NFL Nation: Nolan Nawrocki

Quinton Patton, the wide receiver San Francisco selected in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL draft, "has a passion for the game and it shows," draft analyst Nolan Nawrocki wrote in his annual preview guide.

The 49ers can attest to that passion after Patton showed up ready to get a jump on his career. There was one problem. Rules prevent rookies from reporting until rookie camps, which are more than a week away. Patton had to catch a flight home, but the initiative he showed resonated with coach Jim Harbaugh.

"[The] fact he buys a ticket, flies out here, speaks volumes about him," Harbaugh told KNBR radio in San Francisco, according to San Jose Mercury news reporter Cam Inman.

Patton hopefully collected some frequent-flier miles in the process.

Posted by's Mike Sando

Eric Edholm of Pro Football Weekly responded via Facebook to my query seeking links to mock drafts showing the fewest number of missed first-round projections.

PFW's Nolan Nawrocki tied the Arizona Republic's Kent Somers with only three misses. Nawrocki also nailed the 49ers' selection of Michael Crabtree at No. 10.

To review: I grade mocks by how many first-round projections wind up becoming first-round picks. Nawrocki and Somers hit 29 of 32. Somers missed on Eben Britton, Darius Butler and Rey Maualuga. Nawrocki missed on Butler, Maualuga and James Laurinaitis.

Rams fans should feel good about the Laurinaitis choice given how many evaluators projected the Ohio State linebacker as a first-round choice.

Nawrocki scouts the players and evaluates them in detail, assembling profiles for PFW's annual draft preview guide. The guide has remained a tremendous resource to me since Nawrocki succeeded the late Joel Buchsbaum as primary author. I have every copy since 1999.


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