Here me out. Frank Gore is getting up in age and has shown signs of fatigue, especially late in the seasons. Now 30 years of age, Gore is at the stage of his career where many running backs, specifically ground and pound downhill runners, tend to regress. I'm not saying Gore is done or the Niners should get rid of him, he is one of the faces of the 49ers proud franchise, and also the teams all time leading rusher. I'm just suggesting that if a dynamic running back happen to be available when the Niners select it would not be a bad idea to groom them behind Gore. Eventually replacing Gore as the 49ers downhill power back. The 49ers have the 2nd pick in the 2nd round of this years draft, with only the Jaguars, who figure to select QB Geno Smith (West Virginia) or QB Matt Barkley (USC), ahead of them.
Bold Prediction: Round 2 (Pick 34)
I suggest the 49ers go after Alabama Running back Eddy Lacy. The 5'11" 230 pound Lacy rushed for 1,322 yards and 17touchdowns with a 6.8 yards-per-carry average. Lacy and the Crimson Tide steamrolled Manti Te'o and Notre Dame in the National Championship game this past January. Lacy was named the offensive player of that game, rumbling for 140 rushing yards, causing his stock to skyrocket and Manti's to plummet due to performance on the big stage.
Lacy is your prototypical downhill power back, much like Gore, he possesses a low center of gravity, and the patience to follow his blockers and hit the holes. Lacy sat behind Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson before his name was called at Alabama. Ingram and Richardson were both 1st round selections and have performed well in the NFL thus far. According to some scouts Eddie Lacy is more talented then both Richardson and Ingram, but Lacy's "stock" slid due to a hamstring injury which kept Eddie Lacy from performing at the NFL combine and Alabama's pro day. On the field Lacy has proven to be a beast and with the 49ers already proven offensive line it should be a good fit for both sides.
Other possibilities include: Margus Hunt DT (SMU), Jonathan Banks CB (Mississippi)
Prediction: Round 2 (Pick61)
If the Niners decide to take the talented Lacy early in the 2nd round, expect them to add depth to their secondary by adding a cornerback. I suggest they select Tyrann Mathieu Cornerback (LSU). While they still can, barring he is not selected beforehand. This guy is the most talented corner in the draft and he did not even play College Football last season. In 2011 Tyrann Mathieu was the recipient of the Chuck Bednarick Award, for defensive player of the year, leading LSU with 70 tackles and 6 forced fumbles. That same season Tyrann joined Andrew Luck, Trent Richardson, and RG111 as a Heisman Trophy Finalist. The first defensive back since Charles Woodson (Michigan) to be named a finalist. Tyrann displayed dynamic playmaking ability while at LSU not only as an excellent tackler with good ball skills, but also in the return game, averaging over 16 yards per punt return. Ignoring his off the field antics will be hard, but not as hard as passing up on his playmaking ability and first round caliber talent, bargain shopping for the once All American and Heisman finalist in the end of the 2nd round. Do it!!! High risk, high reward for the sticky honey badger.
Other Possibilities include: Jesse Williams, DT (Alabama), Zach Ertz, TE (Stanford), John Jenkins, DT Georgia.
Prediction: Round 3 (Pick 93)
I suggest the Niners look to replace the void left by departed Delanie Walker at back-up tight end. It will be hard to replace an athlete of Walkers' caliber but the Niners hope they can replace him at least in the passing game. Hoping to increase the red zone targets for the position, I suggest the 49ers go after Gavin Escobar, TE (San Diego State).
Escobar is considered an underrated, athletic pass catching tight end. What Escobar lacks in run blocking, he makes up for with fluid route running and soft hands. He is known for his athletic ability in the open field, and did I mention he is 6'6" 254lbs, just what the Niners are looking for.
Other possiblities: Keenan Allen, WR (CAL)