2014 San Francisco 49ers Mock Draft: In-season Edition
eDraft will focus on providing team-team mock drafts over the course of the next month or so. While these aren't to be taken seriously, they do give readers an idea where specific teams stand and the needs they may have come next May. We will start with the defending NFC champions and move on from there.
First Round: Loucheiz Purifoy, Cornerback, Florida
While San Francisco's secondary has played some great football this season, it needs to add some youth to a veteran-laden cornerback group. Tarell Brown and Tramaine Brock are set to be free agents following the 2013 season, while Carlos Rogers will earn over $7 million in 2014 and Chris Culliver will be coming off an ACL tear. That leaves a whole heck of a lot of questions.
Purifoy has mad ball skills and reminds me a great deal of Patrick Peterson of the Arizona Cardinals. He's electric with the ball in his hands and can contribute on special teams as he hones what has to be considered below-average technique in coverage. In short, Purifoy's upside is as a true shutdown corner in the NFL. Can't go wrong with that towards the back end of the first round.
Second Round: Allen Robinson, Wide Receiver, Penn State
San Francisco could easily spend another first-round pick on a wide receiver after the A.J. Jenkins experiment crapped all over itself. I am just not too entirely sure that it will decide to utilize yet another late day-one pick at that position. Short of trading up for a Mike Evans, the 49ers will be better off looking at wide receiver on day two.
At 6'3" and 2010, Robinson has the size to go up and get the ball towards the sideline and in the end zone. Something that Colin Kaepernick could be missing depending on if Anquan Boldin returns as a free agent following the 2014 season. Despite concerns over initial quickness off the line of scrimmage, the Penn State star does a solid job utilizing his physicality to dominate corners on the outside. It remains to be seen just how much this will translate to the NFL.
Second Round (via KC): Craig Loston, Safety, Louisiana State
San Francisco's selection of a former LSU safety in the first round of the 2013 NFL draft worked out extremely well. Eric Reid is among the top-five candidates for Defensive Rookie of the Year after he was brought into replace a Pro Bowler in the form of Dashon Goldson. With veteran Donte Whitner prepared to hit free agency following the 2013 season, it only makes sense that the 49ers go with Reid's former teammate as a running partner for the young free safety.
As strictly a strong safety prospect, Loston provides physicality from the back end of the defense. He's not afriad to get after the receiver with the juggler, which is something that Harbaugh and Co. like from their safeties. Interestingly enough, his closing speed and awarenss also makes Loston a decent play in coverage. Even if the 49ers do retain Whitner on a short-term deal, they will have to find an eventual replacement. Why not go after the consensus No. 1 strong safety in a solid draft class?
Third Round (via Tenn): Dominique Easley, Defensive Line, Florida
After suffering his second torn ACL in three seasons, this time to his right knee, back in September, Easley decided to turn pro rather than apply for a medical redshirt. All things equal, the Florida product would have likely been the top interior lineman selected in the 2014 NFL draft. Where this injury may have cost him millions, the 49ers are the best possible situation for him to go to. They have no issues spending draft picks on individuals with a history of knee injuries. See both Marcus Lattimore and Cornellius Carradine from the 2013 draft. In addition, Easley can sit behind the likes of Justin Smith, Ray McDonald and Carradine before getting ample playing time. This will enable his right knee to heel 100 percent.
At 6'2" and 280, Easley can play both inside and outside. He will act as a jack-of-all-trade reserve until one of the 49ers' veterans either departs via free agency or retires. The Florida product is strong with his pads at the points of contact, which enables him to perform well against the run. More important in the 49ers' scheme, Easley has the ability to get into the offensive backfield on the consistent basis. He racked up a total of 16 tackles for loss in 2011 and 2012 combined.
Third Round: Morgan Moses, Offensive Tackle, Virginia
San Francisco is in need of a swing tackle to backup at both tackle positions and one of the two guard positions. As a team witha ton of talent, it can afford to spend a mid-round pick on someone that projects to be a backup early in his career. Moses, At 6'6" and over 330 pounds, is a huge man. He can backup Anthony Davis at right tackle and take over for him if Joe Staley goes down at left tackle, at which point Davis will move to Kaepernick's blindside. Interestingly enough, Moses struggles more as a run blocker than he does in pass protection. That's something that the 49ers can work on early in his career as he adjusts to the speed of the NFL game.
Third Round (comp pick): Trent Murphy, Linebakcer, Stanford
Despite having talent and depth at outside linebacker, the 49ers are always prepared to look to the future. There is no telling how long Ahmad Brooks will be with the team. He is owed over $15 million over the course of the next two seasons. With Corey Lemonier playing well as a rookie, Baalke and Co. could look to cut ties with Brooks at some point in the not-so-distant future. Murphy is a scheme-specific 3-4 outside linebacker and brings with him a ton of natural pass-rush skils. Where he might struggle making plays against the ball carrier behind the line of scrimmage, he sheds blocks nicely and can be an asset in that part of the game. More of a depth pick than anything else.
Fourth Round: DeVante Parker, Wide Receiver, Louisville
Fifth Round: David Fales, Quarterback, San Jose State
Fifth Round (comp pick): Joe Don Duncan, Tight End, Dixie State
Sixth Round: Ty Zimmerman, Safety, Kansas State
Seventh Round (via Car): Keith McGill, Cornerback, Utah
Seventh Round (via NO): Jonotthan Harrison, Center, Florida
Seventh Round: Prince Schembo, Linebacker, Notre Dame
Seven Round (comp pick): Michael Dyer, Running Back, Louisville