There's been a ton of talk surrounding the 49ers of late, with the loss of Michael Crabtree for possibly all of 2013, to the new rookies in town and even the signing of consultant Eric Mangini.
Two 49ers draft picks who I've yet to get into deeper analysis of yet, and the two biggest additions to this teams offense via the draft, are RB Marcus Lattimore and TE Vance McDonald. We'll start with McDonald, cause he was selected before Lattimore in the 2nd round, and was ranked by many draft experts as a top-2 tight end in this class. NFP had McDonald as it's 37th most valuable player in the 2013 draft, so for the 49ers to get him at 55 may end up being a steal. The 6'5" 260 pound had some very nice years at Rice, where he caught 15 TD passes and over 1500 yards in his career (only two of which where full seasons as a starter). He's adept in the blocking game, and has the size to take on bigger, stronger defenders, but he's also got speed to be able to beat the average linebacker in passing routes. He should come in and immediately become the team's #2 tight end and has a chance to be used even more prominently now with Crabtree shelved. As intigral as Delany Walker was in this offense, I see McDonald with the ability to be even more. I'm not ready to say that Vernon Davis and Vance McDonald are the next Gronkowski-Hernandez tandem, but they certainly have the ability to be.
Then of course, there's Marcus Lattimore, who I for one was thrilled about landing in the 5th round. This guy has Frank Gore written all over him, as he had that explosive freshman year for South Carolina, and unfortunately suffered that gruesome injury the following year and was never able to stay on the field. Obviously, that raises a red flag for the 49ers, but the main point here is that Lattimore will not be asked to be the bell cow in San Francisco, he won't even be 2nd on the depth chart his first year, so there will be plenty of time to get this kid recovered and back to his normal self. I know Gore is still running effectively and isn't yet 30, but he's got a lot of mileage on him and I was thinking it was time to start looking at guys who may be the future for this team at running back a few years down the line. Lattimore certainly has that potential. Kendal Hunter is that perfect change of pace back, but Lattimore has that everydown ability and can even create in the passing game. Had he been coming off a year like his freshman year, he'd have probably been a top-10 pick. On that ability alone, and getting him in the 5ht round, are two reasons why this was my favorite pick of the 2013 draft for the 49ers.