San Francisco 49ers Draft Needs
The San Francisco 49ers made it all the way to the Super Bowl in the second year under head coach John Harbaugh, but loss in heartbreaking fashion 31-34 to the Baltimore Ravens. The 49ers season was headlined by the switch at quarterback, where Colin Kaepernick took the starting job away from Alex Smith.
San Francisco has been extremely active this offseason. They traded away Smith to Kansas City for a second round pick in this year’s draft, while also acquiring veteran wide out Anquan Boldin in a trade. The 49ers also signed star CB Nnamdi Asomugha, DE Glenn Dorsey, backup QB Colt McCoy and S Craig Dahl. In my opinion the 49ers have the most complete roster of any team going into the draft, which should allow them to take the best player available whenever they are on the clock. Here’s a look at the five positions I think San Francisco will target this April.
The 49ers were able to re-sign Ian Williams but lost Isaac Sopoaga to the Eagles in free agency. Williams is just 23, but at 305 lbs he doesn’t have the ideal size you look for in a 3-4 nose tackle. While they added in former Baltimore Raven Lamar Divens (340 lbs), he doesn’t figure to play a major role. If Georgia’s John Jenkins is still available when the 49ers are up at No. 31 or No. 34, I think he’s well worth the risk considering they really have nothing to lose.
San Francisco struck gold when they selected Aldon Smith with the 7th overall pick in 2011. Smith is coming off a breakout season where he recorded 14 sacks and the best is still to come. Opposite of Smith the 49ers have a very capable veteran in Ahmad Brooks, but he’s starting to push 30 and there’s not a whole lot of depth behind the top two. Clark Haggans is the top backup on the roster, but will be a free agent next year and likely will want to go somewhere where he can get more playing time.
The 49ers figure to have one of the best cornerback duos in the NFL with Carlos Rogers and Asomugha, but they don’t have a whole lot behind these two. There’s also some concern with Asomugha not being the same player he was with the Raiders. San Francisco could also look to go after a safety. Dahl will likely fill in for Dashon Goldson at free safety, who signed with Tampa Bay, but like corner there’s not a lot of depth. With this being a deep draft class at both corner and safety, the 49ers should have no trouble adding in some help at both positions.
This isn’t a huge need considering the 49ers have one of the top tight ends in the game in Vernon Davis, but if Davis were to go down with an injury they would be in some serious trouble. The other three tight ends on the roster are Garrett Celek, Demarcus Dobbs and Brian Jennings. Not only do I think the 49ers need to add some security, they might also be interested in running more double tight ends sets.
With the addition of Boldin the 49ers might not appear to have much of a need for a wide receiver in the draft, especially when you consider the emergence of Michael Crabtree last season. However, Mario Manningham is coming off a torn ACL and last year’s 1st round pick A.J. Jenkins didn’t catch a single pass as a rookie. The 49ers aren’t going to be in any kind of trouble if they don’t take a wide out in the draft, but if the right player falls to them I don’t see why they won’t pull the trigger.
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