Oh, the big boards for the NFL draft—what an alluring organizational concept it is.
Every fan wonders all offseason what their team’s big board looks like at top needs positions and how it got that way. The mystique of it: Wanting to be a fly on the wall in the room when the general managers, coaches and scouts are sharing reports and giving their candid insight on players.
These info-sharing sessions, which end in a several ranking-based lists made up names of hundreds of 20-22-year-old college grads, essentially represents the team’s business model. Reading each position, the commonalities detail every level of the schematic infrastructure.
You can see what’s valued and what isn’t.
Not to mention, the effort by each individual involved and the overall seriousness of the process is never underestimated because there is the unspoken understanding that jobs are at stake with these analyses. It’s quite the time of year for NFL teams. There’s a lot of reflection and forward thinking.
When it comes to the San Francisco 49ers, this is the most enticing year to daydream about the team’s big board.
They’re only a piece or two away from completing coach Jim Harbaugh’s masterpiece, which could be set up for a few more Super Bowl appearances. And what do you know, but for a third year in a row, the No. 1 need is wide receiver, which is fortuitously plentiful in 2014.
Harbaugh and general manager Trent Baalke have a litany of options, but cutting through the fog, one can imagine how this class may look from their perspective.
And that’s what we’re going to try and do with three months left before the draft. While it may look a bit unorthodox, the big board you are about to dive into is one that is team-specific, which you won’t find everywhere else.
Round projection isn't the end-all be-all here.
Were looking at the most desirable players for the 49ers, while trying to assess whom they may be able to draft at an optimal value.
It’s also an important factor in this team’s current state on offense, including what it needs, as well as the recent history. There’s also a very real possibility the 49ers draft one, or maybe even two, of the players listed here, so keep an open mind.
Without further delay, your first inside look at what San Francisco’s big board may look like at wide receiver in 2014.