49ers in market for a safety?

49ers in market for a safety?
February 27, 2013, 7:00 am
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NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock says he’d be surprised if Texas safety Kenny Vaccaro gets past the top 15 picks in this year’s draft. (AP)

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Depending on the 49ers' final decision Monday with safety Dashon Goldson and the franchise tag, the club could be in the market for a safety in the draft.

This is a good year to be looking for someone to play that position, according to NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock.

"It's a great safety class -- the best safety class I've seen in years," Mayock said. "Maybe not with a bunch of first-round guys that you're going to run around and say, 'That's my guy,' but depth of the class.

"(Kenny) Vaccaro to me is a really good football player on tape. I'll be surprised if he gets past the top 15 or so, which is pretty high for a safety. Matt Elam from Florida, another really good football player. I have him in the second round. And then after that, I have at least 10 or 12 safeties jumbled together. Some are only strong (safeties), some are free (safeties), but some could play both that you can get in the second and third rounds. But they're all kind of jumbled together right now."

[RELATED: Maiocco -- Whispers from Indianapolis]

Vaccaro (Texas) is 6-foot, 214 pounds. He ran the 40 in 4.63 seconds. He benched 225 pounds 15 times and had a vertical leap of 38 inches. He was the Longhorns' top tackler with 107 stops in 13 games. He had two interceptions, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.

Elam is 5-foot-9 7/8, 208 pounds. He ran the 40 in 4.54 with 17 reps on the bench press and a 35.5 vertical leap.

Mayock's other top five safeties are:
--Jonathan Cyprien (Florida International): 6-foot 1/4, 217. He did not run at the combine.
--Eric Reid (LSU): 6-foot 1/4, 213 pounds. He ran a 4.53, had 17 reps on the bench press and a 40.5 vertical.
--Zeke Motta (Notre Dame): 6-foot-2 1/4, 213 pounds. He ran 4.83, with 11 reps on bench press and 35.5 vertical.

Among free safeties, NFLDraftScout.com is also high on are:
--Phillip Thomas (Fresno State): 6-foot 1/2, 208. He ran a 4.65 with 14 reps and a 35-inch vertical.
--Bacarri Rambo (Georgia): 6-foot 1/2, 211. He did not run.
--Tony Jefferson (Oklahoma): 5-foot-10 3/4, 213. He ran a 4.75 with 16 reps.

[RELATED: Sources -- 49ers leaning toward not tagging Goldson]

Another intriguing prospect that deserves mention in T.J. McDonald of USC. He is the son of former 49ers safety Tim McDonald, who recently took a job coaching defensive backs for the New York Jets.

T.J. McDonald is 6-foot-2 1/2, 219 pounds. He ran a 4.59 with 19 reps on the bench press and a 40-inch vertical. At the combine, I asked him some questions about his dad.

"I've watched some film of him," the younger McDonald said. "The game has changed a little bit. I definitely watched film of how he used to play, how physical he was. It gets me excited to know not only do I have someone who has done it, but someone who has done it at the highest level."

What's the scouting report on his dad, a three-time Pro Bowl safety for the 49ers from 1993 through '95.

"Stay out of the way," he said. "That would be the best thing I could say. He was a very physical player, somebody who was a leader. He was very impactful on the defense, made his presence felt at all times. He was always around the ball. That was something I noticed. He was around the ball."

And what has his father, who coached him in high school, taught him?

"Just to be relentless at all times," McDonald said. "You want to be relentless and don't let people stop you from getting to the ball. He always tells me, 'There are only two kinds of football players: Those who have been beaten and those who are going to get beaten.' It's not about if you're going to get beat or not, it's how you're going to respond. A lot of that has to do with playing DB. For me, make sure I respond well, make sure I give my all and get to the ball."

* * *

UPDATE: (9:35 a.m.) -- Multiple national reports surfaced Wednesday morning that the 49ers have a deal in place with the Chiefs to send Alex Smith to Kansas City for a second round pick in this year's draft, and a conditional pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.

As a result, the 49ers now hold five picks within the first 93 selections in the draft. They are also expecting a compensatory selection at the end of either the third or fourth round, as well as two more compensatory selections later in the draft.

The compensatory selections will be announced next month. Here are their 12 other draft picks for the 2013 draft:

1. First round, No. 31 (No. 31 overall): Own pick
3. Second round, No. 2 (No. 34 overall): From Kansas City in reported Alex Smith trade
2. Second round, No. 31 (No. 61 overall): Own pick 
4. Third round, No. 12 (No. 74 overall): From Carolina in trade-back during 2012 draft
5. Third round, No 31 (No. 93 overall): Own pick
6. Fourth round, No. 31 (TBA): Own pick
7. Fifth round, No. 24 (TBA): From Indianapolis in trade-back during 2012 draft
8. Fifth round, No. 31 (TBA): Own pick
9. Sixth round, No. 12 (TBA): From Miami in trade-back during 2012 draft
10. Sixth round, No. 31 (TBA): Own pick
11. Seventh round, No. 21 (TBA): From Cincinnati for Taylor Mays
12. Seventh round, No. 31, (TBA): Own pick

Source: National Football League

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