The defending Super Bowl runner-ups will have 15 picks between April 25 and April 27. The club added the most recent one when they acquired a second-round pick from the Kansas City Chiefs for Alex Smith, in a trade that will be finalized on Mar. 12.
After winning the NFC West and falling just short of winning a title, the 49ers may not have many holes to fill. However, a few of their deficiencies were exposed in their loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
Most of San Francisco’s picks will be in the later rounds, so they may not find a superstar. Still, they should be able to leave the draft with several players who will be able to contribute on the field for 2013 and beyond.
Having 15 picks leaves the 49ers with numerous options on draft day. It allows the team to take certain chances that they couldn’t take in a normal year.
More than ever, San Francisco is capable of making a big trade. The club can afford to deal multiple selections, and still have a chance to leave the draft with several players that will impact next season.
Drafting at No. 31, San Francisco likely won’t end up with one of the best prospects in this year’s class. If the 49ers are very high on a player that will go in the first 10 selections, they will have the ability to move up in the first round. A team that isn’t convinced any of the top selections will be stars might accept a package of the 31st overall pick, as well as a few picks later on in the draft.
After giving up 89 total points in three playoff games, the organization will look to upgrade the defense. The 49ers defensive line could use some new blood, and the team could do so by taking someone like Jesse Williams from Alabama or Purdue’s Kawann Short. However, if the club trades up on Day 1, they might be able to get a player like Florida’s Sharrif Floyd, who is regarded by many as the best defensive tackle in the class.
San Francisco also needs to improve their secondary, having allowed big performances to Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan in the postseason. Chris Culliver was repeatedly burned in the Super Bowl, revealing one of the team’s biggest weaknesses.
Late in the first round, Mississippi State’s Johnathan Banks and Desmond Trufant from Washington could be available. If the 49ers are willing to trade up, a player like Alabama’s Dee Milliner could be on their radar.
The 49ers abundance of picks, though, could allow them to trade for a star cornerback that has already had success in the NFL. Yahoo Sports has reported that San Francisco would deal multiple picks to the New York Jets for Darrelle Revis. Revis will be a free agent at the end of the 2013 season, and there are rumors that the club will trade him, since they are unwilling to meet his contract demands.
San Francisco could also use one of their 15 picks to replace Smith. With Colin Kaepernick solidified as the team’s starting signal caller, there isn’t much of a need for the 49ers to use a selection on a quarterback. However, with so many picks, San Francisco can afford to use one of their picks on a backup quarterback. Arizona’s Matt Scott or Zac Dysert of Miami (Ohio) could end up with the 49ers.
Out of the 49ers 15 picks, eight are in the fifth round or later.