The 2010 SB Nation NFL Mock Draft is underway, with each SB Nation blogger making selections for their respective teams. Fooch, lead blogger at SB Nation's San Francisco 49ers blog, Niners Nation, checks in to make the No. 17 overall selection in this year's mock. Take it away, sir!
With the No. 17 overall pick in the 2010 SB Nation NFL Mock Draft, the San Francisco 49ers have selected Brandon Graham, defensive end/outside linebacker, Michigan.
Fooch says: The 49ers developed a fairly solid pass rush last season, without even a particular standout player. The 49ers remain relatively young at the outside linebacker position and could use somebody to continue pushing Lawson, Haralson, and Brooks. Furthermore, with Manny Lawson up for free agency after this year and the team unsure of Ahmad Brooks long-term value, grabbing an outside linebacker would be a smart long-term decision.
A guy like Brandon Graham might be a bit of a gamble for the 3-4. He provides some very impressive pass rushing abilities, but he spent his college time as a defensive end. In doing some research, many folks seem to think he’d be best suited as a 4-3 defensive end. I made this pick in part because the previous picks didn’t seem to roll out like the 49ers might like.
If the 49ers grabbed Graham, he would get a shot to compete for playing time right from the start. However, given the success of the 3-headed monster that was Lawson-Brooks-Haralson, it would likely take Graham some time to crack the lineup. Of course, the 49ers go with 4 down linemen on third down passing situations, and given the 49ers struggles finding someone opposite Justin Smith, he could crack the lineup in that way.
Mocking Dan reacts: If a team thinks Graham can play linebacker, this is a great pickup. San Francisco has to keep adding pass rushers if it wants its 3-4 defense to succeed. Graham may not have a lot of upside, but he's productive and will be a great locker room presence.
Passing up Dez Bryant is somewhat questionable, only because he would give the offense another playmaker. But adding a very good front seven piece is critical for the 49ers in this draft.
Mocking the Draft's Top 5 remaining prospects: 1 - Dez Bryant/WR/Oklahoma State, 2 - Everson Griffen/DE/USC, 3 - Jermaine Gresham/TE/Oklahoma 4 - Anthony Davis/OT/Rutgers 5 - Sergio Kindle/OLB/Texas
Sound off, SB Nation! What say you of San Francisco's pick of Brandon Graham? Please be sure to check out Niners Nation for all of your 49ers needs.