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The 49ers Are On The Clock


In a very close three-player race, you made it back-to-back wide receivers taken as the Cleveland Browns snagged Alabama WR Julio Jones with the sixth overall pick, one spot after the Arizona Cardinals bolstered an already deep wide receiver corps with Georgia's A.J. Green. Now, the San Francisco 49ers are on the clock.

There's a renewed sense of hope in San Francisco thanks to new head coach Jim Harbaugh, who takes over the Niners after a successful run at Stanford. Harbaugh isn't wedded to former No. 1 overall pick Alex Smith and surely would like to bring in his own quarterback of the future, but in our hypothetical both Cam Newton and Blaine Gabbert are off the board.

After quarterback, the 49ers' biggest need, according to Pro Football Weekly, is cornerback, and so they'd likely be thrilled to see Patrick Peterson of LSU still on the board here. Peterson is considered by many to be the top-rated player in the entire class and would certainly help out a secondary that was in the bottom third of most pass-defense metrics in 2010. As an added bonus, Peterson could help out in the return game.

Also on the list of needs for the 49ers is defensive line, especially nose tackle, where holdover Aubrayo Franklin is a free-agent-to-be. Nick Fairley of Auburn is likely the best defensive lineman available, though he doesn't profile as a typical nose tackle. Still, he could be attractive as a penetrating force up the middle.

On the offensive line, the Niners will need to improve, as they were 27th in the league in sacks per pass attempt in 2010. But it's hard to envision them taking an offensive linemen in the first round after they spent two first-round-picks on offensive linemen last year, when they selected Anthony Davis and Mike Iupati.

A wildcard option is running back, where long-time stalwart Frank Gore has some serious mileage and ended 2010 on injured reserve. There's no replacement in place, so Alabama's Mark Ingram, the consensus top running back in the class, is an option, albeit unlikely at No. 7.

Can the 49ers afford to pass on Peterson here? You make the call.

Needs: QB, CB, RB, OLB
All-Good: S, MLB, TE

Previous Picks No. 1 - Carolina: QB Cam Newton, Auburn
No. 2 - Denver: DT Marcell Dareus, Alabama
No. 3 - Buffalo: LB Von Miller, Texas A&M
No. 4 - Cincinnati: QB Blaine Gabbert, Missouri
No. 5 - Arizona: WR A.J. Green, Georgia
No. 6 - Cleveland: WR Julio Jones, Alabama

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