QB (1): Colin Kaepernick
Kaepernick is the franchise QB, but the Niners need to find a solid veteran backup AND also use a mid-round pick on a developmental type - maybe someone like Miami's Stephen Morris of VA Tech's Logan Thomas.
RB (4): Frank Gore / Marcus Lattimore / Kendall Hunter / LaMichael James
The RB position is stacked for the Niners but there are questions heading into Gore's final contract season. The position's future hinges on Lattimore and if he can regain the form that made him the nation's best RB at South Carolina. Kendall Hunter should also get more carries and needs to show if can be an everydown back. I like James and think he can bring an added dimension to the offense, but he needs to play faster and show more explosiveness.
FB (1): Bruce Miller
Miller is a stud - one of the best FBs in the league.
WR (2): Michael Crabtree / Quinton Patton
Once again, the WR position is incredibly thin for the 49ers - particularly if they choose not to resign Anquan Boldin who will likely command at least $5M per season. Moreover, Crabtree is coming into a contract year and will command premium dollars. The 49ers would be wise to select at least 2 WRs - one as early s the 1st round - maybe a gamebreaker like Oregon St's Brandin Cooks and a bigger target in the later rounds like Clemson's Martavis Bryant. Another guy worth keeping a close eye on: Chuck Jacobs on the practice squad.
TE (2): Vernon Davis / Vance McDonald
Vernon will be 30 next season but he's just hitting his prime years and Vance McDonald flashed at times this year but we need to see more. I think Celek is likely out and the team will give Derrick Carrier to stick, but I would like to see the 49ers add a H-back/Delanie Walker-type in the mid rounds of the draft like Cal's Richard Rodgers.
OT (2): Joe Staley / Anthony Davis
The future is set here, but the team needs to add depth in the draft. Also the team like Luke Marquardt who's been on IR all season.
OG (3): Mike Iupati / Alex Boone / Joe Looney
With Iupati slated to be a FA after next season the team needs to find out if Looney is the heir apparent, if they are not confident in him as a starter, the 49ers could select an interior lineman fairly early in the draft.
OC (1): Daniel Kilgore
I'm not sure the team is confident in giving the reigns to Kilgore as the starting center and could very well take a flyer early on a young OC - maybe Stanford's David Yankey or perhaps find a FA. I would love the team to add Alex Mack, but I highly doubt they could afford him. Maybe Even Dietrich-Smith or Ryan Wendell would be more affordable fits.
DE (4): Justin Smith / Ray McDonad / Tank Carradine / Tony Jerod-Eddie
This position is loaded - particularly if Carradine comes back in top form and Jerod-Eddie continues to improve. With that said, there are a lot of talented 3-4 DEs in this years draft with Smith turning 35 the 49ers will always be on the look out for upgrades.
NT (3): Ian Williams / Glenn Dorsey / Quinton Dial
This is not a spectacular group but very solid and deep. Someone like Louis Nix III would look good anchoring the DL, but the 49ers have other bigger needs.
OLB (4): Aldon Smith / Ahmad Brooks / Corey Lemonier / Dan Skuta
If Aldon stays out of trouble he and Brooks form the best OLB combo in the game. Lemonier needs to get stronger and develop, but I think he can evolve into a solid contributor and Skuta can play in a pinch. With that said, you can never have enough pass rushers and if management is worried about the Aldon Smith long term they can take a flyer on a guy like Aaron Lynch or Michael Sam on day 2.
ILB (3): Pattrick Willis / NoVarro Bowman / Nick Moody
This position hinges on Bowman's ability to come back quickly from that grizzly ACL tear, but I think the 49ers will look to add another fast, aggressive ILB - especially with Wilhoite as a FA - who can fill in and contribute on special teams.
CB (3): Chris Culliver / Tramaine Brock / Darryl Morris
I anticipate the 49ers will part ways with Carlos Rogers and Terrell Brown but could bring back Eric Wright. Even with him back in the fold, I expect them to use an early pick on a CB. A couple prospects I like are: Ok State's Justin Gilbert, Florida's Louchiez Purifoy, Ohio State's Bradley Roby and Oklahoma's Aaron Colvin.
S (2): Eric Reid / C.J. Spillman
I think the 49ers would be wise to bring back Donte Whitner - he's a reliable in-the-box safety and true leader in the secondary. BUT, I think it's 50/50 he comes back because his contract demands may be signficantly more than what 49ers would want to pay. If he's gone, I think the 49ers can look to add a hard hitting S in the mid rounds of the draft - think LSU's Craig Loston, Stanford's Ed Reynolds or WSU's Deone Bucanon or look at FAs such as Major Wright, Antoine Bethea or Stevie Brown.
2014 NFL Mock Draft
49ers Trade 1st Round Pick for 2nd Round Pick and 2015 1st Round Pick.
2nd Round: WR Brandin Cooks Oregon St. 5'10" 186
2nd Round (KC): CB Bradley Roby Oho St. 5'11" 193
2nd Round: OT/OG Antonio Richardson Tennessee 6'6" 330
3rd Round (TEN): TE Richard Rodgers Cal 6'4" 245
3rd Round: QB Stephen Morris Miami 6'2" 211
3rd Round (Comp): S Craig Loston LSU 6'1" 209
4th Round: WR Martavis Bryant 6'5"200
Resign S Donte Whitner to 2 year $10M deal
Resign K Phil Dawson
Sign OC Evan Dietrich-Smith (or Ryan Wendell or Ryan Cook or JD Walton
Sign QB Kellen Clemens
Projected 2014 Roster
QB: Colin Kaepernick / Kellen Clemens / Stephen Morris
RB: Frank Gore / Marcus Lattmore / Kendall Hunter / LaMichael James
FB: Bruce Miller
TE: Vernon David / Vance McDonald / Richard Rodgers
WR: Michael Crabtree / Quinton Patton / Brandin Cooks / Martavis Bryant / Chuck Jacobs
OT: Joe Staley / Anthony Davis / Antonio Richardson / Luke Marquardt
OG: Mike Iupati / Alex Boone / Joe Looney
OC: Evan Dietrich-Smith / Dan Kilgore
DE: Justin Smith / Ray McDonald / Tank Carradine / Tony Jerod-Eddie
NT: Ian Williams / Glenn Dorsey / Quinton Dial
OLB: Aldon Smith / Ahmad Brooks / Corey Lemonier / Dan Skuta
ILB: Patrick Willis / NaVorro Bowman / Nick Moody / Draft pick or FA
CB: Chris Culliver / Tramaine Brock / Bradley Roby / Eric Wright / Darryl Morris
S: Eric Reid / Donte Whitner / Craig Loston / C.J. Spillman
K: Phil Dawson
P: Andy Lee
LS: Kevin McDermott