After a successful 2012 season with limited action in free agency, the San Francisco 49ers are now turning their attention to the 2013 NFL draft. In all, the organization has 13 picks to work with on April 25.
We're all aware of the fact that 13 different players won't be making San Francisco's roster in 2013, so it will be up to Trent Baalke and Jim Harbaugh to make the right decisions come draft day. Based on the tandem's track record, that shouldn't be a problem.
Let's examine the latest news, rumors and reports regarding the 49ers and the 2013 NFL draft.
April 15: The 49ers met with Azusa Pacific offensive tackle Luke Marquardt on April 11th at his workout (per Matt Maiocco).
April 11: Oregon inside linebacker Kiko Alonso is scheduled to attend San Francisco's local pro day (per Matt Maiocco).
April 10: San Jose State offensive linemen David Quessenberry will visit the 49ers the week of April 15 (per the Sacramento Bee).
April 4: Alabama defensive linemen Quinton Dial made a pre-draft visit to San Francisco on April 3, according to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun.
April 3: Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reported that nose tackle John Jenkins from the University of Georgia is scheduled to visit the 49ers the week of April 8.
March 29: According to the Sacramento Bee, Tyrann Mathieu is scheduled to visit San Francisco on April 9. Mathieu is quickly becoming a fan favorite because of the 49ers' many luxury picks in this year's draft.
Will be updated when breaking news happens.
If Baalke and Harbaugh stay put in the first round, it's believed they will use the 31st pick on a defensive lineman. There has been some talk about nose tackle Jesse Williams from Alabama and John Jenkins from Georgia.
Yet I'm not so sure San Francisco's front office values any nose tackle that high because of the limited number of snaps he would play in Vic Fangio's defense. More often than not, Isaac Sopoaga and Ricky Jean-Francois left the field on third downs last season, which begs the question: Is a two-down player worthy of a first-round selection?
I say no for one simple reason. Because the 49ers have so many picks throughout the draft, they don't have to overvalue a nose tackle in Round 1; they can snatch up a similar player on Day 2 with one of their four selections.
One player who would provide versatility on the defensive line would be Datone Jones from UCLA. Jones is a hybrid player who can play defensive end in both a 4-3 and 3-4 scheme. Not to mention he is a three-down player who could potentially rush the pass from the nose if need be.
As I mentioned previously, the 49ers will have the ammo to go up and get guys they favor. One of those "favored" players is wide receiver Tavon Austin. Austin was a first-team All-American in both 2011 and 2012. He was also a first-team All-Big East selection in consecutive years as well.
Without question he seems to be the most coveted wide receiver in this year's draft. His collegiate numbers and playmaking ability stand for themselves. Any team who is in the market for a slot wide receiver would be crazy not to target Austin.
Aside from his sustained production on the field, his numbers from the NFL Scouting Combine were also out of this world; he ran a 4.25 second 40-yard dash, he broad-jumped 10 feet and spring-boarded his way to a 32-inch vertical.
All of these incredible feats have him pegged as a top-15 pick. Would the 49ers really take a receiver in the first round for the second consecutive season? At this point it's hard to tell given the price they would have to pay to move up that far.
One thing we do know is that Greg Roman's offense doesn't have a reliable slot option right now.