The San Francisco 49ers could not be in a better position right now.
Coming off their close loss in Super Bowl XLVII to the Baltimore Ravens, the 49ers entered the offseason retaining one of the top-ranked teams in the NFL. San Francisco still possesses most of its young talent following the Super Bowl, the likes of which include quarterback Colin Kaepernick, linebackers Aldon Smith and Patrick Willis, and offensive playmakers Michael Crabtree, Vernon Davis and Frank Gore.
Their offensive line is great. The defense is strong. There are relatively few holes for the 49ers to worry about.
The 49ers then traded quarterback Alex Smith to Kansas City, followed by a trade for the venerable wide receiver Anquan Boldin from Baltimore.
San Francisco was mostly quiet during the opening days of free agency. The team did suffer the loss of some of its talent, including safety Dashon Goldson and tight end Delanie Walker, but it was able to bring in potential playmakers as well. Defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey and safety Craig Dahl will hope to compete for top spots on the 49ers' depth chart.
While other teams around the league were making splashes in free agency, San Francisco had no reason to get caught up in the often-overpriced bidding wars associated with the "frenzy." The reason is simple.
Those picks are nearly double the amount most other teams have entering the draft. San Francisco's general manager Trent Baalke is a genius for being able to bring in so many picks for a team that is already laden with talent.
Yet, the 49ers' talent and depth creates a situation for Baalke and head coach Jim Harbaugh. San Francisco does not have 14 holes on its roster that it needs to fill via the draft.
Santa Rosa Press Democrat columnist Grant Cohn expands on this:
It would be a waste for the 49ers to keep all 12 of their draft picks, plus the three compensatory picks which can’t be traded, for a total of 15 [now 14] selections, because there is no way all of those players could make the Niners’ roster or practice squad.
Instead, the 49ers' best interest would be trading up with their multitude of picks to get players they want, but who they feel will not fall to them at their current draft slots.
Comcast SportsNet's 49ers insider Matt Maiocco agrees. He states, "The 49ers will not use all of those...picks. They will package some picks to move up. I also expect them to trade a pick or two to move back to next year's draft, too" (csnbayarea.com).
Considering its options, San Francisco is likely to move up in the draft and shake things up to a very large degree. It has firepower with 14 picks, and there are a number of teams that will be looking to broaden their drafts, potentially by trading away a first-round pick.
Here are five prospects that the 49ers may be interested in trading up for in the 2013 draft.