Whom will the San Francisco 49ers take in the 2014 NFL draft? It’s a complicated question, considering how late in the first round they are drafting. Do they stay put at number 30 and let the draft come to them, or do they use one of their arsenal of selections to slide up in the draft?
The best way I find to look at things is to create a team-specific big board of all the top players in the draft, sorted according to the needs of the team in question. For example, quarterback Teddy Bridgewater of Louisville is considered one of the top prospects in this draft. He’s much more enticing, however, to a team like the Houston Texans than a team like the Green Bay Packers, simply due to the differing quarterback situations.
You don’t want to overdraft for need, however. The 49ers don’t find themselves particularly shopping for a running back, but if they suddenly found themselves staring at 1989 Barry Sanders or someone of that caliber, they’d be mad not to take him. You have to balance talent and team need in order to truly evaluate a draft class.
With all that in mind, first, we’ll look at the top 30 players in this draft, ranked in the order I believe the 49ers would take them if they were all available. Then, we’ll go position by position and see which players could reasonably fall to San Francisco’s draft slot, which players sit in spots the 49ers could trade up and grab and which players simply remain out of reach.