Arik Armstead, DE, Oregon
The 49ers seem to be this year's "off-season from hell" team, with sudden retirements of Patrick Willis and Chris Borland, losing a proven top level coach, losing their starting RB in free agency, questions about Kaepernick's viability as a franchise QB, having WR Michael Crabtree testing the free agency waters, and DE's Justin Smith aging and Ray MacDonald released due to off-field incidences.
The 49ers addressed the RB situation, signing Reggie Bush to join their platoon. They also addressed their WR situation by signing Torrey Smith and Jerome Simpson to compliment returning vet Anquan Boldin. That leaves the biggest needs as ILB and DE, and since I don't see an ILB worth taking this highly in the draft, that makes the pick...
The Pick: Arik Armstead
At 6'7" and 292 pounds, if Armstead added a little more bulk he would fit the mold perfectly for a 3-4 defensive end, and (if he comes back) will have the chance to play with and learn from the successful veteran, Justin Smith.
Strengths: The common term you hear when describing Arik Armstead is "fast-twitch athlete," meaning he's shown the ability to be explosive, with impressive quick bursts. While maybe a little underweight, he has good size for his position and his long arms should help disrupt the passing lanes, as well as provide a large tackling radius. He has powerful hands which help him get off blocks. He showed good improvement from his sophomore year to his junior year.
Weaknesses: The big one, lack of production. He started 13 games in 2014 (his only season as a full-time starter), pressuring the opposing quarterback 16 times and coming up with only 2.5 sacks, to go along with 4.5 tackles for loss. He finished his career with 87 tackles (10 of them for a loss) and four sacks. His height actually hurts him sometimes, as he gets too upright while rushing the passer and loses the leverage battle. If his initial rush fails, he lacks the move variety to be a consistent force.
The lack of production is worrisome, but the physical presence, raw ability, and huge upside potential make him worth the risk at #15. To give this pick a little more credence, the 49ers have scheduled a visit with Armstead.
Thanks to all the CSC members who participated in this year's community mock draft. Without your help, none of this would be possible.
Below are the complete results from our community mock draft.
Catch up with all of the mock draft selections in our 2015 CSC Community Mock Draft Hub.
|Pick||Team||Selection||Team Representative||Approval Rating|
|1||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||
QB Jameis Winston - Florida State
|2||Tennessee Titans||DE Leonard Williams - USC||Tee Word||85%|
|3||Jacksonville Jaguars||DE Dante Fowler - Florida||Khannar||80%|
|4||Oakland Raiders||WR Amari Cooper - Alabama||arcuate||73%|
|5||Washington Redskins||DE Randy Gregory - Nebraska||Lostastic||29%|
|6||NY Jets||OLB Vic Beasley - Clemson||BlackandGold4ever||52%|
|7||Chicago Bears||LB Shane Ray - Missouri||saintmanumit||28%|
|8||Atlanta Falcons||DE Bud Dupree - Kentucky||Dave Choate||46%|
|9||NY Giants||NT Danny Shelton - Washington||GoFastTurnLeftMaybeRight||60%|
|10||St. Louis Rams||OT Andrus Peat - Stanford||Kevin Sean Held||46%|
|11||Minnesota Vikings||WR Kevin White - West Virginia||gulf shores||60%|
|12||Cleveland Browns||QB Marcus Mariota - Oregon||ryan_la_sports07||68%|
|13||New Orleans Saints||CB Trae Waynes - Michigan State||Dave Cariello|
|14||Miami Dolphins||RB Todd Gurley - Georgia||Ralph Malbrough|
|15||San Francisco 49ers||DE Arik Armstead - Oregon||The Irish Assassin|
|17||San Diego Chargers||LeedsSaint|
|18||Kansas City Chiefs||jmcmillan_93|
|20||Philadelphia Eagles||Matt Mosley|
|25||Carolina Panthers||Jake White|
|28||Denver Broncos||Ryne Hancock|
|29||Indianapolis Colts||Alex Lyles|
|30||Green Bay Packers||Matt Mosley|
|31||New Orleans Saints||Dave Cariello|
|32||New England Patriots||Whit Prottsman|