The Jim Harbaugh era for the San Francisco 49ers has gotten off to a tremendous start. In his first season, the 49ers made it to the NFC championship game, only to fall to the eventual Super Bowl-winning New York Giants.
This past season, the 49ers took another step, as they made it to the Super Bowl. They came up five yards short, as the Baltimore Ravens stopped the 49ers on their final drive. Looking ahead to the upcoming season, anything short of a Super Bowl title will be a disappointment.
Harbaugh and GM Trent Baalke will look to fortify their roster through the draft and via the free-agent market. Several flaws were exposed toward the end of the regular season and into the postseason.
The 49ers had major problems rushing the passer when Justin Smith was not at full strength. The lack of pressure exposed a defensive secondary that was mediocre in coverage.
Offensively, the 49ers only had one true wide receiver they could count on in Michael Crabtree. They also struggled in many facets of special teams. The 49ers' kicker, David Akers, had an abysmal year, punt returner Ted Ginn was average at best and the coverage units were shaky.
It was Jacoby Jones' 108-yard kickoff return to open the second half opened up what turned out to be an insurmountable lead for the Ravens.
The 49ers have several of their own players becoming free agents they must decide on, including Dashon Goldson, Delanie Walker, Randy Moss, Isaac Sopoaga and Ricky Jean-Francois.
In addition, there are high-priced players that could be released or traded to help the 49ers' salary-cap situation. They include Alex Smith, Carlos Rogers and Donte Whitner.
The draft is the most cost-effective way to build a team and the 49ers must hit it big in 2013. Although it's too early to know for sure, the 49ers had what looks like a very poor draft last year. Only LaMichael James saw meaningful playing time or made any contribution.
Looking at the 2013 draft, the 49ers currently have 11 overall selections. In addition, the potential trade of Alex Smith could net them an additional pick in the top half of the draft.
The 49ers will be looking for immediate help on the defensive line and in the secondary. It's highly unlikely the 49ers will keep all of their picks and not use some to bundle and trade up in certain rounds.
Lets take a closer look at a mock draft if the 49ers used all of their selections. All results from the NFL Scouting Combine are courtesy of nfl.com.