San Francisco 49ers 2014 Draft Preview
By John McMullen, NFL Editor
(SportsNetwork.com) - San Francisco remains one of the more talented teams in the NFL from one through 53 but there are holes to be filled, namely outside the numbers on both offense and defense.
The 49ers need a legitimate speed threat on offense who can pop the top off opposing defenses. In turn, they need corners who can hold up in man coverage on the edge. Depth along the defensive front and a center with upside to challenge the pedestrian Daniel Kilgore are less pressing needs.
This is one of the deepest drafts in recent memory so San Francisco should be able to get a solid contributor with the 30th overall pick. Fast-rising Indiana receiver Cody Latimer is looking like a glove-like fit but Oregon State's Brandin Cooks also might be an option, especially if the Niners want a pure speed demon.
At corner TCU's Jason Verrett is undersized at 5-foot-9 but shapes up as a Captain Munnerlyn-type, a player who battles enough to compete on the outside during early downs before moving into the slot and becoming a difference maker on obvious passing downs.
Ohio State's Bradley Roby could also be in play due to some off-the-field issues that could result in him falling a bit.
2013 Record: 12-4
Top Needs: CB, WR, DL
First Three Picks: No. 30, No. 56, No. 61
Number of Selections: 11 (1, 2, 2, 3, 3, 3, 4, 5, 7, 7, 7)
CALLING THE SHOTS: The rumor is that head coach Jim Harbaugh and general manager Trent Baalke aren't exactly BFFs but they have proven to be an extraordinarily successful duo in the workplace, reaching three NFC Championship Games and a Super Bowl while together.
RECENT FIRST ROUND HISTORY: 2013 - Eric Reid (S, LSU); 2012 - A.J. Jenkins (WR, Illinois); 2011 - Aldon Smith (OLB, Missouri); 2010 - Anthony Davis (OT, Rutgers), Mike Iupati (G, Idaho); 2009 - Michael Crabtree (WR, Texas Tech); 2008 - Kentwan Balmer (DL, North Carolina); 2007 - Patrick Willis (LB, Ole Miss), Joe Staley (T, Central Michigan); 2006 - Vernon Davis (TE, Maryland), Manny Lawson (OLB, North Carolina State); 2005 - Alex Smith (QB, Utah); 2004 - Rashaun Woods (WR, Oklahoma State); 2003 - Kwame Harris (OT, Stanford).
05/01 13:56:10 ET