49ers’ draft will be won in second and third-rounds



With so much hype surrounding which player the San Francisco 49ers would select in the first-round, many Forever Faithful tend to forget that GM Trent Baalke does most of his damage in the second and third-rounds. A day that features the 49ers having the most draft picks of any NFL franchise (5) it will be interesting to see how Baalke parlays his picks. In 2010, Baalke found his first diamond in the rough in ILB NaVorro Bowman in the third-round (No. 91) and a year later struck gold again with QB Colin Kaepernick in the second-round (No. 36). So what will Baalke do tonight? Considering the 49ers will not be able to sign or keep all 11 rookies, look for them to add depth at outside linebacker with their one of their second-round picks.

The 49ers were high on then free-agent OLB Dekoda Watson (Jaguars) during the off-season and had numerous linebackers in for pre-draft visits, ultimately leaving me to believe they will target one in the second-round.

Some players that come to mind include DE Demarcus Lawrence, OLB Kyle Van NoyDE Kony Ealy, and OLB Jeremiah Attaochu. If the 49ers can land at least one of these four players in the second-round, it will not only increase their depth but have them come out winners in the second-round as Lawrence, Ealy, and Attaochu are considered borderline late first to early second-round picks.

And with three additional picks in the third-round, don’t be shocked if the 49ers trade one of their three draft picks for a future 2015 second-round draft pick as teams try to fill holes immediately. That would be a huge win for the 49ers as they stockpile more picks for the future. But they still need to add depth and some players that would be great values in the third-round would be DT Ra’Shede Hageman, WR Martavis Bryant, and DT Carun Reid.

With the 49ers being closely monitored on this Friday afternoon, it will be fun to watch how Baalke uses his chip stack as he may go all-in for a targeted player or two.

Ryan is the Founder/CEO of NinerFans.com, 49ers Beat Writer, Live Game Day Correspondent for Bleacher Report and member of Pro Football Writers of America. Born and raised in San Jose, he also graduated from San Diego State University. His work has been featured on NFL Network, 95.7 The Game, National Football Post, Sports Illustrated, FanSided Network, ESPN Radio, CBS Sports 810, and NBC Bay Area News. For more information, please contact him via email at ryan@NinerFans.com or call him at (408) 622-0996.