The 49ers get some much needed secondary help with Prince Amukamara, but they still lack a quarterback to throw the ball to Vernon Davis and Michael Crabtree. Still, a better coach and a good cornerback would go a long way toward fixing their team, and they could pick up a quarterback in trade (Kevin Kolb, Donovan McNabb, Carson Palmer or even Josh Johnson) or free agency (Marc Bulger).
Today the Tennessee Titans are up. Another team for who the quarterback position is the biggest need, as they're saying farewell to Vince Young. They do still have Kerry Collins on the roster, but he's at best a very short-term fill-in. They desperately need some good interior linemen too. Their offensive line was terrible last year, but their offensive tackles are still pretty good. They have needs on defense as well: they need linebackers and they could use some defensive tackle help too. So who do you think they'll draft?
The draft so far:
1. Carolina Panthers - QB Cam Newton
2. Denver Broncos - DT Marcell Dareus
3. Buffalo Bills - DE Von Miller
4. Cincinnati Bengals - WR A.J. Green
5. Arizona Cardinals - QB Blaine Gabbert
6. Cleveland Browns - CB Patrick Peterson
7. San Francisco 49ers - Prince Amukamara
QB Jake Locker, Washington: A supremely talented quarterback with some really bad accuracy issues. Jake Locker was hyped badly coming into this year with the expectation that he'd get much better, but that improvement never occurred. Instead, he remained inaccurate and inconsistent. But Locker really reminds me of Josh Freeman - both were inaccurate coming out of college, they weren't big winners, they had trouble reading defenses, but they also had supreme talent at the quarterback position, a great work ethic and good leadership skills.
QB Ryan Mallett, Arkansas: A monster of an arm, but a lot of questions. Mallett can make every single throw an NFL coach would want, but his biggest problem is dealing with pressure. When pressured he starts to make questionable decisions, and when he can't set his feet he gets a lot less accurate. Still, he could do wonders behind a good offensive line in a system where he won't be asked to be very mobile. The bigger questions may revolve around his personality, though. There are a lot of rumors about his leadership skills and off-field behavior, but everyone at Arkansas says any concerns are unwarranted. He has the raw talent to go very high, but the team interviews will decide where he will really land.
DT Nick Fairley, Auburn: Fairley was briefly in consideration for the 1st overall pick after his destructive NCAA National Championship Game against the Oregon Ducks. He's big, quick, strong and explosive, and could be a dominant defensive tackle at the next level. Unfortunately he's also really really raw, which is why he dropped out of the conversation for the first overall pick. He just doesn't use his hands, which means a big learning curve at the NFL level. The Titans could use some extra defensive tackle talent, but they do already have Jason Jones there who had a fine 2010 season.
DE Da'Quan Bowers, Clemson: Bowers is perhaps the best talent at defensive end in this draft. He had a ridiculous junior year with 15.5 sacks and 25 tackles for loss. He's a strong run defender and a potent pass-rusher. But there are two concerns about Da'Quan Bowers: his junior year was his first strong year, and he could be a one-year wonder. Second, a knee injury has prevented him from working out and he still wasn't fully healthy at his pro day. if his knee doesn't check out at the Combine Re-check, he could fall a long way on draft day. If he does check out he doesn't really fit the Titans, though, who seem to be fine at defensive end with Jason Babin.
DE Robert Quinn, North Carolina: Robert Quinn was one of several North Carolina players who were suspended for the 2010 season for receiving improper benefits from agents. Then add to that some minor medical concerns over a benign brain tumor, and it would be easy to understand if Quinn dropped a long way on draft day. But Quinn is a unique defensive end talent, with great speed off the edge and good strength. He kept in shape during his time away from the game and performed well at the scouting combine and his pro day. Overall there are no questions about his commitment to football, and he may be even better than Bowers.
WR Julio Jones, Alabama: Julio Jones is a lot like A.J. Green, perhaps a bit more physical and intimidating but a little less reliable, as he'll drop some easy catches at times. But he's a terrific route runner and should make an immediate impact for whoever drafts him. There are no character concerns with Julio Jones and he's certainly in the running for a top pick. Unfortunately for him, the Titans don't really need extra receivers. Kenny Britt looked like a budding star and they have a couple of young, promising receivers in Damian Williams and Marc Mariani.
OT Tyron Smith, USC: An incredibly talented offensive tackle who could step in immediately at right tackle but would need time to become a starter at left tackle. He's only played right tackle at USC, but he is the perfect athlete for the left tackle position. At age 20 he's only going to get better from here on out, and if he was more skilled he could've been in play for the 1st overall pick this draft. He doesn't really fit the Titans needs, though, whose offensive line isn't all that good but the weakness is mostly at guard and center, not at tackle.