If the NFL draft can be compared to a top movie yet to be released, the NFL Scouting Combine should be considered the preview.
The same could be argued when evaluating what the San Francisco 49ers do in preparations for draft day.
San Francisco is once again in a unique position approaching the draft—boasting a plethora of picks, again stockpiled by general manager Trent Baalke.
With a total of 12 picks in the upcoming draft, per Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area, the 49ers find themselves capable of executing a number of different approaches.
Will they trade up? Probably. Will they take a flier on injured players whose draft stock has dropped? Possibly.
Plenty of focus already exists on players the 49ers may target early in the draft. For example, 49ers.com writer Taylor Price discusses San Francisco's need for multiple wide receivers and highlights the draft as the primary resource to bolster this particular unit.
Most of the buzz will focus on some of the top-tier targets—wide receivers like Odell Beckham Jr., Allen Robinson and Mike Evans all come to mind.
Targets at other positions also warrant attention. Look no further than safeties like Deone Bucannon or Ahmad Dixon to possibly replace veteran safety Donte Whitner if he departs via free agency.
While evaluating some of these high-profile types, expect San Francisco to pay close attention to some of the lesser known prospects that may have slipped some of the headlines and therefore may be sleeper picks entering the draft.
Baalke does not typically show his hand when it comes to evaluating talent and targeting specific players, so it is difficult to assume—from the front office's perspective—which prospects the 49ers are closely monitoring, especially in the latter rounds.
For the purpose of this slideshow, let us evaluate prospects that are projected to be drafted in Round 3 or later during the upcoming draft. We shall use the projection rankings provided by CBS Sports for the sake of consistency.
Keep in mind, the combine is yet to be completed—the event lasts through Tuesday, February 25, per NFL.com.
Offensive linemen, tight ends and special teams prospects participated on Saturday, February 22 and quarterbacks, wide receivers and running backs on February 23.
Defensive linemen and linebackers partake in the combine on Monday, February 24 and defensive backs are evaluated on February 25.
So which hidden gems made it onto San Francisco's radar?
Let us take a look at seven of them.