The San Francisco 49ers threw a bit of a curveball at the rest of the league with their first-round pick in the 2014 NFL draft, taking defensive back Jimmie Ward out of Northern Illinois. While most of the draft experts had the team taking a more traditional corner, Ward can serve as nickelback for now while preparing to take over for Antoine Bethea in the long run.
With their biggest need thus taken care of, the 49ers turn to Day 2 of the draft to patch up other holes. With five picks in the second and third rounds, the 49ers could target any player they so desire; they have the draft capital to go anywhere on the draft board.
The team still needs a third receiver to play behind Anquan Boldin and Michael Crabtree. It could use insurance on the offensive line behind the unproven Daniel Kilgore. The 49ers could also use pass-rushers at both linebacker and defensive end to help back up both Justin Smith and Aldon Smith, whose long-term futures with the team are in question for different reasons. Finally, they could use a developmental prospect at quarterback, as Blaine Gabbert isn’t the most trustworthy backup in the world.
Let’s take a look at the best remaining players entering Day 2 to see who the 49ers might target in potential trades at the top of the second round.