49ers 2013 mock draft: 4-round predictions
The San Francisco 49ers accumulated five picks in the first three rounds; that is considered the range for potential starters, and the 49ers obviously stockpiled for this year due to the value in the first three rounds in 2013. However the 49ers can’t have another 2012 type of draft, where they pick a wide receiver in the first round that never had an impact during the season and a running back in the second round that was woefully underwhelming; followed by draft picks in the fourth through seventh round that were either released or practice squad players.
The 49ers 2012 draft left a bad taste in every 49ers fan’s mouth, but let’s take a look with the 49ers 2013 mock draft to find ways to get that bad taste out of your mouth. With the 31st pick the 49ers can go in a lot of directions, but I have a feeling they will go with defense.
31. San Francisco 49ers select: John Jenkins nose tackle Georgia
The biggest debate for the 49ers with the 31st pick is whether to go with Johnathan Hankins or John Jenkins. Hankins is of course the better prospect, but he looked sluggish at the Combine and his tape at Ohio State shows a player that gets fatigued easily.
The 49ers need depth on the defensive line, and John Jenkins can provide that depth and eventually be the long-term replacement of Isaac Sopoaga. Jenkins would probably be better suited as a backup, but he’s backup that can start if you need him too.
John Jenkins is a smart pick for the bottom of the 2nd round, because he will definitely be scooped up before the 49ers pick by the Ravens or even the Jaguars.
34. San Francisco 49ers select: Justin Hunter wide receiver Tennessee
Justin Hunter is a better overall prospect than Cordarrelle Patterson who is considered by most of the draft herd as the consensus number one wide receiver prospect in this draft. Hunter is a Patterson who can run routes.
Hunter is a Patterson who actually catches the ball with his hands versus his body. Hunter is the anti-Randy Moss, because he has the speed and freakish athletic ability, but with a work ethic.
The 49ers receiving core was average in 2011 and average in 2012, because A.J. Jenkins didn’t work out. Safety is another consideration with this pick, but Hunter won’t last until the 49ers pick again with the 61st pick.
61. David Amerson cornerback N.C. State
Amerson may not last until the 61st pick, but his biggest asset for the 49ers is he’s a playmaker. Amerson has some of the best ball skills out of every player in the draft.
He may take too many chances, but he’s always looking to turn the ball over. The 49ers don’t have many of those players on defense, and adding Amerson to the secondary will make the group as a whole a lot better.
74. Travis Frederick center Wisconsin
Jonathan Goodwin will turn 35 in December and the 49ers will need to find a replacement for the future. There is no one better as a replacement for Goodwin than Travis Frederick.
He’s a tough hard-nosed center, and has versatility to play guard if need be. That added value of his versatility and the potential to solidify the 49ers offensive line into the future is immeasurable.
93. Da’Rick Rogers wide receiver Tennessee Tech
The 49ers continue to go offense with another physical freak of an athlete with Rogers. He has off the field issues, but the 49ers organization can mentor him to keep him out of the headlines.
What Rogers brings to the picture is another tough physical receiver that fights to get the ball. He would fit the West Coast offense like a glove, and give the 49ers a variety of receiving options beyond Michael Crabtree.
125. Cornelius Washington outside linebacker Georgia
The talk of the Combine with the linebacker group was Cornelius Washington. This guy came out of nowhere finishing in the top five of the majority of the major skill tests.
He’s a developmental prospect, but he can become a blue chip player down the line in a variety of areas on defense. The 49ers need linebacker depth, and Washington can help add to it.
So far the six players mentioned have the talent to become starters on the 49ers in the next two to three seasons. Some of them can even become instant contributors in their rookie seasons.
That’s all you can ask for in a draft, because the first four rounds are always the most important to find value. These players will add a lot of value to the 49ers in 2013, and could be the catalyst to another Super Bowl run.
James Cobern is a Featured Journalist for TPF and can be contacted at JCobern@ThePenaltyFlagBlog.com.