Wednesday, April 25, 2012

2012 NFL Draft: What Will the 49ers Do?

Well folks, draft enthusiasts will likely not get a wink of sleep tonight, resembling a kid on Christmas Eve as the NFL Draft, the biggest draft of the three major sports, gets kicked off Thursday afternoon.

2012 NFL Draft's Eve
The three-day extravaganza will begin with rounds 1 and 2 going Thursday, and unless they can swing a deal to get into one of the first two rounds, the Raiders can pretty much sit back and watch Thursday and Friday. We all know about them giving up their first rounders this year and next to get Carson Palmer, and they'll also be without a 2nd rounder Friday unless Reggie McKenzie gets creative. It's a big reason why we've focused so much on the 49ers and their draft needs and prospects heading into this draft, the Raiders just don't have enough value picks to even talk about yet and unless they strike gold in round 3, they won't be improving via the draft this year. Now, when Saturday rolls around, they'll be doing their best to fill some of their many holes with mid-round picks. Therefore, most of the focus in the Bay Area Thursday and Friday at least, will be around the Red and Gold. However, due to the state of the team, their particular needs and who may be available to them at 30, there's been a lot of talk that the 49ers could be a team that either trades up in the first round or out of it all together. A team like the Browns, for instance, could be a team worth consulting, as they would love to get their hands on Brandon Weeden, and are not sure if he'll last until they pick in round 2. The 49ers would ideally like to get a play-making receiver, or a right guard they can pencil into their starting lineup, but they're in a unique situation that they haven't been in for years, as they really don't have a bunch of glaring holes that they need to fill with a bunch of draft picks. It's why they could package some picks together and maybe move up to get a stud guard like David DeCastro or burner WR like Stephen Hill, or, ideally, Michael Floyd.

We won't know exactly until tomorrow, but the 49ers have been saying they have their eye on a particular player they believe will be available when they pick at 30. Not exactly sure who that player is yet, but that piece of info alone leads me to believe they'll end up keeping pick 30 rather than moving up or down. We'll have full NFL Draft coverage here at The Bay Area Sports Journal all day Thursday, posting notes periodically throughout the evening, so be sure to check here first for all your 49ers and Raiders draft news, notes and analysis. We didn't really talk much about who the 49ers could go after in round 2 yet, and we'll discuss that much more tomorrow after Round 1 is in the books and we see the pool of players still available. A few names I like just off the top of my head who could quite possibly last that late though are Guards Amini Silatolu (Midwestern State) and Brandon Washington (Miami), WR Alshon Jeffery (Alabama), D-Ends Cam Johnson (Virginia) and Jared Crick (Nebraska) or DT's Almeda Ta'amu (Washington) and Brandon Thompson (Clemson). A dark-horse candidate could be talented Virginia corner, Chase Minnifield (projected to go anywhere from late-1st to late to the 4th round), especially if they don't get a CB in Round 1. Any of these guys I think would provide the Niners much needed depth to areas this team could use, and any would be fine by me in round 2 at pick 62, depending on who they take at 30.

Ahh, the NFL draft, perhaps the most "speculative" time in all of sports and a time in which every NFL team and fan get's a glimmer of hope that their team gets that game-changer, that play-maker with their top pick. That is, unless your a fan or member of the Raiders, of course, then you have to wait until day 3 for your excitement. And we wonder why this blog is so heavily tilted towards 49ers coverage?

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