The team needs another cornerback to replace the departed Tarell Brown and Carlos Rogers and another wide receiver to kick-start the offense. They could also spend picks adding depth to center, defensive end, outside linebacker and backup quarterback.
There is a pattern of thought out there, however, that suggests the 49ers should not draft to fill some of their bigger needs. Noting a history of draft shortcomings at the wide receiver position, some fans have begun to suggest that the 49ers should specifically avoid drafting a receiver. After all, if the team is going to just draft busts at that position, why not use the pick and try to hit on a different position?
Is it true that the 49ers are particularly bad at taking players at any specific position? To try to answer that question, I’ve gone back to find the last ten players drafted at each of the 49ers’ positions of need, to see if there’s a trend of particularly good or bad picks.
I’m doing ten picks, rather than just the players drafted by either Jim Harbaugh or Trent Baalke, to provide a bit of a control to the list. The skill of the Harbaugh/Baalke team at picking players is probably not closely related to the skill of the Mike Nolan and Scot McCloughan team, so if they’re equally good or bad at picking players, we can chalk that up to normal difficulties in drafting, rather than an inability of this particular front office to pick players.