Thursday, April 25, 2013

49ers Notes: Draft Day

For a team who came just short of a Super Bowl victory just over 2 months ago, the 49ers' brass still sees a lot of areas that this team can improve upon. They've been pretty aggressive in free agency, and today, weeks of waiting will come to an end as we'll finally find out exactly what they do with that 30th pick in round one.

So far leading up to this 2013 draft, the 49ers have done a pretty good job of identifying their needs and bolstering their roster in any way they can. They started out by signing of Nnamdi Asomugha, which could end being one of the steals of the offseason if he can take advantage of his fresh start in San Francisco, which I think he will absolutely do. He's expected to be the 49ers 3rd corner coming into camp, but it wouldn't surprise me to see him take a starting gig if he gets back into his Oakland form, which playing press coverage should allow him to do. The 49ers also added Craig Dahl as a backup option at free safety should they not find a more suitable replacement for Dashon Goldson by the time training camp starts. That's the one area they could go after with their first round pick, but outside of Texas' Kenny Vaccaro, who will likely be gone by the middle of round one. Dahl has started the last few seasons for St. Louis and is a solid player, but isn't quite the play-maker that Goldson was and not as good in coverage. The 49ers also added DE Glen Dorsey, a former first rounder from the Chiefs, to add some much needed depth to their defensive line, another area I wouldn't be surprised to see addressed with one of their top few picks.

Offensively, the 49ers have been aggressive as well. The biggest move perhaps made by them all offseason was trading for Anquan Boldin, who I think will be a tremendous add to the offense. Boldin never quite fit in with Baltimore like the Ravens hoped, but he still was a consistent target for Joe Flacco, and I expect him to be even better with Colin Kaepernick. I mean, before heading to Baltimore, this guy was a shoe in for 1,000 yards and 10+ TD's each season, and he's still got plenty of good football left in him. The Niners also signed Phil Dawson, who expects to take over for David Akers after the horrible season Akers had in 2012. Dawson isn't the most flashy kicker in the game, but he does get the job done and has the leg to kick the 55-yarder through the gusty winds at Candlestick.  The 49es also had to fill Alex Smith's backup QB role after dealing him to KC last month, and did so by acquiring Colt McCoy from the Browns. McCoy has the ability to move around a bit and is smart with the ball, drawing a lot of similarities to Smith in many aspects, so he should be just fine as QB 2. Of course, hopefully he won't really be needed, but if he has to come in and finish a game or fill in with a spot start, I think he's more than capable of leading this team on the short term.

With the draft getting ready to start here in an hour, I'll be back with an updated post with both the 49ers and Raiders first round picks. For the 49ers, again, defensive line, or secondary would be my guesses for their first pick. Many expect them to try and move up to make a play on Vaccaro or someone like DT Sheldon Richardson from Missouri. The Raiders are much less of a mystery, as they have the 3 pick and likely will take the best OT available, either Luke Joeckel  or Eric Fisher... Stay tuned!