Over the weekend, the 49ers held a private workout with LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson. As the team’s possible top choice with the 7th overall pick, it was a little surprising that they would work him out this close to the draft. But looking at the big picture, the 49ers are probably bracing themselves for the fact that Peterson could be gone before the 49ers make their pick.
Peterson goes on the list of 27 players that the 49ers have worked out so far this offseason. Each team can work out up to 30 players prior to the draft.
It seems that the 49ers have now set themselves up to make their first pick a defensive player. There isn’t an offensive player that looks to stand out in my opinion. Both quarterbacks Blaine Gabbert and Cam Newton are high risk, high reward projects that might not be the best option for the team. With so much pressure to get a franchise quarterback, the 49ers might wait until their second pick to grab their future signal caller.
The first pick should go to a defensive player that can help out a struggling 49ers secondary. That’s where Peterson or Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara come in. Both will be solid choices for the 49ers and if Peterson is not available, I see the 49ers taking Amukamara. Peterson could end up being the top overall pick this year.
And if Texas A&M linebacker Von MIller is also available, I expect them to take him. So with the 7th overall pick, the 49ers should have these three players as possible options.
If the 49ers end up having Gabbert drop down to them at #7, a trade seems to be a very likely scenario. It doesn’t seem that the 49ers want to draft a quarterback in the first round. A trade could possibly give the 49ers an extra first and second round pick. If that’s the case, then the 49ers will have their opportunity to select Amukamara or even UNC defensive end Robert Quinn.
Also, the trade could put the 49ers in a position to select a quarterback late in the first round. Nevada’s Colin Kaepernick, Florida State’s Christian Ponder or Washington’s Jake Locker are options.
Knowing how aggressive general manager Trent Baalke was last year in trading up to get two offensive linemen, a first round trade seems very likely. The 49ers will get their defensive stopper with their first selection, but don’t be surprised if they trade back into the first round to snag a quarterback.
Other quarterbacks like TCU’s Andy Dalton or maybe Iowa’s Ricky Stanzi could be possible second round choices. But the 49ers have have so much ammo (10 tradeable picks) that they could make that huge splash trade. Afterall, this is the kind of draft shake up that can get the 49ers going in the right direction.
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