The San Francisco 49ers have had several very successful drafts, leading up to 2012. GM Trent Baalke has selected key players, such as NaVorro Bowman, Anthony Davis, Mike Iupati, Aldon Smith and Colin Kaepernick in the past three draft classes.
However, there is a huge question mark surrounding the 49ers' selections this past offseason. Only LaMichael James has made any sort of impact and that only came about when Kendall Hunter was injured. Baalke's other picks have done nothing, thus far.
The biggest disappointment is first-round selection A.J. Jenkins, who failed to catch a pass all season. Even after the 49ers lost receivers Mario Manningham and Kyle Williams, Jenkins saw little action. To expect anything out of him in the postseason is a stretch.
The 2012 draft looks very suspect, although you cannot make a complete assessment for another year or two. Nevertheless, the initial outlook is poor.
Heading into the 2013 draft, Baalke and the 49ers cannot afford to whiff on their selections. The 49ers currently hold an extra pick in Rounds 3, 5 and 6. They hold two extra picks in Round 7.
With 12 selections on the horizon, the 49ers can do some wheeling-and-dealing to make the most out of their assets. A playoff team like San Francisco needs quality over quantity. The ideal approach would be to bundle some of their picks to move up in the draft.
Twelve new players would never make the team, so bundling the extra picks to get the players they really want is the smart move. We'll see if Baalke agrees.
Let's take a closer look at the main needs the 49ers should address in the 2013 draft.