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Thursday, March 8, 2012
2012 Kiper mock 3.0: 49ers thoughts

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Mel Kiper Jr. is back Insider with his third 2012 NFL mock draft for the first round.

We discussed the previous one before the combine, summarizing Kiper's thoughts and supplementing them with my own.

This updated look works from Kiper's updated mock, beginning with the San Francisco 49ers, who hold the 30th overall choice.

30. San Francisco 49ers: Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech

Kiper's give: Hill set Indy ablaze, going sub-4.4 in the 40 while measuring 6-foot-4. San Francisco, meet the deep threat you've been looking for. It's no secret the 49ers need more out of their wide receivers, and Hill brings a new aspect to the table, with elite size and track speed to stretch defenses both for himself, and to open up things underneath.

Sando's take: Kiper went with another receiver, LSU's Rueben Randle, in this spot during his previous mock. Receiver is an obvious focal point for the 49ers, who have relatively few holes on their roster. The team will almost certainly address the position in free agency, buying flexibility in the draft. The goal should always be to enter a draft without feeling undue pressure to target any one position. Plucking Mike Wallace from Pittsburgh carries obvious appeal, but hitting on a draft choice provides better value than overspending for one from another team. The Steelers drafted Wallace with the 84th overall pick in the 2010 draft, 10 picks after the 49ers selected running back Glen Coffee, who retired after one season. Tis better to be right on draft day than forced to play catchup.