NFL teams are constantly watching and evaluating the talent at the college level, in order to make the best selections in April’s Draft. After doing my own evaluation of the needs of the San Francisco 49ers, I discuss how I would use the Super Bowl contender's picks in this year’s Draft.
1.30.30, OT Jonathan Martin, Stanford
Martin is a great offensive lineman who consistently keeps moving until the play is over, guaranteeing protection for his quarterback or the running back. Martin will be a great addition to an offensive line that lost Adam Snyder and that allowed 44 sacks last season.
2.30.61, WR Rueben Randle, LSU
Although San Francisco signed Randy Moss and Mario Manningham in the offseason, those contracts were for one year and two years, respectively. Manningham may re-sign after 2013, but San Francisco needs to start to find a permanent solution to their wide receiver problems. Randle accumulated 917 receiving yards in 2011, which was good enough for third overall in the SEC. In his three years at LSU, Randle accumulated 1,634 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns. Randle is a receiver who keeps his eye on the ball and uses his good hands to pull in passes. Additionally, Randle is a physical receiver who once he has the ball, can shed tacklers or make defenders miss.
3.30.92, CB Brandon Boykin, Georgia
One of the biggest re-signings of the 2012 free agency period was Carlos Rogers returning to the San Francisco 49ers. However, San Francisco can use the Draft to build up the talent that plays alongside Rogers. While playing at Georgia, Boykin used his speed to be a triple threat, contributing as a cornerback, kick/punt returner, a running back and as a wide receiver. As a cornerback, Boykin accumulated 159 total tackles, 20 tackles for loss, nine interceptions, 27 passes defended, and two forced fumbles. As a kick returner, Boykin accumulated 2,663 yards and four touchdowns, and as a punt returner, Boykin recorded 180 yards with a touchdown. While Boykin only played running back and receiver in his senior season, Boykin still contributed 103 rushing yards with a touchdown, and 71 receiving yards with two touchdowns. With his multiple talents, Boykin surely could find a place on the team.
4.30.125, LB Terrell Manning, North Carolina State
In his junior year at North Carolina State Manning led the ACC with four forced fumbles, and totaled eight forced fumbles over three seasons. In addition to the forced fumbles, Manning also contributed 193 total tackles, 27.5 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, and five interceptions. Manning would be a great addition to San Francisco’s stellar defense.
5.30.165, C Quentin Saulsberry, Mississippi State
Saulsberry weighs 304 pounds and is 6’2, both of which can help in playing on the offensive line and in deflecting passes. Saulsberry is also quick for his size, which is another asset that will help him at the next level.
6.30.199, SS Brandon Taylor, LSU
Taylor had a successful career playing at LSU, playing for four years, and accumulating 160 total tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss, four interceptions and 19 defended passes. Taylor is another strong player that would be an asset to San Francisco’s defense.
7.30.237, WR B.J. Cunningham, Michigan State
Although Cunningham is recovering from a foot injury, he is still a tall receiver that can make an impact in the NFL. While at Michigan State, Cunningham accumulated 3,086 receiving yards, including 1,306 receiving yards in 2011. Cunningham also recorded 25 touchdowns in his four years at Michigan State.
I think that if San Francisco made these picks in the Draft they would best address their personnel needs. However, I could be wrong, let me know what you think.