2011 NFL Draft – San Francisco 49ers

Round 1, Pick 7 (7) Aldon Smith DE 6’4″ 263 Missouri

Jim Harbaugh and the 49ers brass can only hope that this A. Smith will bring more to the field than the A. Smith that was drafted first overall just a few years ago by San Francisco. With LSU corner Patrick Peterson taken off the board early, it was a surprise to many that they selected defensive end Aldon Smith with their first-round pick.

“We took the guy we liked the most as a football player, as a person. We think he has tremendous upside,” Harbaugh said. “The way he rushes the passer. The way he plays the run. His ability to play on his feet–that he has done and we project him to be able to do to be an outside linebacker in our 3-4 scheme.”

Smith, a defensive end at Mizzou, will be moved back beside Patrick Willis. This transition may take some time, but playing under guys like Willis and Takeo Spikes, will only make that transition smoother. In a draft that was filled with talented defensive lineman, the 49ers chose to take the first defensive end off the board; a lineman many saw going later in the first round.

Harbaugh was oozing with confidence in Smith, proud of his first pick as the 49ers new head coach.

“I’m really impressed with him as a person. He’s an All-American young man. Has great wiring, many blessings from mom, dad and God, and we just feel like he’s going to be someone who’s obviously going to add to our football team and make us a better football team.”

Round 2, Pick 4 (36) (From Broncos) Colin KaepernickQB 6’5″ 233 Nevada

Although the consensus among the experts had San Francisco taking Blaine Gabbert in the first-round, the 49ers decided to trade up in order to get Nevada quarter back, Colin Kaepernick in the second round Friday.

The Nevada alum has the size, athletic ability and numbers that warrant him being a top-five quarterback in the draft. There are questions as to whether he can transition from a Pistol offense in Nevada to an NFL offense, as well as questions about the quickness of his delivery. Kaepernick spoke with Harbaugh during a workout weeks before the draft and was told by the former quarterback that it has his stamp of approval.

Here is a stat that gets me excited as a 49er fan:

Kaepernick did one thing no other player has done in NCAA history. Throwing for over 10,000 yards and running for over 4,000 yards in college. Yeah, let that one soak for a minute…Alright, on to the next pick.

Round 3, Pick 16 (80) (From Jaguars) Chris CulliverDB 6’0″ 199 South Carolina

As much as I would have liked to add Peterson or Prince Amukamara, it just wasn’t in the cards. Peterson was taken by the Cards, forcing the 49ers to wait until later rounds to add to their sorry secondary. Chris Culliver may not be the big name defensive-back that the 49ers were looking for, but the 6-0, 200 lb. corner adds speed and ball skills San Francisco needs. I wouldn’t expect to see him play much outside of nickel packages early on in the season.

Round 4, Pick 18 (115) (From Chargers) Kendall HunterRB 5’7″ 199 Oklahoma St.

Hunter may be small but he is a tough runner that has the quickness and agility to get through and around his fare share of defenders.

Round 5, Pick 32 (163) (From Packers) Daniel KilgoreOL 6’3″ 308 Appalachian St.

The 49ers also traded up to get this small-school standout Daniel Kilgore. He is expected to play guard at the pro level but I wouldn’t expect to see much of him early.

Round 6, Pick 17 (182) (From Jaguars) Ronald JohnsonWR 5’11” 199 USC

Ronald Johnson is a small receiver with big play ability. He is definitely worth a look on YouTube.

Round 6, Pick 25 (190) (From Seahawks) Colin JonesDB 6’0” 200 TCU

Round 7, Pick 8 (211) Bruce MillerDL 6’1″ 254 Central Florida

Round 7, Pick 36 (239) (Compensatory Selection) Michael PersonOL 6’5″ 299 Montana St.

Round 7, Pick 47 (250) (Compensatory Selection) Curtis Holcomb DB 5’10” 190 Florida A&M

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