After analyzing the draft needs of all 32 teams, PFT will review how well each team addressed those needs. Up next: The San Francisco 49ers.
What they needed: Safety, nose tackle, tight end, running back, cornerback.
Who they got:
Round 1: Eric Reid, S, LSU
Round 2: Cornelius Carradine, DE, Florida State; Vance McDonald, TE, Rice
Round 3: Corey Lemonier, DE, Auburn
Round 4: Quinton Patton, WR, Louisiana Tech; Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina
Round 5: Quinton Dial, DE, Alabama
Round 6: Nick Moody, OLB, Florida State
Round 7: B.J. Daniels, QB, South Florida; Carter Bykowski, T, Iowa State; Marcus Cooper, CB, Rutgers
Where they hit: The 49ers had one major pressing need to fill heading into the draft at the safety position and got the player they wanted with their first selection. San Francisco traded up to select LSU safety Eric Reid to replace the departed Dashon Goldson. A replacement for Delanie Walker was also a necessity and the 49ers traded up again (one spot in front of division rival Seattle) to select Rice right end Vance McDonald. Depth along the defensive line was also needed and the 49ers expended three of their 11 selections on the defensive front.
Where they missed: We felt the 49ers also needed to find a bigger body to replace Isaac Sopoaga at the nose tackle position. Lamar Divens is the only tackle on the roster with the size usually expected of a nose tackle in a 3-4 front. The selections of “Tank” Carradine and Corey Lemonier could give the 49ers flexibility to move others inside. Quinton Dial could get an opportunity there as well. San Francisco also could have chosen to add to the cornerback position earlier than the seventh round.
Impact rookies: Reid should be expected to start from day one alongside Donte Whitner. McDonald should work into the 49ers two tight end sets alongside Vernon Davis. Carradine and receiver Quinton Patton could get opportunities to contribute as well. With most players returning from a Super Bowl appearance last season, there won’t be many chances for the rookie class to find ways onto the field.
Long-term prospects: South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore was a selection with an eye to the future for San Francisco. Frank Gore turns 30 next month and running backs have a history of falling of a cliff when they reach that age. With Kendall Hunter, LaMichael James and Anthony Dixon on the roster as well, the 49ers can stash Lattimore to allow him the time to fully recover from the horrific knee injury suffered last year. They don’t need him to be a factor this year but could be the long-term replacement for Gore. His talent is undeniable. Whether he can fully recover from a second major knee injury is the question.