How Ginn acquisition might influence 49ers’ draft

If the draft falls perfectly for the 49ers on Thursday in the first round of the NFL draft, they end up with an offensive tackle (Anthony Davis?) and a defensive back (Joe Haden or Earl Thomas?).

 

The 49ers have two picks next Friday, too, when the second and third rounds are held.

I began writing this blog entry this morning. Then, news broke the 49ers had acquired receiver/return specialist Ted Ginn Jr. in a trade from the Dolphins. This is the next paragraph I was constructing:

 

At that point, the 49ers would like to address the return game and, perhaps, something in the defensive front seven. The club could look for a big defensive lineman. Or they could look for an outside pass rusher.

 

Now, the 49ers might take a player who has return skills, but it’s no longer such a huge priority with Ginn on the roster.

 

I thought Mardy Gilyard (Cincinnati) or Dexter McCluster (Ole Miss) were players who could receive serious consideration from the 49ers in the second round. Now, I’m not so sure. Perhaps a defensive back with return skills, such as Alabama‘s Javier Arenas, might make more sense.

 

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The 49ers just confirmed the trade for Ginn. They’ll send a fifth-round pick, No. 145 overall, to the Dolphins.

 

“First of all, I am very thankful that Trent (Baalke) was able to make this work out,” coach Mike Singletary said. “We added a talented player, that fits a need. He’s a bundle of potential and his upside is off the charts. This guy can fly.”

 

Said Baalke, the team’s director of player personnel: “We are very excited to add a player to our team with the explosiveness that Ted possesses. Ted gives our coaching staff another quality player to utilize on game day.”

 

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What does this do for those who wanted to see the 49ers’ select Clemson running back C.J. Spiller in the first round? I don’t think it does anything. If the 49ers liked Spiller before today, they’ll like him next week. But I always considered the possibility that the 49ers would draft Spiller as a long shot (much the same way I thought it was a long shot the 49ers would acquire Ginn). But if the 49ers like smaller-speedy guys, they would’ve shown more patience in seeing if talented Kory Sheets could develop.

 

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Whether the 49ers sign veteran free-agent outside linebacker Travis LaBoy or not, I’d think the 49ers would be wise to select a talented pass-rusher at some point in the first three rounds.

 

The 49ers’ pass-rush-by-committee was actually pretty effective last season. But they could always use more pop. Parys Haralson is the team’s best pass-rusher. Ahmad Brooks is a promising-yet-unproven commodity. And it seems questionable whether Manny Lawson fits into the team’s long-term plans.

 

The acquisition of Ginn might mean the 49ers will be more determined to invest in their pass rush in the first couple days. If the 49ers take a pass-rusher in the first round, I’d expect Sergio Kindle (Texas) to be the most reasonable option.

 

In the second and third rounds, there could be plenty of options. Here are three of them:

 

Everson Griffen (USC): He could be a first-round pick. If he starts to slip into the second round, though, the 49ers – because they now have a return specialist – will consider moving up a few spots to select him. I’m not entirely sure where he would fit on first and second downs, but he’d line up on third downs as a defensive end in the team’s four-man front to get after the quarterback.

 

Ricky Sapp (Clemson): He’s a full year removed from surgery to repair a torn ACL. He took only two pre-draft visits (Jets and Cardinals), but he said he had a nice conversation with 49ers director of pro personnel Trevor Baalke. Sapp is perfect to be an every-down outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme.

 

Koa Misi (Utah): The Santa Rosa native might still be around in the third round for the 49ers. His versatility would be a good fit for any team that runs a 3-4 scheme. The 49ers are one of the teams that have seemingly showed interest in him.

 

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