When the San Francisco 49ers signed CB Nnamdi Asomugha to a one-year deal, it allowed the Niners to now address other needs early on in the 2013 NFL Draft. Some players they could have been targeting with the 31st pick were CB Johnthan Banks, CB Desmond Trufant, or CB D.J. Hayden. However, now that the 49ers have addressed the cornerback position in free-agency, they can now turn their focus to either safety or defensive line. Sure, the 49ers signed NT Glenn Dorsey and SS Craig Dahl but is that enough to replace the departed Isaac Sopoaga, Ricky Jean-Francois, and Dashon Goldson? I think not, and the 49ers better realize this if they hope to regain their Super Bowl form.
Keep in mind, that if GM Trent Baalke covets a player in the middle of round one, he will not hesitate to trade up and get that prospect. Some possible trading partners may include, the Cleveland Browns, San Diego Chargers, and Minnesota Vikings. The Browns now led by GM Michael Lombardi, is known to be movers on draft day and stockpile picks learned by the great Bill Walsh. If the 49ers covet a player, make no mistake they will target him. Also, Vikings GM Rick Spielman loves to trade back if he feels the value is there, so do not be surprised, considering they have two first-round picks.
So what players are the 49ers targeting if they do decide to trade up? Some players may include G Jonathan Cooper (North Carolina), G Chance Warmack (Alabama) and S Kenny Vaccaro (Texas). All of those players are top 10-15 talents that could slide due to their positions they play. In addition, all of those players will fit a need, where the 49ers need a strong right-guard and a hard hitting free-safety.
But what if they do stay where they are, who will they pick? Of course, many factors play into it, such as picking the “BPA” (Best Player Available), however I believe they will target defensive line. NT John Jenkins is scheduled for a visit to Santa Clara’s facility meaning the 49ers are strongly considering defensive linemen. Other nose tackles may include NT Johnathan Hankins (Ohio St.), DT Kawaan Short (Purdue), and DT Sheldon Richardson (Missouri).
We all know how unpredictable Baalke can be, so don’t be surprised if he makes another WR A.J. Jenkins pick. He may even “reach” for FS Jonathan Cyprien (FIU) with the 31st pick. Which ever decision Baalke decides to go in, we should all believe in him, as he has been nothing short of a top notch talent evaluator.