Imagine for a moment that your job is to cover the San Francisco 49ers. You’re walking through the team offices when the door to the mysterious draft room swings open just wide enough to catch a complete glimpse of the board on the other side of the room.
The image is fleeting, but you can decipher several names. Those names are listed in order of the 49ers’ draft preference. It’s their blueprint for what’s going to happen tonight in the first round of the NFL draft.
That exact scenario happened to me . . .
And then I awakened only to realize I was no more enlightened about the 49ers’ draft plan than I was when I went to sleep just hours before.
Hey, we can all dream, right?
Armed with only partial truths and a strong imagination, I will attempt to piece together the 49ers draft board for tonight’s first round. We’ll do this in three installments . . . just to milk the time between now and the beginning of the draft at 4:30 p.m.
In the first part, we examine the first six players on the 49ers’ draft board, and players the 49ers have virtually no chance to landing. This is because these players will be long gone, and the price is too steep for them to trade up to select.
Dream on …
1, Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma: Think “Bryant Young.” Enough said.
2, Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska: It’s a coin toss between Suh and McCoy. Suh lost this time, but he’ll probably win tonight as the No. 2 overall pick behind quarterback Sam Bradford.
3, Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State: He’s the safest of the offensive tackles in this group. He could start immediately for the 49ers – perhaps even at left tackle.
4, Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma: He is tough and very athletic. He’s a Day 1 starter on the right side, but he might be able to transition early in his career to left tackle.
5, Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma: The 49ers are not necessarily looking to select a quarterback to replace Alex Smith in 2010, but if Bradford fell in their laps – it’s not going to happen, folks – they would have no choice but to take him at No. 13.
6, Eric Berry, S, Tennessee: Is it possible he becomes the Michael Crabtree of this draft? That’s unlikely. He could go as early as to Kansas City at No. 5. But the 49ers have discussed the possibility he slides all the way to the 49ers at No. 13. If he is, it’s an easy selection.
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