NFL Draft: Top 3 Targets for 49ers

We are approaching the last game of the season and the 49ers can either end up in top 5 or top 10 depending on the outcome of the game this weekend. We figured we’d take a quick look at three prospects who we feel the 49ers should target. Of course it all depends on where they draft, but the areas of the help the 49ers need to address are QB, DB, and a Pass Rusher. If they draft around 10, the three names below may not be available.

Andrew Luck
Position: Quarterback
School: Stanford
Year: Third-Year Sophomore
Height: 6-4
Weight: 230

Strengths:

  • Excellent arm strength
  • Can make every NFL throw with accuracy
  • Good mobility to slide around in the pocket and avoid the rush
  • Good foot speed
  • Throws well on the run
  • Great mechanics
  • Quick Release
  • Excellent Field Vision
  • Does a great job reading defenses and going through his progressions
  • Plays with confidence and good leadership skills
  • Experienced in a pro-style system

Bottom Line on Andrew Luck:

Andrew Luck has all the tools and intangibles to eventually develop into an elite NFL quarterback. He comes out of former NFL quarterback Jim Harbaugh’s pro-style system, which makes him an even more attractive prospect because the transition to the NFL should be made a little smoother because of that experience. If there is a major weakness in his game, I’ve yet to see it.

Patrick Peterson
Position: Cornerback
School: LSU
Year: Junior
Height: 6-1
Weight: 220

Strengths:

  • Great size for a corner
  • Very strong, physical, and aggressive player
  • Closes quickly on the ball and hits hard
  • Fluid athlete with good change-of-direction skills
  • His strength and physical play makes him very effective in press coverage
  • Has long arms and excellent ball skills
  • Displays good footwork and the ability to turn and run with opposing receivers
  • Overall best shutdown corner in the nation
  • Very physical in run support
  • Has the added bonus of being a dangerous punt and kick return man

Bottom Line on Patrick Peterson:

Patrick Peterson, who could play cornerback or safety at the NFL level, has all the tools to develop into a shutdown cornerback in the NFL. He may be the best prospect at his position to come out of college since Darrelle Revis. He also has the added benefit of being able to contribute immediately in the return game.

Prince Amukamara
Position: Cornerback
School: Nebraska
Year: Senior
Height: 6-1
Weight: 205

Strengths:

  • Good size and strength
  • Good short-distance burst, recovers and closes quickly
  • Great instincts, reads and reacts quickly
  • Fluid hips to turn and run
  • Smooth footwork
  • Excellent in both man-to-man press and zone coverage
  • Physical player and a solid tackler
  • Aggressive against the run
  • Good character

Bottom Line on Prince Amukamara:

Prince Amukamara is a fantastic athlete with the size and strength to match up with any receiver, and is one of the top defensive backs in the 2011 NFL Draft class. He has the tools to be a No. 1 corner in any defensive scheme and should have a lot of success in the NFL. He has a couple things he needs to work on, but overall is a great prospect.

End result is the 49ers need help at QB, DB, and a true pass rusher. If the players above are not available other names you’ll likely seen thrown out are Cam Newton and Jake Locker.

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