San Francisco 49ers
While their Super Bowl window is still open, the San Francisco 49ers' roster is starting to show some cracks in the armor. Here is a look at the team's five biggest needs heading into the 2014 draft.
With NaVorro Bowman expected to be out for most of the season with a knee injury, the 49ers must find someone to play beside Patrick Willis. Michael Wilhoite performed well in limited action last season and will get the first crack at starting. The only other option on the roster is the untested Nick Moody.
How can a team with Justin Smith, Ray McDonald and Glenn Dorsey have a need on the defensive line? Smith and McDonald aren't getting any younger and may only have another year or two left in the tank. The 49ers invested draft picks in Tank Carradine and Quinton Dial in 2013, but both were limited in what they could do last year because of injuries. Carradine is coming off of a major knee injury, and it's unknown whether or not he can rebound.
Daniel Kilgore is in line to start at center after the 49ers did not re-sign Jonathan Goodwin. While the team has been grooming Kilgore to take over, there is no guarantee he's the answer. San Francisco also has to prepare for the possible loss of guard Mike Iupati who is in the last year of his contract.
Michael Crabtree will be a free agent after the 2014 season, and Anquan Boldin is approaching the end of his career. It's possible neither player will be with the club after the upcoming year, and the 49ers have few answers beyond them. They will need to hit on a receiver in the draft or run the risk of overpaying for one on the open market.
The 49ers have Tramaine Brock and a lot of question marks at cornerback. Chris Culliver is coming off of a knee injury and Perrish Cox, Eric Wright and Chris Cook all look to be better suited for limited roles. The position is a gaping hole on a Super Bowl ready roster. Expect two corners to be taken in the draft to help fill the need.