2014 NFL Draft: WR, Not CB, Will Be San Francisco 49ers’ Main Priority
There have been rumors circling that the San Francisco 49ers are interested in making a move up the draft board in the first round to secure a prospect that they have their eye on. With six picks in the top 100 and 11 total, the team has the ability to move around within any round of their choosing to secure their targets.
San Francisco appears to have a glaring hole at cornerback but does have players already capable of contributing in some form. Tramaine Brock and Chris Culliver are currently slated to be the starters, and Perrish Cox, Chris Cook, Eric Wright and Darryl Morris will all be in the mix for playing time. While there is a need to upgrade the position, the 49ers most likely believe that their system is such that they can plug in a certain type of corner and that player can be successful. An example of that was their signing of Cook, who they believe can have more success using press coverage as opposed to zone.
Because of this philosophy, expect the team to put more emphasis on another position in the NFL Draft: wide receiver.
Looking solely at the 2014 depth chart, one would think that the team is set with Michael Crabtree, Anquan Boldin and the up-and-coming Quinton Patton. However, with Crabtree in the last year of his deal and Boldin’s salary escalating in 2015, there is the possibility that the cupboard could be empty at wideout in the next year or two. Also, considering the franchise is preparing to center their future around quarterback Colin Kaepernick, it would benefit all involved to get him as many weapons as possible.
Taking these factors into consideration, look for the team to be active in early rounds to get as many as two receivers in the fold. There are reports that suggest the team is high on Texas A&M‘s Mike Evans, and he could be their target should they indeed trade up in the first round.
Beyond Evans, there is a deep class at the position and the 49ers could even stand pat at No. 30 and still have a shot at players like Kelvin Benjamin, Marqise Lee and Cody Latimer. They could also look to later in the draft and select a wideout like Davante Adams or Allen Robinson who could be had beyond the first round.