San Francisco 49ers 2011 NFL Draft Review

New San Francisco general manager Trent Baalke targeted Nevada quarterback Colin Kaepernick in the second round and found a willing partner in the Denver Broncos to trade their pick at 36 for the 49ers’ 45th, 108th, and 141st overall selections in the 2011 Draft. Kaepernick has all the raw tools for Head Coach Jim Harbaugh to develop him in the West Coast offense. In the first round, Baalke was looking for a pass rusher who could be disruptive from the outside linebacker position. The 49ers felt Aldon Smith had all the characteristics they were looking for to become a productive NFL pass rusher. He is a projection, but with most 3-4 NFL pass rushers, it is a learning process especially the ability to play in coverage. Aldon Smith has outstanding athletic ability and long arms for the outside linebacker position. He plays best when he is schemed free. He has played every position in a four-man front, looking for match-up weaknesses. Smith will need to develop more pass rush moves. He has experience dropping into coverage. An athletic and talented pass rusher, he flashes explosiveness but is just learning to play the game. Colin Kaepernick was a four-year starter who has been ultra productive with his arms and legs over his career. He has impressive mobility and deep ball accuracy. At the Combine he was clocked at 59 miles per hour, the best velocity of any of the quarterbacks. A good athlete, he can make all the throws. He has good pocket presence to move and slide away from pressure. Kaepernick is a hard working, self-motivated athlete who will work in and off season to develop into an NFL quarterback. He has good accuracy short, medium, and long. A safety with corner skills, Chris Culliver is athletic and speedy. He has good leaping ability and quick hands but has some hip tightness in transition. He will compete at the nickel corner spot for the 49ers. He has good size and frame but has an injury history. Kendall Hunter’s role may be as a third down back, replacing free agent Brian Westbrook. A compact productive runner, he played in a Pistol spread offense. A change up type runner, he explodes through the seams and gets to the second level quickly. He has good running skills that feature quick cutting ability and a third gear burst. Daniel Kilgore played left tackle at Appalachian State but projects as an offensive guard or center. He plays square with good awareness and looks up someone to hit on kickoff returns. He has good quickness off on the snap. A competitor, he has good body control, agility, and balance to sustain his blocks. Physical in his play, he is intense and focused. Ronald Johnson is a slot type hand catcher with good run after catch ability. He is slippery and will catch the ball in a crowd. Quick in and out of his breaks, he is a competitive receiver who will lay out for the ball. He has quick reactions and returns both punts and kickoffs. He averaged 14.2 yards per punt return. Colin Jones had a coming out senior season with 80 tackles and 11 ½ tackles for loss. An ascending player, he played strong safety in TCU’s 4-2-5 defensive scheme. A good athlete, he has rare speed. Jones will contribute on all special teams coverage units. He has had chronic hamstring problems. Bruce Miller was a two-time Conference USA defensive player of the year. The 49ers are going to give him a shot as a lead blocking fullback. He is another draft choice who will go 100 miles per hour on special teams. Mike Person was a four-year starter at Montana State. He projects to move from tackle inside to guard where he will compete with Chilo Rachal and Adam Snyder. Person plays square with good knee bend, good base, and smooth feet in pass protection. He is efficient as a run blocker. He works to finish his blocks. A good athlete, he has innate tools to play on Sunday. Curtis Holcomb was a four-year starter at Florida A&M. He will get a shot at corner and special teams. At his pro day on 3/16/11 his workout numbers were: 5103, 192, 4.51/40, 1.55/10, 18/BP, 33.5VJ, 10-0/BJ, 4.29/SS, and 7.01/3 cone. GRADE: ABOVE AVERAGE.

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