SANTA CLARA -- Coming off their first Super Bowl loss in franchise history, the 49ers needed a safety to replace Dashon Goldson, a physical Pro Bowler who left in March for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' riches.

The 49ers thus targeted Eric Reid in Thursday night's draft, and they traded up 13 spots to select him 18th overall.

"I'm very fortunate to be on such an incredible defense," Reid said from New York on a media conference call. "I can't wait to get to work."

The 49ers surrendered two picks to take the Dallas Cowboys' first-round slot: their original first-round spot (No. 31 overall) and a third-round pick (No. 74).

Eric Reid of the LSU Tigers holds his daughter Eric Reid of the LSU Tigers as they hold up a jersey on stage after he was picked #18 overall by the San
Eric Reid of the LSU Tigers holds his daughter Eric Reid of the LSU Tigers as they hold up a jersey on stage after he was picked #18 overall by the San Francisco 49ers in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 25, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Despite their storied rivalry, the 49ers and Cowboys outlined the parameters of the deal over the past few days, making it "a really easy trade on the clock," said general manager Trent Baalke, adding he never revealed Reid as his targeted choice.

The 49ers still hold 11 picks, including three for Friday's second and third rounds (Nos. 34, 61 and 93).

For strategy purposes, Reid was not among the nearly 30 prospects who made pre-draft visits to Santa Clara. "Why would we want to advertise to the rest of the league that we have interest in a player?" Baalke asked.

Reid (6-foot-1, 213 pounds) produced two interceptions in each of his three seasons at LSU. He had a career-high 91 tackles last season en route to second-team All-America honors.


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"I'm a very cerebral player," Reid said. "I pride myself on knowing the defense, on getting guys lined up on the scene, and being a great teammate and doing my job.

While Baalke aptly called Reid a "prototype safety," 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh unleashed a jam-packed scouting report.

"He has great contact courage," Harbaugh said. "He likes to get from Point A to Point B and go hit somebody. He's an effective tackler, does it extremely well. He can be a range safety, cover ground. Long arms, big wing span."

Reid was the top safety on the 49ers' board, but he was the second safety drafted Thursday, following Texas product Kenny Vaccaro, who went three spots earlier to the New Orleans Saints.

This is the 10th trade the 49ers have pulled off in four drafts under Baalke. They also traded up for left tackle Anthony Davis (2010) and Colin Kaepernick (2011).

The 49ers initially addressed filling Goldson's spot by signing former Rams safety Craig Dahl last month, and his contract (three years, $5.2 million) reportedly includes only a $700,000 signing bonus.

Reid was "Option A" in Harbaugh's eyes, and that attraction dated back to his Stanford coaching days, when Harbaugh made recruiting pitches to the Reid family.

"This time, Eric had no choice in the matter," Harbaugh said, "and it feels great to get him."

Eric Reid Sr., was a three-time All-America sprinter at LSU, and considering those ties, his son called it a "no-brainer" to go there rather than Stanford.

"It was the only school that recruited me as hard as LSU did," Reid recalled. "All the other schools gave up knowing I was an in-state guy. It shows how much he wanted me to go to Stanford, and I appreciated it."

Reid's mother, Sharon, appreciated it also. She used to trade e-mails with Harbaugh during her son's college recruitment.

As a registered nurse, she's traveled back and forth from San Jose to Louisiana for years. "That's another reason I kept my eye on this team, because my mom's been there," Eric Reid said. "It's a small world."

Reid took the Radio City Music Hall stage holding his 3-year-old daughter, LeiLani, and wearing a 49ers cap, which he received backstage from former 49ers safety Merton Hanks, who's now an NFL executive.

"The game of football has changed for me," Reid said. "It was a personal goal at first, but now it's a way for me to provide for my family and my daughter. I'm just ecstatic I can do that."

A native of Geismar, La., Reid had the best vertical jump and broad jump among all safeties at February's scouting combine (40.5 inches and 134.0 inches, respectively). He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.53 seconds, fifth fastest among safeties.

Reid started the past two seasons for LSU. He is only the third player from the Southeastern Conference to be drafted by Baalke, joining Chris Culliver (South Carolina) and Anthony Dixon (Mississippi State).

Last year, the 49ers spent their first-round pick (30th overall) on wide receiver A.J. Jenkins, who had no receptions and scant playing time as a rookie.

Two of the 49ers' NFC West rivals used the first round to boost their offenses. The Arizona Cardinals selected guard Jonathan Cooper at No. 7 overall, followed immediately by the St. Louis Rams trading up eight spots to take West Virginia wideout/return specialist Tavon Austin.

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