The San Francisco 49ers have made huge strides this offseason to make their Super Bowl chances much better.
The 2012 NFL draft was just another piece of the puzzle for San Francisco to improve. The draft can sometimes be even bigger than free agency, and luckily for the 49ers, the team already had a stacked roster going into the draft.
San Francisco made some surprising picks, and these three players can make immediate impacts in 2012. Many of the other picks will find their way as a 49er in their career but will not have the immediate impact of these players.
The 49ers surprised many people when they took running back LaMichael James with their second-round pick.
James is quick, agile, versatile and tough. The former Duck is a touchdown threat every time he touches the ball.
San Francisco is looking for more weapons, and James will be a great weapon as a dynamic runner, receiver and returner.
After a plethora of trades, the 49ers finally selected guard Joe Looney in the fourth round.
Looney fits the 49ers' biggest need at guard. After losing Adam Snyder to free agency, San Francisco had a huge hole at guard and Looney—at 6'3" and 309 pounds—may be the best available on the roster to fill the need.
Intangibles are also huge for Looney. Head coach Jim Harbaugh loves hard workers, and Looney was named captain as a senior at Wake Forest to go along with a solid work ethic.
San Francisco got an absolute steal when the team selected DE/OLB Cam Johnson in the seventh round.
Johnson is a great combination of size and speed, standing at 6'3" and 268 pounds and capable of playing both outside linebacker or defensive end.
The 49ers stole Johnson in the seventh round because of his injury history, but if healthy, this steal can produce immediately for San Francisco as he showcases his versatility.