By David Seigerman
There's a difference between being loaded and being set. As their zero Super Bowl rings over the past two seasons would attest, the 49ers are not perfect. Close, but not there yet.
There are probably four positions the Niners will have the ability to shore up with this draft. Most of the time, they'll be afforded the chance to take the best player available. But their four areas to target would be:
WR: It's not like Colin Kaepernick is lacking for targets. With Michael Crabtree and Anquan Boldin, he has two of the best possession receivers in the game. And that's not factoring in tight end Vernon Davis. What San Francisco is lacking, however, is a legitimate threat to take the top off a defense. Someone like Colorado's Paul Richardson, who I had going to the Niners in my first few mock drafts. I've come to think that might be a bit early for Richardson, but I could easily see San Francisco adding a burner like Richardson with one of their two second-round picks (No. 56 or 61). Richardson ran a 4.4 40 at the Combine but plays even faster. He's zero-to-full speed as fast as anyone in the draft, and made more big plays than any receiver in the field this side of Mike Evans.
CB: The 49ers have to replace both their starting cornerbacks from last year, as Tarell Brown and Carlos Rogers are both Raiders now. Even though San Francisco still returns some experience at corner, it would be the position of greatest need (a deep-threat receiver is more a luxury than need). Five cornerbacks have first-round grades -- Darqueze Dennard, Bradley Roby, Kyle Fuller, Justin Gilbert, Jason Verrett -- and at least one will be available when the Niners pick 30th in the first round. Verrett is most likely to be around; San Francisco would have to decide whether it likes him as a its slot corner of the future or whether is favors Florida State's Lamarcus Joyner at that spot.
Interior OL: There is no immediate need, but it will surprise no one if the 49ers don't add some bodies for the future, perhaps with one of their three third-round picks. At that point, guards Dakota Dozier, Cyril Richardson and Trai Turner will be on the board, as might Gabe Jackson or David Yankey. Even the top centers in the draft -- Weston Richburg, Marc Martin, Travis Swanson, Tyler Larsen -- will be available in Round 3.
LB: With NaVorro Bowman out indefinitely and Aldon Smith staring at an undetermined suspension, San Francisco would be well-served to add some depth to its linebacking corps. Ryan Shazier is a top-25 talent who might still be around at No. 30. Or, if they wait until Round 3, the 49ers could come away with someone like Shayne Skov, Jordan Tripp or Christian Jones.