgore backs up the starting center, Jonathan Goodwin.
Update: My math was off. To move up the necessary 15 spots to draft Silatolu in the 2nd round, the Niners would have to trade their fourth and fifth round picks this year and their third round pick in 2013. That’s still a good trade for the Niners – they need a potential stud interior lineman more than they need a few mid round picks.
3. They’re going to draft the best available receiver with their third-round pick. Cal’s Marvin Jones would be ideal. If he’s already been picked, the Niners will draft Miami’s Tommy Streeter.
Those three draft picks will be the 51st, 52nd and 53rd players on the Niners’ 2012 roster.