The San Francisco 49ers shall approach the 2014 NFL draft, not with the intention of trying to revamp an already dominant franchise, but rather to tweak and bolster a roster that is already towards the elite of the NFL.
This is a good situation for the 49ers to be in. The 49ers have few needs to address this offseason. They also have a total of 12 picks to utilize per Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area—a situation similar to the one the team found itself in back in 2013.
That year, the 49ers elected to draft only a couple of immediate-impact players—safety Eric Reid and tight end Vance McDonald—while using many of their other picks to draft injured or developmental players like Tank Carradine and Marcus Lattimore.
Should we expect San Francisco to approach this draft with a similar mindset?
Despite having 12 picks in this upcoming draft, the 49ers do not have 12 on-the-field needs. They may not even have 12 roster spots up for grabs next season.
In the humble opinion of this author, San Francisco has four pending needs that could be addressed in this draft—safety, cornerback, wide receiver and center.
All of these needs are directly related to what the 49ers do in free agency, both with their own, and outside the organization—the details of which shall be described further in this slideshow.
In spite of San Francisco not needing to rely on this draft for players that fill immediate needs, the 49ers will still look for a number of players that shall have the capability to be instant starters.
We will take a look at eight prospects, two at each of the aforementioned positions, that could start immediately for San Francisco in 2014. We shall also describe need and evaluate what they could bring to the team.