With The Tenth Pick In the FanIQ Mock Draft, The San Francisco 49ers Select...
Here are the picks so far:
1. Detroit Lions - Aaron Curry, LB, Wake Forest
2. St Louis Rams - Eugene Monroe, OT, Virginia
3. Kansas City Chiefs - Jason Smith, OT, Baylor
4. Seattle Seahawks - Matthew Stafford, QB, Georgia
5. Cleveland Browns - Micahel Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech
6. Cincinnati Bengals - Michael Oher, OT, Mississippi
7. Oakland Raiders - BJ Raji, DT, Boston College
8. Jacksonville Jaguars - Everette Brown, LB, Florida State
9. Green Bay Packers - Brian Orakpo, DE, Texas
As much as I hope the Packers pass on Brian Orakpo so the Niners can grab him with their pick, I tend to agree with the experts and our mock draft that he won't be there for us. I anticipate the 49ers will choose Aaron Maybin from Penn State, who fits the 3-4 DE/MLB hybrid mold they need for their defense. He would look great playing opposite Manny Lawson with Takeo Spikes and Patrick Willis in the middle. It's also very possible that troubled knucklehead OT Andre Smith from Alabama is picked here. Even though he's done just about everything humanly possible to destroy his draft stock, coach Mike Singletary might see the raw ability and decide he can reach the young man and straighten him out.
NEEDS: WR, QB, OL, DL
That said, I hope the 49ers go a different route. Ideally I'd like to see them trade down, but I'm also very high on a player that I first saw two years ago and was really impressed with his fundamentals at his position.
With the 10th pick in the 2009 FanIQ Mock Draft, the San Francisco 49ers select Jeremy Maclin, Wide Receiver, University of Missouri.
It looks like Todd McShay's most recent Scouts, Inc. draft agrees with me. He and Kiper have had Maybin at the #10 pick for weeks, now he's changed his tune.
Maclin is basically the reason Chase Daniel received any Heisman consideration at all in 2007 with 80 catches for 1055 yards and 9 scores. He was essential to Missouri's BCS hopes that season, and followed it up with a 2008 campaign that saw him catch 102 balls for 1260 yards and 13 TDs. Additionally, the two-time All-American averaged over 1000 return yards a season in his college career and holds the school record for all-purpose yardage. He's not a big guy at 6-1, 198, but neither was Jerry Rice. Maclin has great hands, runs strong routes, and has that big play to-the-house speed (4.31 personal best in the 40) that makes him dangerous on the outside as well as in the slot.
The Niners have several directions they could go here. The quarterback position is still not 100% assured at this point, but it is unlikely they'll go QB in the first round again after getting burned by picking Alex Smith. McShay has said he doesn't believe Andre Smith will fall past the #10 spot in the draft, and San Francisco could use another big, skillful o-lineman to protect whoever may be under center. Maybin is still likely to be available, and Singletary is a defense-minded coach, so it certainly wouldn't be a poor choice.
It is believed that the 49ers, with Coach Samurai in his first full season, will go with a more run-based offense and make Frank Gore their focal point. However, if they add Maclin to a receiving corp that has future Hall of Famer Isaac Bruce, super-soph Josh Morgan, the underrated Jason Hill, and a re-focused tight end in Vernon Davis, there will be a lot of weapons available to Shaun Hill, who has demonstrated he can throw the deep ball as needed.
Jeremy Maclin looks very comfortable making all the catches on the field. He doesn't shy away from contact and has a work ethic and level of maturity that will help him in the pro game. He scored a 25 on his Wonderlic Test, which is well above the average for players at his position. In fact, coming to the 49ers may be ideal for the start of his career, as Isaac Bruce will be returning for 2009 and would be an excellent mentor for the 20 year old. While Michael Crabtree of Texas Tech gets all the headlines and will likely be the first wide receiver off the board on April 25, I have been very impressed with Maclin. If the 49ers do decide to select him, I don't think it's a pick they will have to apologize for.
BUST ALERT: The last player the 49ers should even consider drafting is USC quarterback Mark Sanchez. If for no other reason because everyone is so impressed with him. For the past week all I've heard about is what a wonderfully mature person he is and how he interviews so well and his pro day was tremendous. He still only has 16 starts in college and with the all the hype surrounding him, the groundwork is being laid for him to turn into a colossal bust in the NFL. The 49ers have a pro QB in Shaun Hill that went 5-3 as a starter last year and were two yards away from possibly stopping the Arizona Cardinals from making the playoffs, let alone the Super Bowl. The team will be better this year, and I think the team can at least make the playoffs with Hill at the helm. There will be late-round value at QB. Don't blow the #10 overall pick on one here.