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Fixing the Holes: Examining the 49ers biggest offseason needs

Anquan Boldin
Anquan Boldin
Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The 49ers season ended on Sunday, but it doesn't mean decisions won't be made throughout the offseason. San Francisco must address their needs in free agency and the draft with several players expected to be free agents.

Here is a list of the priorities the 49ers need for next month:

1. Wide Receiver

Whether Anquan Boldin comes back or not, the 49ers will need another wide receiver one way or another. They were too dependent on Michael Crabtree and Boldin throughout the season as Quinton Patton had one small contribution in Week 17. Mario Manningham is also a free agent. No 49ers receiver not named Crabtree or Boldin had a touchdown this year.

2. Cornerback

With Tramaine Brock as the only guaranteed cornerback returning, the secondary will need at least one change for the depth chart. Carlos Rogers is most likely to become a cap casualty while Tarell Brown should be testing the free agent market. Chris Culliver should be coming back from an ACL injury while Eric Wright and Perrish Cox are also free agents.

3. Safety

This is a tentative ranking and it could become higher if Donte Whitner signs with another team. The 49ers found their free safety in the 2013 NFL Draft with Eric Reid when he replaced Dashon Goldson. Craig Dahl and C.J. Spillman are the two reserves, while Bubba Ventrone is a special teams player. It would not be surprising if a safety is taken early in back to back drafts for the 49ers.

4. Backup Quarterback

Colt McCoy will be a free agent as McLeod Bethel-Thompson is the only other quarterback not named Colin Kaepernick under contract. Before Jim Harbaugh openly said McCoy would be the backup after a preseason game, there has been uncertainty behind Kaepernick at this position. B.J. Daniels, Seneca Wallace, Scott Tolzien and John Skelton have all come and gone from the 49ers this year. It's clear that Harbaugh wants a quarterback with athleticism, with both Kaepernick and Daniels taken by the 49ers in the draft.

5. Inside Linebacker

It's possible that NaVorro Bowman could begin the 2014 regular season on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list as he recovers from a torn ACL. Michael Wilhoite, who filled in for Patrick Willis in Weeks 4 and 5 is an exclusive rights free agent. The only other inside linebacker who is under contract for 2014 is sixth-round draft pick Nick Moody, who played in only four games this year mostly on special teams. One of the 12 draft picks should be used on an interior linebacker.

6. Offensive Line

Jonathan Goodwin is slated to be a free agent and it appears he could even be retiring. Daniel Kilgore and Joe Looney are the reserve linemen, while swing lineman Adam Snyder is also under contract. While Kilgore or Looney can easily fill in at center, the question remains how Mike Iupati can do coming back from a broken fibula. The 49ers don't need to draft a starting lineman, but they could fill the depth chart with at least one person.


It has been reported that the 49ers will most likely own 12 draft picks for the 2014 NFL Draft. The 49ers seventh-round pick they acquired for Cam Johnson will occur in the 2015 NFL Draft. San Francisco is also expected one compensatory selection.

Here is the list of 2014 draft picks for the 49ers:

1. First round: Own pick, No. 30 overall
2. Second round: Kansas City Chiefs pick acquired for Alex Smith, No. 56 overall
3. Second round: Own pick, No. 61 overall
4. Third round: Titans pick acquired for a second round pick in a 2013 draft day trade, No. 77 overall
5. Third round: Own pick, No. 94 overall
6. Third or fourth round: Compensatory, TBA
7. Fourth round: Own pick, TBA
8. Fifth round: Own pick, TBA
9. Sixth round: Own pick, TBA
10. Seventh round: Saints pick acquired for Parys Haralson, TBA
11. Seventh round: Panthers pick acquired for Colin Jones in 2012, TBA
12. Seventh round: Own pick, TBA

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