Finances, Free Agency and the Future are the main reasons the 49ers drafted the way they did with Best Player Available, regardless of position. The 49ers had a GREAT draft because it addressed Future free agency and addressed these needs. The following analysis is for all the whiners who forget that there is a salary cap. The salary cap is a limiting factor, but the 49ers have had the foresight to address this issue before it becomes a problem and incredibly have set themselves up for continued success by shrewd draft day moves and understanding of the impact of signing and losing free agents beyond the playing field i.e. compensatory picks. Their ability to keep their finances low, and draft replacements right before they are needed (i.e. player free agency) has set them up for continued success in the future.
Financially, the 49ers are going to have a HUGE contract to address, Colin Kaepernick's. Anywhere from $15-$20 million/year. That being said, the other high priced free agents will more than likely have to be let go next year are Michael Crabtree and Mike Iupati. Thus the draft moves this year addressed those two major positions. I am including the trade of WR Stevie Johnson as part of that draft day moves. While a draft pick is a question mark in regards to actual NFL production Stevie Johnson is a known and proven commodity and will make less on average the next three years than what Michael Crabtree is making right now, $5.3 million and who knows how much MORE he's going to ask as a free agent, guessing near the $9 million/year mark. 3rd round pick OG Brandon Thomas is also a strong candidate to replace Mike Iupati next year however he will not occupy a roster spot this year yet will be afforded the opportunity to learn the playbook and style of play of his fellow teammates and more importantly, fellow linemen.
The 49ers have key free agents that have Free Agency value and could be signed by other teams next year. Thus the 49ers have been proactive in addressing their future free agency needs, and addressed them in the draft. Credit to the 49ers that they were able to address future needs right now in the present. The silver lining to losing a player in free agency is the compensatory pick. How much they contributed to your team, will determine the compensation. I anticipate the 49ers having a BUNCH of compensatory picks next year. Due to paying Kaepernick and the plethora of rookies I anticipate will sign this year.
2015 FREE AGENTS
Frank Gore- 2nd Carlos Hyde
Michael Crabtree - 4th Bruce Ellington
Mike Iupati- C/G: 3rd Marcus Martin
Glenn Dorsey- 7th/PSquad Kaleb Ramsey
Tony Jerod-Eddie- 7th PSquad Kaleb Ramsey
Dan Skuta- 5th/Aaron Lynch
Chris Culliver- 4th Donatae Johnson
CJ Spillman- PSquad/IR Acker
Kendall Hunter- Jewel Hampton
Michael Wilhoite- Chris Borland
These free agents, already have their spot drafted during the draft and are currently on IR/PUP list and do not occupy a roster spot
Adam Snyder......OG: Brandon Thomas
Eric Wright......... CB: Keaser
Garrett Celek...... H-back: Trey Millard
Blaine Gabbert is the only position that they did not draft, but they traded for him, and want to keep him around.
Once again credit to Harbaalke and the 49ers front office and always keeping their eye on the Finances, Free Agency and the Future and sticking to their guns and sticking to BPA and fit for the future.