The 2014 NFL Scouting Combine takes place at Lucas Oil Stadium this weekend in Indianapolis, and just like that, the San Francisco 49ers will be back into the swing of things, preparing for next season. It’s already time to get better and start restructuring this roster.
Watching a team like this maneuver through the offseason will be interesting to say the least, largely because this is a ballclub that appears to have all the pieces.
Few teams in the league have the type of talent distribution San Francisco has on its roster. Yet they’ve continued to sorely underperform in a few key areas and its cost them world championships. Drafting well at need positions will be essential if they hope to realistically compete. It has to cure what ails them.
So, after three straight NFC title visits and a near-miss in Super Bowl XLVII, what do coach Jim Harbaugh and general manager Trent Baalke need to add to get this team over the hump?
Those that have been following along don’t have to be told how concentrated the needs are here. Cornerback, wide receiver and safety are the three positions they have to hit on and they can continue to make value picks around them for depth, which would be similar to last year.
But with 12 picks, they’ll need to scour all seven rounds, hitting on multiple prospects, particularly early on.
In the following rundown, we will identify specific prospects for the 49ers, tagged as “top targets” and “sleepers.” Top targets will be players that the 49ers can be expected to pursue anywhere in Round 1 or even move up to the top half of the second round to take. Said player also fills a top need this offseason.
Sleepers consist of players that will be of high interest to the 49ers but aren’t getting near the attention they should be. These players are also perfect team fits in every conceivable way, so much so that you can already envision them donning the scarlet jersey and gold helmet.
They can also be had at any time after the first round.
All of the players have been studied and projected as fits within San Francisco's offensive and defensive schemes. Without further delay, here is a list of names to look out for at the combine that could be of interest to the 49ers.
Statistics courtesy of College-Football-Sports-Reference, unless specified otherwise. Contract information provided by Spotrac. Measurements and rough round projections via CBS Sports and NFL Draft Scout.