If the Big Impact defensive player who fills a Big Need for us is gone at 7--though the mock draft by uber respected Rick Gosselin has him going to us--are we in panic mode?
People are equating him with Mike Mamula. I don't think it makes much sense. Mamula worked out for the draft, Gholston just works out. When has being a workout warrior been a detriment when there's speed, power, and intensity? Seeing him against Jake Long, maybe the first guy that'll be taken, makes any sentient human realize the guy is definitely top five talent.
(I love the havoc he creates at 3:23 of the video. He comes in like Lawrence Taylor, and doubles over Jake Long from the backside like a weed whacker to a dandelion.)
What are the contingency plans? Whom do we pick if we choose not to trade down?
Choices likely available at 7 in order of preference are the following: RYAN CLADY of Boise State (the dominant LT we've never had since Leon Gray was a rookie). I'm still not sold on our RT. I prefer O'Callaghan over Nick Kaczur. But the former is injury prone (concussions, et al), while the latter is inconsistent and could get Brady injured.; KEITH RIVERS, who would be a GREAT FIT out of USC, is a winner and heavy hitter who can cover a lot more ground than the middle LBers we have now. He'd be the third heralded #55 from the Trojan defense to play for the Pats. I like 'em all.; or, LEODIS MCKELVIN of Troy State who's an explosive returner and has the tools to be an excellent corner.
It is also interesting to consider drafting another D-lineman, like SC's Sedrick Ellis or LSU's Glenn Dorsey, who could spell Wolfork in passing situations. Wolfork is no pass rusher, let's face it. And we wouldn't be sacrificing production against the run with Ellis or Dorsey, who look like a legit big time talents, though Dorsey had a leg injury last season that limited him.
The 3-4 defense is really tough on D-linemen. If we lose two of the starters, we start playing like the Arizona Cardinals.
But our obvious needs are at other positions on the defense, esp. the linebackers and corners.
I don't think the draft will be a disappointment not being able to take the most explosive pass rusher in the draft, which the consensus says is Vernon Gholston, but I have to admit I'd still be disappointed. Remember we gave up the chance to draft Joe Staley when we gave last year's first round to the 49ers. He was taken 28 and reportedly we coveted him.
He started every game last year as a rookie and was one of the bright spots for the 49ers. (Only all world Patrick Willis of the 49ers and Joe Thomas of the Browns equaled this productivity in last year's rookie class. Minnesota's Peterson was injured for a few games, I think.)
So I hope can find an upgrade over what the 49ers did with our pick, though that it is not as easy as it sounds.