Consider the draft possibilities: CB

Cornerback is one of the 49ers' main needs in the draft, but will they pass on an outside linebacker to pick one? If LSU's Patrick Peterson is still on the board, they just might.

If it's draft day and you're sitting in the war room of San Francisco 49ers, what do you do?

The Cleveland Browns, drafting sixth, have just made their pick. Now you're on the clock.

Quarterback is clearly a major need, so do you select Blaine Gabbert of Missouri? Or do you go for a big splash and pick Cam Newton of Auburn?

Maybe you go with another need, such as outside linebacker or cornerback. So many choices, right?

Actually, there aren't many for the 49ers. Although some draft analysts believe the 49ers will fix their No. 1 need and choose a QB, we think they'll zero in on OLB Von Miller of Texas A&M with their first pick. Of course, cornerback is also a major need, especially if the team releases veteran Nate Clements, whose contracts calls for a salary of about $15 million next season.

Clements could accept a reduced salary and come back, but he turned 31 years old in December, and the team's other cornerback, Shawntae Spencer, didn't have a very good year. So it's time for an upgrade.

If the 49ers opt for a corner, here are some possible picks:

Patrick Peterson, LSU: If Peterson is still on the board at No. 7, you can bet the 49ers will grab him. Peterson (6-1, 222) is that good. He's not a great tackler, but he has a nice combination of size and speed and excels in man coverage. As a bonus, he's a top-notch return man. He'll be the first CB off the board, so he'll probably be gone when it's time to pick.

Brandon Harris, Miami (Fla.): Harris is another first-round cornerback, but he might not be worth the No. 7 pick. Harris (5-11, 195) is a willing tackler and plays the run well, but he needs to strengthen his footwork. He's not especially quick off the snap, but he has good makeup speed and will quickly develop into a starter.

Prince Amukamara, Nebraska: If the 49ers are looking for a big hitter with good hands, Amukamara (6-1, 205) might be worth considering. He had five interceptions, two sacks and 11 pass breakups last season, pushing his stock up. But he has just average deep speed and will have to impress scouts at the combine. If he's still around in the second round, the 49ers might grab him.

Final impression: It's pretty clear the 49ers will look to meet their others needs at OLB or QB before picking a cornerback. But if Peterson is there, he's a can't-miss prospect.


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