The San Francisco 49ers again have a plethora of draft picks at their disposal in the upcoming 2014 NFL Draft, 11 to be exact. And with five of those 11 picks coming in the first three-rounds, the question remains will the 49ers trade-up and select a highly coveted player? That remains to be seen.
However with GM Trent Baalke trading up twice in the first-round over the course of managing four career NFL Drafts, it’s a 50-50 shot that Baalke will strike again. And why wouldn’t he? So with the 49ers sitting at No. 30 in the first-round for the second time in the past three drafts, which players will they target? I have identified three players that will likely be targeted if they feel the need to move up vertically in order to better the team. And you can guess their are only two positions targeted and that’s wide receiver and cornerback, no surprise there. So without further ado, here are five players they will likely move up and target if the need is there.
1. WR Mike Evans (Texas A&M)
Analysis: Listed at 6-foot-5 and 225 pounds, Evans would easily become the 49ers’ biggest wide receiver. A player with the perfect H-W-S (height, weight, speed) as Evans is routinely making plays down the field, it’s no wonder Baalke will likely have his name with a gold helmet on their big board. A true deep-threat from the coveted SEC that can stretch the field vertically, Evans will help keep defense’s honest while exposing a single high safety the Seattle Seahawks love to use in FS Earl Thomas. A top 10-15 talent, Evans will be targeted early in a very deep draft class.
2. CB Justin Gilbert (Oklahoma St.)
Analysis: A player I said the 49ers should trade up for back in January, Gilbert proved why, as he had arguably the best NFL combine of any cornerback. A player that ran a cornerback best 4.37 second 40-yard dash while also displaying his work ethic in the gym with a cornerback best 20 reps on the 225 pound bench-press, Gilbert proved why he was the No. 1 rated cornerback on my Big Board. A player that adds value in the return game as he has the explosive cut back speed to match, look for Gilbert to make a splash at the next level.
3. CB Darqueze Dennard (Michigan St.)
Analysis: The No. 2 rated cornerback on my Big Board, it’s no wonder why his nickname is “The No Fly Zone.” At 5-foot-11 and 197 pounds, he is not the ideal big cornerback the 49ers covet but nonetheless would be a nice addition to the secondary. A player that I consider to be the most fundamentally sound and NFL ready, Dennard’s ceiling is not as high as Gilbert’s. However, he is a solid cornerback and will be highly sought after early in the NFL Draft.