A few months ago, the 49ers’ to-do list was very long and very daunting. It started with questions about Trent Williams and Kyle Juszczyk and continued with other less pressing concerns like, oh, I don’t know, rebuilding the entire secondary. Now 42 days away from the NFL Draft, Levin Black and I wondered what exactly the team's next priority should be on today’s Niners Nation Gold Standard Podcast.
“There’s really nothing that’s critical left,” Black said, “They were able to address the critical spots already. That’s one reason why the draft could be really interesting, because the 49ers could pursue whatever they want. That could mean a trade up, but that could also mean a trade down. I could see this team saying, ‘We don’t really need somebody that can come in and start right away at any position because none of the quarterbacks made it to us. We’re going to trade down and get a whole bunch of depth on the cheap.’”
There is a starting spot that is up for grabs right now, and that would be strong safety. There hasn’t exactly been a ton of movement in the safety market in free agency, so it’s possible the 49ers make a move before next month’s draft. Maybe they decide to bring Jaquiski Tartt back; who knows?
Other than that, I think the team needs another wide receiver to fill out the depth chart, but I don’t think that has to come via free agency, or even the draft, really. Kendrick Bourne wasn’t drafted, and he produced just fine for this team. And before you suggest Jalen Hurd, don’t. The guy hasn’t even been healthy enough to take a single regular-season snap in two years. Counting on him for anything at this point is a fool’s errand. Until he proves otherwise, you have to assume he’s out of the picture.
One thing San Francisco has going into the draft is the one thing that puts them in a great position: flexibility. With no overarching need at any one position, the team can fully explore all the options available and make the organization's best possible choice. Former Super Bowl Champion Head Coach Brian Billick once said that “need” is a terrible evaluator, and luckily that’s one voice the 49ers won’t have to hear in their draft room.
Check out the full Niners Nation Gold Standard Podcast right here, in the player below, and everywhere you get your podcasts. You should also follow us on Twitter @NNPodcasts.
Other topics in today’s episode
- How much do Trent Williams and Alex Mack make the rest of the offensive line better?
- How will the 49ers use Samson Ebukam?
- Could they have afforded everyone they’ve recently re-signed if they gave DeForest Buckner the contract he got with the Colts?