All three of them have had run-ins with the law. All three were kicked off their initial teams. And all three have undeniable talent that could help the San Francisco 49ers immensely. Yes, I’m talking about Washington CB Marcus Peters, Missouri WR Dorial Green-Beckham and Nebraska OLB Randy Gregory.
Three players that are being heavily scouted by the 49ers coaching staff — all of them could very well be available when the 49ers are on the clock at 15. If that’s the case who should they take?
The top player of the three is Gregory. A pass-rush specialist who can win his one-on-one battles on the outside, Gregory would be an ideal fit in DC Eric Mangini’s 3-4 scheme. And while he’s projected as a top five talent, his recent failed drug test at the scouting combine has many NFL analysts believing he will drop out of the Top 10 including NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah.
Not good news for Gregory considering this is a top-heavy edge-rushing draft class — it may be good news for the 49ers as they may have a shot at the Nebraska product.
The Jacksonville Jaguars, Washington, New York Jets, and Atlanta Falcons will all likely go edge-rusher with their first-round picks. However, the Falcons may now go in another direction as they recently signed OLBs O’Brien Schofield, Brooks Reed, and Justin Durant via free-agency, leaving me to wonder if they will now go offense with the 8th pick — possibly drafting Alabama WR Amari Cooper or Georgia RB Todd Gurley.
Since 2009, Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff has selected an SEC player in the first-round in four of the past six drafts (if you include LB Sean Weatherspoon). If Dimitroff decides to take SEC talents like Cooper or Gurley, Gregory could very well slide to the 49ers at 15.
The St. Louis Rams (who hold the 10th pick), Minnesota Vikings (who hold the 11th pick), and Cleveland Browns (who hold the 12th pick) all have bigger needs at wide receiver so its likely that Cooper and Louisville WR DeVante Parker could land on one of those teams. And with the Vikings desperately needing help in the secondary, I see them taking the No. 1 rated cornerback in Michigan State CB Trae Waynes.
If this scenario plays out that would mean that Gregory would likely be available to the 49ers at 15 as the New Orleans Saints (who hold the 13th pick) already have outside linebackers OLBs Junior Galette and OLB Parys Haralson while the Miami Dolphins (who hold the 14th pick) would likely pass on Gregory as well as I’m hearing that Gregory, Peters, and DGB would not be a good fit for coach Joe Philbin according to one Dolphins players.
If that’s the case, Gregory, Peters and DGB will likely be there for the 49ers choosing at 15. So the question remains — who should they select?
Gregory would be by far the ‘best player available,’ but doesn’t exactly fill a need. And while you can never have too many pass-rushers — the 49ers already have three good ones on the roster in OLB Aldon Smith, OLB Aaron Lynch and OLB Ahmad Brooks. So they may pass him up.
Peters on the other hand would immediately fill a need and instantly upgrade the position. The 49ers lost both starting cornerbacks from the previous season in back-to-back season so adding Peters may be just what the doctor ordered. And while 49ers GM Trent Baalke watched Peters’ pro-day yesterday while scheduling a pre-draft visit with him, it’s likely they will have him high on their draft board.
And then there’s Forever Faithful draft crush — DGB.
At 6-6, 237, it’s hard for any team to pass up on that kind of H-W-S. A player that would eventually become WR Anquan Boldin’s heir apparent like RB Carlos Hyde is to RB Frank Gore — makes the selection of DGB the most logical of the three. Whether Baalke goes this route is anyone’s guess but if I’m Baalke and I have to take a gamble on a talented player with a troubled past — you might as well select the player with the most potential and without question that’s DGB.
With the 49ers gearing up for the NFL draft, do not rule out the possibility of all three top 10 prospects being available when the 49ers are on the clock as they will likely have their choice of who they want.