San Francisco 49ers: Day 2 2014 NFL Draft Primer

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San Francisco 49ers: Day 2 2014 NFL Draft Primer
USA TODAY Sports

Round 1 of the 2014 NFL draft is in the books, and the San Francisco 49ers made a move that most fans probably did not see coming.

While common thought most likely had the 49ers tabbing either a wide receiver or a safety in Round 1, potentially trading up within the round, general manager Trent Baalke did neither. Instead, he stayed put at pick No. 30 and drafted Northern Illinois safety Jimmie Ward.

There can be plenty of speculation behind why San Francisco was not as aggressive as it could have been.

First off, the 49ers owned 11 picks heading into the draft—six of which fell within the top 100.

Simply put, San Francisco had the ammunition to be potent in almost any trade-up scenario. There were targets that the 49ers had been linked to. LSU wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. topped many 49ers mock drafts, including this author's mock.

Yet Beckham was gone long before the 49ers had a chance to trade up to a likely partner—the Baltimore Ravens, as pointed out by CSN Bat Area's Matt Maiocco:

We may never know exactly what transpired with the 49ers' draft-day plans and how Baalke elected to sit on the 30th pick and land Ward.

Perhaps San Francisco's targets had all left the board too early and were possibly not worth the price Baalke was willing to pay in terms of a trade-up package.

On the other hand, maybe Baalke saw something in Ward that others did not—realizing that the young player's flexibility could immediately solve a couple of needs.

At any rate, the 49ers still own 10 picks and shall enjoy two in Round 2 and another three (one compensatory) in Round 3. 

This still gives San Francisco plenty of ammunition to fire away at a trade-up or to land some promising prospects in this deep collegiate pool.

So let us prepare ourselves for the 49ers' plan of attack as the 2014 NFL draft resumes on Friday, May 9.

 

Statistics, records and accolades courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.com and Sports-Reference.com unless otherwise indicated. Contractual information courtesy of Spotrac.

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