The 49ers will have to remain in wait-and-see mode through the first 90 minutes of the draft on Saturday, April 25. It would be pretty shocking if the 49ers traded up, but a trade back is a definite possibility.
NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock said the first thing the 49ers have to determine is whether there is a “franchise quarterback” they would select with the No. 10 overall pick. Mayock has USC’s Mark Sanchez rated as his top quarterback, and worth of a top-10 selection.
Here’s what Mayock had to say this morning about how the 49ers should be approaching the No. 10 overall pick:
“They have to decide whether or not there’s a franchise quarterback that they want. If Sanchez is the guy they feel can be the cornerstone for their franchise, they have to do everything they can to get him. If not, if they feel comfortable with (Shaun) Hill or (Alex) Smith or Damon Huard, I think they have to look at the best player at No. 10 amongst the edge rusher group and the wide receiver group.
“I would anticipate if a Michael Crabtree or Jeremy Maclin was there, they’d have to look real hard at them and then you look at the defensive ends and outside linebackers. Brian Orakpo . . . I think it’s too early for Aaron Maybin and for Larry English, probably Brian Cushing. I think you’re looking at Orakpo. I doubt Aaron Curry is there, and the two wide receivers.”
Q: If the 49ers don’t think Sanchez is that franchise guy, will they be able to trade out of that spot?
Mayock: “Every team in the top 10 is looking to trade out. I’ve never seen a situation quite like this. And the theory is, everybody knows we’re upside down with this draft. The rookies are getting paid way too much money proportionate to their value. So teams are scared to death to miss in the top 10. Here’s what’s happening, which I think is really interesting and I’m (eager) to see if this trend plays out: That old trade chart that all the teams used to use, it began to go out the window last year and I think, like the economy, it’s completely out the window now.
“So I think any team in the top 10 that’s looking to get out will listen to any reasonable offer. And more than ever, teams are looking to get down to (draft spots) 15 to 25 because you can get the same kind of player at 20 than you can at seven, and you pay one-third the money. Would the 49ers look to get out of there if one of those guys isn’t there? Absolutely, especially if they can pick up an extra second-round pick or third-round pick.”
Q: After those four offensive tackles you really like, after that what’s out there? Are there other guys who can step in and start at right tackle for a team within the first three rounds?
Mayock: “There’s probably eight offensive tackles that will go in the first two rounds. Last year we had eight go in the first round. The problem this year, after those eight, there’s a drop off. I think there will be a run again on offensive tackles. They’ll go earlier than they should, and other guys will get artificially pushed up.”
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Here is some more of what Mayock had to say:
–There are three first-round QBs: Sanchez, Matthew Stafford and Josh Freeman.
–If the Broncos, owners of the No. 12 pick, don’t try to get Sanchez, he thinks they’re crazy.
–QB Pat White (
–QB Nate Davis (
–Mayock expects off-the-field issues to push WR Percy Harvin (
–The top three offensive tackles (Eugene Monroe, Jason Smith and Andre Smith) will go quickly. At the No. 9, Mayock said the Packers could go with that fourth offensive tackle, Michael Oher, or Texas DE/OLB Brian Orakpo of
–Second day finds at offensive tackle are more difficult to find. He said Garrett Reynolds (North Carolina) in the fifth round, Florida’s Phil Trautwein, who has some medical issues is a good pick in the fifth or sixth); Jason Watkins (Florida) is a good RT prospect, as is Gerald Cadogan (Penn State).
–After no WR went in the first round last year, a few will go this year. He listed Crabtree and Maclin at the top; Percy Harvin is sliding; and Darrius Heyward-Bey (
–Second-day finds at wide receiver, fourth or fifth round, are Johnny Knox (Abilene Christian), Jarett Dillard (Rice) and Deon Butler (
–Boston College’s B.J. Raji has separated himself from the rest of the nose tackles because he is big enough and stout enough to play in a two-gap scheme, but he’s also quick enough to provide up-field penetration to be a pass rusher. The other defensive tackles don’t have that versatility. Peria Jerry (
–Ohio State DB Malcolm Jenkins is a “really good football player.” The speed concerns have some merit. Some teams have him rated as the No. 1 free safety, other teams have him as the first or second corner. He said Jenkins could go as high as No. 5 to
–This is the best he has ever seen for the amount of 4-3 defensive ends in college who will transition to 3-4 outside linebacker. Aaron Curry (
–In breaking down Orakpo vs. Maybin . . . Orakpo is the only one who can play DE or OLB at the next level. He’s better against the run. Maybin has a more explosive first step. He’s a natural pass rusher, but he had trouble against the run in college. He should have remained in school. He sees Maybin selected in the 20-to-32 range.
–Mayock has DE Robert Ayers as the third-best player in the draft. He said three years from now, he will be the best defensive player to come out of this draft. Under the right defensive coordinator, Ayers could be used as a Justin Tuck-type player.
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Mayock’s top 20 players for NFL draft
1, OT Eugene Monroe (
2, WR Michael Crabtree (
3, DE Robert Ayers (
4, RB Knowshon Moreno (Georgia)
5, TE Brandon Pettigrew (
6, OT Jason Smith (Baylor)
7, LB Aaron Curry (
8, OT Andre Smith (
9, DT B.J. Raji (
10, QB Mark Sanchez (USC)
11, DT Peria Jerry (
12, QB Matthew Stafford (
13, DE Tyson Jackson (LSU)
14, CB Malcolm Jenkins (
15, WR Jeremy Maclin (
16, QB Josh Freeman (
17, CB Darius
18, OT Michael Oher (
19, DE/LB Brian Orakpo (
20, RB Chris Wells (
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