hornface.com just held their annual mock draft with the Examiners from the other teams. As the 49ers’ representative, I had to make a decision on the team’s best option with the 7th overall pick. Fortunately, LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson was available and I didn’t hesitate to draft him.
Here’s how the entire first round mock draft went:
1 Carolina Panthers – QB Cam Newton (Auburn)
2 Denver Broncos – DL Marcell Dareus (Alabama)
3 Buffalo Bills – QB Blaine Gabbert (Missouri)
4 Cincinnati Bengals – WR A.J. Green (Georgia)
5 Arizona Cardinals – LB Von Miller (Texas A&M)
6 Cleveland Browns – WR Julio Jones (Alabama)
7 San Francisco 49ers – CB Patrick Peterson (LSU)
8 Tennessee Titans – DT Nick Fairley (Auburn)
9 Dallas Cowboys – OT Tyron Smith (USC)
10 Washington Redskins – DE Robert Quinn (UNC)
11 Houston Texans – DT Cameron Jordan (Cal)
12 Minnesota Vikings – DE Da’Quan Bowers (Clemson)
13 Detroit Lions – CB Prince Amukamara (Nebraska)
14 St. Louis Rams – DE Ryan Kerrigan (Purdue)
15 Miami Dolphins – QB Ryan Mallett (Arkansas)
16 Jacksonville Jaguars – LB Mason Foster (Washington)
17 New England Patriots – DE J.J. Watt (Wisconsin)
18 San Diego Chargers – RB Mark Ingram (Alabama)
19 New York Giants – C Mike Pouncey (Florida)
20 Tampa Bay Buccaneers – DE Aldon Smith (Missouri)
21 Kansas City Chiefs – OL Anthony Costanzo (Boston College)
22 Indianapolis Colts – OT Nate Solder (Colorado)
23 Philadelphia Eagles – OT Gabe Carimi (Wisconsin)
24 New Orleans Saints – DT Muhammad Wilkerson (Temple)
25 Seattle Seahawks – DT Corey Liuget (Illinois)
26 Baltimore Ravens – CB Jimmy Smith (Colorado)
27 Atlanta Falcons – DE Adrian Clayborn (Iowa)
28 New England Patriots – OG Danny Watkins (Baylor)
29 Chicago Bears – OT Derek Sherrod (Mississippi State)
30 New York Jets – LB Akeem Ayers (UCLA)
31 Pittsburgh Steeleres – OG Ben Ijalana (Villanova)
32 Green Bay Packers – LB Brooks Reed (Arizona)
Obviously having Peterson drop to the 7th slot would be a huge steal for the 49ers. Their top need in the draft is to address their weaknesses at cornerback and pass rusher. Having the top cornerback available gives them a great hope for their future.
Cornerbacks Nate Clements and Shawntae Spencer have been OK in recent years but adding Peterson to the mix gives the 49ers a huge playmaker. There have been rumors as to whether or not Peterson could make the move to safety. Regardless of what the 49ers have planned for Peterson, getting a talent like him into the mix would benefit the defense one way or another.
Here are some career notes:
Started 30-of-39 games at right cornerback for LSU, recording 135 tackles (104 solos) with three stops for losses totaling12 yards, two quarterback pressures, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery…Intercepted seven passes, gaining171 yards (24.43 avg) and one touchdown on returns…Deflected 22 pass attempts…Returned 32 kickoffs for 932 yards(29.13 avg) and 27 punts for 424 yards (15.70 avg) and two touchdowns…Blocked one field goal…Returned a blockedfield goal for 53 yards and another score…Ranks seventh all-time at Louisiana State with 171 yards gained oninterception returns…Gained 134 yards on interception returns in 2010, placing sixth in Louisiana State season annals…Tied Mark Roman (vs. Tulane in 1996) and Clinton Burrell (vs. Tulane in 1974) for sixth on the school’s game record chartwith 85 yards on interception returns vs. Louisiana-Monroe in 2010…Tied Demetrius Hookfin (1999-02) for sixth inLouisiana State history with 29 passes defended…Defended 15 passes in 2009, tying Norman Lejeune (2002) for eighthon Louisiana State’s season record list…Gained 257 all-purpose yards vs. North Carolina in 2010, ranking sixth onLouisiana State’s game record chart…Set s school record with 32 kickoff returns in 2010, topping Trindon Holliday’s 27returns in 2008…Topped Domanick Davis’ school record (618 in 1999) by gaining 932 yards on kickoff returns in 2010, asthat mark ranks fifth in Southeastern Conference annals…Gained 163 yards on kickoff returns vs. Arkansas in 2010,placing second on the school’s game record list, as that mark is just a yard shy of Trindon Holliday’s Louisiana Staterecord (164 vs. Georgia in 2008)…Ranks sixth in Louisiana State season annals with 418 yards on punt returns in2010…Gained 157 yards on punt returns vs. North Carolina in 2010, surpassed only by Norman Jefferson on the school’sseason record chart (169 vs. Mississippi in 1983)…Returned a punt 87 yards vs. North Carolina in 2010, tying as thesixth-highest in school history.
If Peterson had not been available, Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara might have been the next best option for the 49ers. Amukamara is a raw talent that could prove to be the steadier option as a cornerback. But sticking with Peterson at this pick is a no-brainer for the 49ers.
If the 49ers do grab a defensive player in the first round, their next pick (whether it be in the second round or through a trade up) should be a quarterback.
For more about the 2011 NFL Draft, be sure to check out the hornface.com NFL Mock Draft.