The San Francisco 49ers had a busy day on Friday.
They used draft picks to fill needs, trading for Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stevie Johnson and drafting ESPN’s top-rated center, Marcus Martin, out of UCLA.
They used draft picks for value, grabbing ESPN’s top-rated running back, Carlos Hyde of Ohio State, and highly rated inside linebacker Chris Borland out of Wisconsin.
They used draft picks for the future, picking Brandon Thomas, the guard from Clemson who tore his ACL in the private predraft workout.
They used draft picks to accumulate more draft picks, as well. They now have seven picks remaining in this year’s draft, as well as Denver’s fourth-round pick in 2015, which makes up for the loss of a pick in the Stevie Johnson trade.
All in all, the 49ers are doing a solid job in this year’s draft. While they haven’t had a single pick that stood out, they’ve done a good job filling their largest needs while also grabbing talented players who might have slipped a bit down the draft board. It may be a less aggressive strategy than many expected, but it’s been a solid one so far.
They still have needs to fill on Day 3 of the draft. The front seven could use some patching up, with both an outside linebacker as insurance for Aldon Smith and a defensive end in case Tank Carradine doesn’t work out being potential selections. Another, more traditional cornerback could be selected to battle for the nickelback slot. They could also draft a developmental quarterback to battle Blaine Gabbert for the number two job.
The 49ers will almost assuredly not use all seven selections on Saturday. They simply don’t have that many needs. However, there are interesting prospects at all seven slots the 49ers could sit back and take.
Here’s one player that the 49ers should seriously consider at each of their day three draft slots. These picks are mutually exclusive; I don’t feel the 49ers should draft three outside linebackers, for instance. However, it gives the team several options to consider.