RG, WR (speed), CB
Round 1 - A.J. Jenkins/WR
Round 2 - LaMichael James/RB
Round 4 - Joe Looney/G
Round 5 - Darius Fleming/LB
Round 6 - Trenton Robinson/S
Round 6 - Jason Slowey/C-G
Round 7 - Cam Johnson/DE
G (veteran), CB
The 49ers were coming off of an appearance in the NFC Championship game, so they didn’t have a lot of needs coming into this year’s draft. But they had one big one on offense.
The one obvious need on offense was at wide receiver, where the team badly needed speed on the outside. And with the selection of WR A.J. Jenkins with their first-round pick, the 49ers now have the badly needed downfield speed they’ve been seeking for over the last few seasons. Jenkins, to some, might have been a reach, but when you’re picking in back of the first round you can take a player a little earlier than others would. And Jenkins isn’t just a deep threat. As a personnel source noted, he can be moved around (either slot, wide) to create better matchups. With Jenkins and veterans Randy Moss and Mario Manningham added to the mix, the 49ers now have a pretty formidable group of receivers to go along with holdovers Michael Crabtree and Kyle Williams. UDFA WRs Nathan Palmer and Chris Owusu are intriguing enough to get a closer look in training camp. Both had draftable grades for many teams.
Second-round pick LaMichael James will give the 49ers badly needed speed in the backfield. James, who is also capable of returning punts, could get in the mix early as a change-of –pace to starter Frank Gore. But the 49ers now have a crowded backfield with Gore, Kendall Hunter and veteran Brandon Jacobs, so any potential role isn’t exactly secured in late May.
Fourth-round pick Joe Looney could get in the mix for the right guard job in training camp. Looney, however, is nursing a left foot injury, which he first suffered during Senior Bowl week. Looney is known in scouting circles for his strength and solid run blocking.
Unfortunately, fifth-round pick LB Darius Fleming suffered a torn ACL during a recent rookie minicamp practice, so it’s unlikely he will see the field this season.
Sixth-round pick S Trenton Robinson is capable of playing slot cornerback or free safety. Robinson, despite being a late-round pick, should seriously push for a roster spot because of his intelligence and versatility. Fellow sixth-rounder G/C Jason Slowey is more of a developmental offensive lineman because he played left tackle in college, but projects to play inside at guard or center at the NFL level with the 49ers.
The 49ers certainly could use depth at outside linebacker, so the selection of Cam Johnson with their seventh-round pick makes some sense. Johnson, who was a defensive end in college over his final two seasons, will play a standup position in the NFL. Whether Johnson can make the successful conversion in the NFL remains to be seen, but he has some upside as a situational pass rusher.
The 49ers had a strong free agency period and followed that up addressing more needs in the draft. They’ll go into training camp with a very strong roster from both sides of the ball.