As we head into the final day of the draft, I thought it might be helpful to look at our roster and who I view as "locks" for each position group. My assumption is that every draft pick so far will make the team. I thought this might clarify the positions we are most likely to target tomorrow.
QB (2 Locks): Colin Kaepernick and Blaine Gabbert
Need? - Maybe. McLeod Bethel-Thompson is our thirds QB right now. He's got enough potential to be fine here, but with quite a few quality QBs on the board, it might not be a bad idea to bring in another arm.
WR (4 Locks): Anquan Boldin, Michael Crabtree, Stevie Johnson, Quinton Patton
Need? - Yes. We normally carry five WRs on the roster. I can't see us carrying more, especially considering that our offense is more run oriented. Right now we have Brandon Lloyd, Jon Baldwin, Kassim Osgood, and a bunch of futures contract guys going for the last spot. Osgood is the only guy who could make the team want to carry six because of his special teams acumen. Of the young guys, Devon Wylie is the most intriguing because he has some return skills which we will need if and when we dump LaMicahel James. Honestly, I would rather a guy like Ellington or Bryant over any of these guys, especially considering Crabtree's contract. This should be our first priority tomorrow.
TE (2 Locks): Vernon Davis, Vance McDonald
Need? - Maybe. Garrett Celek and Derek Carrier are in line to battle it out for the 3rd TE position, which is a fairly important role on this team. Celek is a pure blocker while Carrier is an athletic guy who is raw. I would love to see an upgrade here, but is there a guy left on the board who would be better than either of these two?
RB/FB (5 locks): Frank Gore, Marcus Lattimore, Carlos Hyde, Kendall Hunter, Bruce Miller
Need? - No. We could possibly bring in competition for FB, but Miller isn't going to lose his job and we aren't carrying two FBs.
OL (8 Locks): Joe Staley, Mike Iupati, Daniel Kilgore, Alex Boone, Anthony Davis, Marcus Martin, Joe Looney, Jonathan Martin
Need? - No. We usually carry 9 lineman. The last spot will come down to Adam Snyder vs. Ryan Seymour. Luke Marquardt and Carter Bykowski might be able to push themselves into the conversation, but I doubt it. We will also have Brandon Thomas on IR, so we are pretty set. Some might argue that Jonathan Martin is a not a lock, but even then a late round rookie would still be a long shot to make this team.
DL (5 Locks): Justin Smith, Glenn Dorsey, Ian Williams, Ray McDonald, Tank Carradine
Need? - Yes. Tony Jerrod-Eddie had a nice season last year and Quinton Dial has potential, but we at least need more competition. After those two guys we have Mike Purcell, Lawrence Okoye, and Christian Tupou. That is a huge drop off in experience/talent. This should be our next priority after WR.
ILB (5 Locks): Patrick Willis, NaVorro Bowman, Michael Wilhoite, Chris Borland, Nick Moody
Need? - No. Bowman will start the year on the PUP and Wilhoite will probably start. Borland and Moody have special teams ace written all over them.
OLB (4 Locks): Aldon Smith, Ahmad Brooks, Dan Skuta, Corey Lemonier
Need? - Yes. This is a nice group, but Aldon's uncertain future makes it essential to bring in a guy for insurance. I would call this priority #4.
CB (4 Locks): Chris Culliver, Tramaine Brock, Jimmie Ward, Darryl Morris
Need? - Yes. This is, at least, priority #3. After the four above, at least one of Cox, Wright, or Cook will make the team. Probably both Cox and Wright. I know that Ward will eventually take over for Bethea, but he will see time as the NB this year so I have him here. Many of you might not think Morris is a lock, but his speed, special teams ability, and tenacity will earn him another year. But still, we definitely need one more guy in this unit. There is still quite a bit of talent on the board: Breeland, McGill, Desir, Colvin, etc. This could easily be priority #1 if Baalke has his eye on a specific player.
Safety (3 Locks): Eric Reid, Antoine Bethea, C.J. Spillman
Need? - No. We have our starters and a decent backup in Spillman. If there is an injury, Ward might actually see more time than C.J. Craig Dahl and Ray Ventrone will battle it out for the last spot. Ventrone is purely special teams, but he is a star on that squad. Dahl is more versatile, but is mediocre at everything.
So, by my count, we have 6-7 spots POTENTIALLY up for grabs (In general order of importance):
WR - 1
DL - 1-2
CB - 1
OLB - 1-2
TE - 1
QB - 1
Who do we target? Here are my guys:
WR: Martavis Bryant, Bruce Ellington, Robert Herron
DL - DaQuan Jones, Justin Ellis, Josh Mauro
CB - Aaron Colvin (IR), Bashaud Breeland, Keith McGill, Pierre Desir, Ricardo Allen
OLB - ? (I don't know the guys still on the board)
TE - ? (See above, just not Colt Lyerla)
QB - Logan Thomas, Andrew Murray, Connor Shaw
Lastly, the biggest concern I have is KR/PR. James is probably gone tomorrow. I was really hoping for Archer, but it wasn't meant to be. Any good return men out there?