The San Francisco 49ers arguably had the best draft class out of the entire NFL.
From top to bottom, the 49ers addressed their major needs. As a team coming off a Super Bowl appearance, the team was already considered one of the elite. With just a few key players leaving during the offseason, the 49ers had some clear needs to address.
Looking to add a starting-caliber safety, pass-rushing depth at defensive end and/or outside linebacker, a second tight end and a workhorse running back for the future, the 49ers were able to acquire all of these by the end of the fourth round. With many picks to work with in this draft, San Francisco moved up, down and stayed in place to acquire all the right players, assembling the ideal 2013 NFL Draft class.
With Dashon Goldson leaving for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the 49ers moved up to the No. 18 overall pick to draft LSU safety Eric Reid. An athletic, fast and physical safety from the SEC, Reid will either start right away or work his way into the mix with veteran Craig Dahl starting at first.
The 49ers added two explosive pass rushers with the additions of Florida State’s Cornellius Carradine in the second round and Auburn’s Corey Lemonier in the third round. Two pass-rushing talents who could have potentially been drafted in the first round, both players will help add pressure to opposing quarterbacks alongside Aldon Smith and Justin Smith.
With Delanie Walker signing a big free agent deal with the Tennessee Titans, the 49ers found their heir apparent by drafting Rice’s Vance McDonald with the No. 55 overall pick. An athletic receiver with most of his collegiate experience in the slot, he is the unique offensive weapon head coach Jim Harbaugh could use all over the field.
Lastly, the big boom-or-bust pick came during the compensatory picks of the fourth round with the selection of South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore. Coming off a major injury in where he tore most of his ligaments in his right knee, he could become Frank Gore’s eventual replacement. While Kendall Hunter and LaMichael James showed promise last season, Lattimore could be that workhorse back if he recovers and returns to form, making his an excellent value selection to stash and store for the future.
San Francisco 49ers 2013 NFL Draft Class
Round 1, Pick 18: Eric Reid, S, LSU
Round 2, Pick 8: Cornellius Carradine, DE, Florida State
Round 2, Pick 23: Vance McDonald, TE, Rice
Round 3, Pick 26: Corey Lemonier, OLB, Auburn
Round 4, Pick 31: Quinton Patton, WR, Louisiana Tech
Round 4, Pick 34: Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina
Round 5, Pick 24: Quinton Dial, DL, Alabama
Round 6, Pick 12: Nick Moody, LB, Florida State
Round 7, Pick 31: B.J. Daniels, QB, South Florida
Round 7, Pick 40: Carter Bykowski, T, Iowa State
Round 7, Pick 46: Marcus Cooper, DB, Rutgers
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