At first glance, the 2013 class seems like a humble, hard working group of guys.
There are no egos—just a big, talented class looking to prove themselves to the established veterans. This draft was meant to be very complementary to what San Francisco already has in place while providing building blocks for the future.
The 49ers have that in players like Tank Carradine, Marcus Lattimore and Corey Lemonier. All three are starting caliber but might not rightfully earn it for two to four years, depending on the player.
Then there are wild cards with upside; Lawrence Okoye has been attracting a lot of attention, but Marcus Cooper and Nick Moody are guys who may wind up making some noise come training camp.
The attention was distributed all over the roster, and you have to credit the way San Francisco focused on special teams. It is an entire phase of the team that needs to be rejuvenated, and this class is inspiring in that regard.
Although he is probably going to become a starter, Eric Reid is another individual who can contribute to the special teams unit. On the defensive side of the ball, he’s a downhill safety, similar to the way Dashon Goldson and Donte Whitner played.
As a similarly built safety, this makes him a fit for the defense and a low risk when it comes to transitioning. However, the 49ers don’t really need him to play in the box because of their current personnel up front.
With players like Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman patrolling the middle, San Francisco needs the LSU rookie to play the deep part of the field.
Heading into camp, Reid’s primary focus will be his ability to communicate and not get lost on the back end. Understanding the terminology and playbook will be his first milestone to reach when learning NFL coverages.
Then there is Corey Lemonier, a former defensive end from Auburn now making the conversion to outside linebacker.
During his time with the Tigers (39 games played), he totaled 100 tackles, 17.0 sacks, 24 tackles for loss and seven forced fumbles. The 6’3", 255-pound defensive standout from the SEC made a habit of getting in the opponent’s backfield.
“Standing up, I don’t think it’s going to be too hard of a transition,” Lemonier said. “I’m just excited about this whole new change,” via 49ers.com.
If he can step up and compete at a high level, the 49ers may once again have a situational pass-rusher at outside linebacker. By drafting into strength in the early to mid rounds, San Francisco may have put itself in a very advantageous position come September.
And finally, there was the arrival of undrafted free-agent quarterback Nate Montana.
Montana chose the 49ers over the Bengals, taking the No. 6 jersey at the rookie minicamp. It sounded like an OK start for the Notre Dame alum who made a few nice throws over the weekend.
Montana hit a perfectly thrown deep-corner route to tight end Vance McDonald, beating first-round safety Eric Reid in the process (h/t 49ers.com).
He did throw an interception to linebacker Nate Stupar during seven-on-seven drills, but it reportedly bounced off the receiver’s hands. He is not a prospect who is remarkably impressive at any one thing, but could turn into an interesting story in camp.
After all, he is the offspring of Hall of Famer Joe Montana, playing the same position and working with the most proven quarterback guru in the league. Hopefully that is enough to make him a legitimate threat to Scott Tolzien and B.J. Daniels.
Dylan DeSimone is the San Francisco 49ers' lead columnist for Bleacher Report. A former NFL journalist and fantasy football writer for SB Nation, Niners Nation and SB Nation Bay Area, Dylan now writes for B/R.
To talk football with Dylan, follow him on Twitter @DeSimone80.