The 49ers come into this upcoming FA period (starting March 4th) loaded for bear in the draft department. They have (not including their 3 compensatory picks):
1. First round, No. 31 (No. 31 overall)
2. Second round, No. 31 (No. 61 overall)
3. Third round, No. 12 (No. 74 overall): Carolina Panthers via 2012 Draft trade
4. Third round, No 31 (No. 93 overall)
5. Fourth round, No. 31 (TBA)
6. Fifth round, No. 24 (TBA): Indianapolis Colts via 2012 Draft trade
7. Fifth round, No. 31 (TBA)
8. Sixth round, No. 12 (TBA): Miami Dolphins via 2012 Draft trade
9. Sixth round, No. 31 (TBA)
10. Seventh round, No. 21 (TBA): Cincinnati Bengals via Taylor Mays trade
11. Seventh round, No. 31, (TBA)
The Niners will get a 3rd (or 4th) round comp pick plus two 7th round comps for a total of 14 draft picks. That’s a lot of bodies. And they haven’t even traded Alex Smith yet. Who knows how many picks that brings?
Anyhow, this gives Trent Baalke and the braintrust many many scenarios to pursue in order to get their desired players. Frankly, I could see them trading down and getting picks for 2014. And trading for 2014 picks with Alex. The good news for the Niners is this is not a top-heavy draft, but it is a very deep draft for their particluar needs. DL and secondary. This draft is also notable for the fact there may not be a QB taken in the 1st round. Unheard of, but possible. I mean, if Aaron Rodgers can slip to 25, Geno Smith could slide to 35. Matt (hot-tub) Barkley? Hello 47. The Niners will have six picks in the first 4 rounds. They can address their pressing need for defensive backfield help (and depth) and add more stout bodies to the D line. Maybe a DE/OLB pass rusher as well. The mid-late rounds will be reserved for wideouts, and maybe the possible TE if the Niners don’t deal for Ertz. Not likely but possible when you look at the struggles they had in the red zone. You’d think between Crabs and VD, someone would get open, but VD was usually double covered, Crabs drew a lot of attention, Moss was a non-factor, and the rest weren’t up to the task. Also, they’ll get a kicker late. I don’t think there’s much doubt re the fate of David Akers. He of the 63 yard FG in week 1. Although if he healthys up, who knows if Jimbo lets him stay.
I of course look to NJ49er and 12th (among others) to provide the essential need-to-know guys available in the draft. Once free agency rolls around and player moves are made throughout the league, I’ll start paying attention to the mock drafts and such. I don’t know too much about the players this year, but I’ve been pretty good at assessing the Niners needs these past few years. Really!