With the 31st pick in Pride Of Detroit's 2013 NFL mock draft, the San Francisco 49ers select Alabama defensive tackle Jesse Williams. JCruize is serving as the 49ers' general manager, and his reasoning for the pick is below.
Last season, the Niners made a run at being the NFL champs, only to fall a little short. Now the question is how can they repeat as NFC champs and get another shot at the Super Bowl?
San Francisco comes into the 2013 draft with a plethora of picks. With the core of the team returning, the Niners can use their picks to shore up some of the holes created by free agency and get some players for the future.
When looking at the needs of the Niners, one position stood out, and that was NT. Isaac Sopoaga anchored the NT position last season, but he moved on to Philadelphia as a free agent. And that brings me to my selection, Alabama nose tackle Jesse Williams.
We all know that San Francisco's identity as a team is their defense. It is what got them to the Super Bowl last season, and it will be their defense that takes them back. Williams should play a hand in that. Jesse is a 6'4", 323-pound zero-gap nose tackle. Born in Brisbane, Australia, Jesse was discovered by coaches from the University of Hawaii at the age of 16. He spent most of his youth playing rugby and soccer, only taking up football at the age of 15. The coaches from Hawaii were very impressed by Williams' size, power and athleticism. They got Jesse to commit to Hawaii, but it was discovered that he needed a few more classes to attend. Rather than wait a year, Williams decided to enroll at Western Arizona Community College. There, Jesse was like a man among boys. In 18 games, he had 76 tackles and 6 sacks. Williams became an elite JUCO prospect and had some of the biggest schools in the country interested in him.
Eventually Jesse committed to Alabama, where he was a 13-game starter in 2011 playing DE in the 3-4 scheme. Due to his agility, Williams was moved to DT in passing situations, and in 2012, he became the nose tackle on a full-time basis.
He has a wide frame and short arms, which gives him a low center of gravity that helps him hold up offensive linemen at the point of attack. Jesse is incredibility strong (600-pound bench press), which translates well to the football field with his technique and leverage.
Even though he is sort of a one-trick pony and not a great pass rusher, Jesse would be a great fit for the Niners. His primary job would be to be effective at the point of attack, allowing Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman to clean up the play, which is what he does the best. As of now, Ian Williams and Lamar Divens sit at the top of San Francisco's depth chart. At some point in this draft, the Niners will address the NT position, and I chose to do it now, knowing that I have another pick at No. 34 overall.
Check out the 2013 Pride Of Detroit Community Mock Draft tracker for a look at all of the picks.