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Wednesday, January 18, 2012
2012 Kiper mock 1.0: 49ers thoughts

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Mel Kiper's first mock draft Insider for 2012 provides the foundation for discussing how NFC West teams might proceed this offseason.

I'll run through these for each NFC West team, beginning at the bottom of the first round and working forward. I'll start with a look at Kiper's plans for the San Francisco 49ers, currently projected by Kiper to pick at No. 31 (they could pick slightly earlier or later based on how the postseason plays out).

31. San Francisco 49ers: Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina

Kiper's give: The 49ers got much better production out of the offense this season, but I still see a need for a big target on the outside, something Braylon Edwards wasn't able to provide. Jeffery is an absolute beast, a guy who plays at more than 230 pounds and easily could top 6-foot-4 when he measures out.

Sando's take: Upgrading at wide receiver makes sense for the 49ers. The team used the 10th pick of the 2009 draft on Michael Crabtree. Otherwise, the 49ers have invested very little draft capital in the position recently. They used sixth-round picks for Ronald Johnson (2011), Kyle Williams (2010) and Josh Morgan (2008). Before that, they used third-rounders for Jason Hill (2007) and Brandon Williams (2006). Those are the only receivers San Francisco has chosen in the last six drafts. Under a best-case scenario, the 49ers would re-sign Morgan, who is out for the season with an injury. They would also upgrade the position through the draft.