The 49ers went into the draft with many holes to fill. Offensive line, defensive backfield, defensive line, kicker, half backs, and wide receivers were at the top of the list. They fared well in the first 6 rounds, and also in the 7th which they had to trade back into, by giving up a round 6 1999 pic.
For the most part, the 49ers went for depth. After the Raiders snatched up the 3rd and final offensive lineman that could have started, Mo Collins. The 49ers were left with no other choice. They went with versatility. At the 28th position the 49ers elected to go with R.W. McQuarters, a defensive back, safety, wide receiver, kick returner, and special teams specialist who is only the eighth 49er to use initials as a first name. He follows greats such as YA Title and OJ Simpson among others. He will likely play mainly in Nickel and Dime defenses (ironically enough... with a last name like McQuarters) and on special teams. The 49ers will really enjoy his versatility but as always with draft picks, he is a raw talent that still needs to improve in some areas.
In the second round the 49ers opted for a Jeremy Newberry an offensive lineman that can play both guards, and his best position center. Though the 49ers are not in need of a guard or center yet, Gogan and Brown are 34 and 36 respectively and approaching the end of their careers. This leaves the 49ers with two options once one chooses to retire. They can either shift center Chris Dalman to the other position he can play, tackle. This would allow Newberry to step up into center. The other option would be to simply move Newberry into center.
It wasn't until the third round that the 49ers addressed their key concern tackle. With Deese only mediocre, the 49ers really wanted to fill this void. Chris Rhuman was the man they selected, and though he most likely wont start this year, with his size and skill may assume the starting role in about one and half seasons, providing the 9ers don't find someone more capable.
Adding even more depth to the secondary, the 9ers drafted defensive back and strong safety Lance Shulters. Drafting Shulters will ease the development of McQuarters. Allowing the 9ers to play McQuarters where he fits rather then where he is needed and to use his versatility to its full potential.
The 49ers were serious when they said they were going to work on depth along the offensive line. With their fifth pick, the 49ers picked guard Phil Ostrowski. He is a great athlete but could afford to gain some weight. It is clear that the 49ers are preparing for life without Gogan and Brown.
In the sixth round the 49ers felt it was time to get some help in the backfield, where before this off-season, it was so solid, many including my self thought it would be an incredible threat. Fred Beasely a small fullback or slow running back was the man they chose to develop. He may seem some action this season, but will most likely remain a backup.
The 49ers traded back into the seventh round to find a WR they can start to develop for when Rice is gone. Ryan Thewell was their man. Though he is a little slow, he plays faster and will go up for the ball. He can also catch in a crowd. He may develop into something great or may stay mediocre, but he was definitely worth a seventh round pick.
Versatility is the most common string throughout all the draftees. Every player drafted can play more then one position, be it offense, defense or special teams. This will allow the 49ers to plug players in as they are needed, and to have some extra depth at every position. Though the 9ers neglected some of the positions in the weak points in their line up during the seven rounds, they made up for it, signing a lot of undrafted free agents, and one veteran defensive line man.
For more information may I suggest my main page my draft page