49ERS' DRAFT NEEDS
Here are some 49ers' draft needs by position and candidates to fill them:
The free-agent exits of right guards Adam Snyder and Chilo Rachal created the only existing vacancy in the starting lineup. An early-round draft pick could push young reserves Dan Kilgore, Mike Person and Alex Boone.
Kevin Zeitler, Wisconsin (6-4, 314): A three-year starter at right guard, this power blocker helped protect 49ers quarterback Scott Tolzien in the 2011 Rose Bowl. Zeitler drew the "mauler" moniker from ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr.
Amini Silatolu, Midwestern State (6-4, 311): The West High-Tracy product lined up at left tackle for this Division II offensive power in Wichita Falls, Texas. He finished second to Wayne State's Joe Long as the Gene Upshaw Division II Lineman of the Year.
Cordy Glenn, Georgia (6-6, 345): His versatility as a tackle or guard enhances his value as a potential top-20 pick. Concerns exist over his work ethic and weight.
Peter Konz, Wisconsin (6-5, 314): Regarded as the top center in the draft, the 49ers could play him at guard while grooming him as Jonathan Goodwin's successor.
Even with the additions of Randy Moss and Mario Manningham, the 49ers could bolster a unit that had only one catch in the NFC Championship game. Michael Crabtree, their 2009 top pick, has shown spark but not enough to confirm he is a long-term No. 1 receiver.
Stephen Hill, Georgia Tech (6-4, 215): His 4.3-second burst in the 40-yard dash at the combine supported his NCAA-best average of 29.3 yards per catch. Al Davis would have loved him. So could Alex Smith.
Kendall Wright, Baylor (5-10, 196): Heisman winner Robert Griffin III's favorite target had a whopping 302 catches for 4,004 yards and 30 TDs in four seasons. His smaller stature could peg him as a slot receiver.
Alshon Jeffery, South Carolina (6-3, 216): His big body could be the red-zone weapon the 49ers lack, and that would reunite Jeffery on the practice field with cornerback Chris Culliver, his former Gamecocks teammate.
No urgent replacement is needed for starters Justin Smith, Ray McDonald or Isaac Sopoaga. But a hotshot draft pick could lighten their workload.
Dontari Poe, Memphis (6-3, 339): His athleticism and bulk could have him long gone by the time the 49ers pick, but his stock has cooled this week.
Jerel Worthy, Michigan State (6-2, 305): First Spartans' defensive lineman to earn AP first-team All-America honors since Bubba Smith in 1966.
Kendall Reyes, Connecticut (6-4, 299): The Huskies' two-year captain is versatile enough to play as a 3-4 end like such as Smith and McDonald.
Jared Crick, Nebraska (6-4, 279): Former linemate of Ndamukong Suh could mesh well in the 49ers' 3-4 front while lining up at either defensive tackle or end.
Finding a backup to starters Donte Whitner and Dashon Goldson is a worthy quest. C.J. Spillman will get a chance to play more, but the 49ers might want other options.
Mark Barron, Alabama (6-1, 213): Most mock drafts have him going to the Cowboys at No. 15, but no one tells Jerry Jones what to do, so maybe Barron slips.
Harrison Smith, Notre Dame (6-2, 213): A four-year starter, all seven of his career interceptions came in 2010, including three in the Sun Bowl vs. Miami. He might fit nicely in Reggie Smith's old role as No. 3 safety on passing downs.
Brandon Taylor, LSU (5-11, 194): Three-year starter hails from the prestigious SEC -- and a family of eight brothers and sisters.
-- CAM INMAN