49ers defense needs help from NFL draft

49ers defense needs help from NFL draft
February 26, 2011, 9:26 pm
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Feb. 26, 2011MAIOCCO ARCHIVE49ERS PAGE 49ERS VIDEOMatt MaioccoCSNBayArea.comINDIANAPOLIS -- The 49ers can be expected to invest draft picks to shore up the league's 24th-ranked pass defense.Matt Bowen of National Football Post told us Friday that he likes LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson as a potential No. 7 overall pick.
REWIND: 1-on-1 with Matt Bowen
And if the 49ers try to bolster their pass rush early in the draft, Texas A&M pass-rusher Von Miller would be a logical choice, said NFP's director of college scouting Wes Bunting.Bunting said there is a good chance Miller will be available for the 49ers. But the Arizona Cardinals, picking at No. 6, are also a possible destination for Miller, who recorded 27.5 sacks his final two seasons at A&M.With approximately half of the teams in the NFL now playing 3-4 defenses, a player such as Miller has more widespread appeal."Now guys like Von Miller are in the discussion for the seventh overall pick," Bunting said. "So it forces teams to take these hybrid players a lot higher than they typically would."If the 49ers look to fill a need at outside linebacker after the first round, Bunting identified Dontay Moch (Nevada) and Steven Friday (Virginia Tech) as possible targets.Two defensive linemen who could warrant some consideration at No. 7 overall are Marcell Dareus (Alabama) and Cameron Jordan (Cal). Jordan is considered the better pass rusher of the two. Christian Ballard (Iowa) might be worth the 49ers considering in the second- and third-round range, Bunting said.With veteran Aubrayo Franklin scheduled for free agency, the 49ers have nose tackle on their wish list, too. Bunting said there are no logical options for the 49ers in the first round. But in the next couple rounds, the 49ers could look at Kendrick Ellis (Hampton) and Jerrell Powe (Mississippi).