One look at the 49ers roster, and it's easy to conclude that there are very few weaknesses. Even with some of their free agent losses, they are still loaded at most positions. With that being said, doesn't it make sense for the 49ers to explore as many trade-up scenarios as they possibly can in order to acquire quality over quantity? Under this premise, the Panthers are the perfect trade partner because we just happen to be one of the teams with the fewest draft picks. Let's take a look at the particulars for a few moments.
While I could certainly see the 49ers shopping their first two picks(31st and 34th) to move into the first round, you won't see that scenario here(maybe a future mock from me or someone else). What you will see, however, is the 49ers trading their 61st(late 2nd), 93rd(late 3rd), and 125th(late 4th) picks in exchange for the Panthers second rounder(44th). If you are stumbling to come up with some players that the 49ers would be enamored enough to trade up for, here are a few: DE Alex Okafor(Justin Smith isn't getting any younger), CB's Jamar Taylor and Jordan Poyer(they scout the west coast well), CB David Amerson, CB Darius Slay, FS/SS Matt Elam and Jonathan Cyprien(to replace free agent loss Deshon Gholson).
This trade satisfies both parties. San Francisco will now be able to pick three very good players at 31, 34, and **44** without giving up the third round pick(74) they acquired from the Panthers last year(Frank Alexander). The Panthers suddenly have seven draft picks(14, **61**, **93**, 105, **125**, 141, and 172) and the flexibility to add more early/mid round talent to a talent depleted roster. Here. We. Go.
2013 NFL/Panthers Mock Draft
1. Kansas City- OT Eric Fisher
2. Jacksonville Jaguars- OT Luke Joeckel
3. Oakland Raiders- DT Sharrif Floyd
4. Philadelphia Eagles- DE Dion Jordan
5. Detroit Lions- DE Ezekial Ansah
6. Cleveland Browns- DE/OLB Barkevious Mingo
7. Arizona Cardinals- QB Geno Smith
8. Buffalo Bills- QB Matt Barkley
9. New York Jets- CB Dee Milliner
10. Tennessee Titans- DT Star Lotulelei
11. San Diego Chargers- OT Lane Johnson
12. Miami Dolphins- CB Desmond Trufant
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- CB Xavier Rhodes
14. Carolina Panthers- DE Bjoern Werner Florida State
This may be a strange pick to many of you, but it reflects three things:
A. He is(possibly) the Best Player Available.
B. Werner is very good as a pass rusher and run defender.
C. We may not be able to afford Hardy when he becomes a free agent in 2014.
If you agree with all of the above, then Werner makes complete sense. If not, then I suppose you'll let me know, and I do welcome the debate.
2nd. **61**: WR Aaron Dobson 6' 3" 210 lbs Marshall
This could be the steal of the draft if he is still here at 61. Dobson has a nice size/speed(recently ran a 4.40, 4.42 at his pro day) combination that may be too good to pass up. When you also consider the fact that he has very strong hands, as evidenced in the video below, then you might agree with me that he would be an excellent addition to this offense.
3rd. **93**: OLB Sio Moore 6' 1'' 245 lbs Connecticut
I'll readily admit that Moore, one of the best 4-3 outside linebackers in this draft, may get drafted much sooner than this, but if he doesn't, then we should snatch him up. He would probably start from day one as a strong side linebacker, but he can also play WLB or MLB in a pinch. Not only does Moore excel in both run support and pass coverage, he also displays outstanding strength when rushing the passer against blockers who are much larger.
4th. 105: DT Akeem Spence 6' 1" 307 lbs Illinois
Although undersized a bit, Spence makes up for his height deficiency with more than enough quickness and explosion to make disruptive plays in the backfield. This may be the best under tackle on the board at this spot after passing on the position in previous rounds.
4th. **125**: FS Tony Jefferson 5' 11" 213 lbs Oklahoma
If Jefferson were taller, he might garner 1st round attention. As it stands, we are the benefactor because he would add some much needed talent to our secondary regardless of his size. Jefferson excels in both pass coverage and in run support. He is known for making bone crushing hits without sacrificing proper form while tackling(for the most part). See for yourself.
5th. 141: OT Jordan Mills 6' 5" 318 lbs Louisiana Tech
Mills could immediately be an upgrade at right tackle and has the versatility to play either left or right guard as well. He is known for playing with a nasty streak and is a powerful run blocker, which the Panthers offensive line and running backs could certainly use.
6th. 172: CB Steve Williams 5' 9" 181 lbs California
Rivera gets another California late round defensive back from Cal, and Munnerlyn's replacement in the slot. Although he is the same height as Captain, he brings a bit more speed and overall athleticism to the table.