It's the Super Bowl of offseason events and it's almost here. In three days the 2013 NFL Draft begins in primetime and the San Francisco 49ers figure to be prominent players.
With 13 overall picks and five selections in the first 93 picks, General Manager Trent Baalke and his staff will have their hands full during the three-day extravaganza.
To preview the upcoming draft, our Niner Talk podcast caught up with CSNBayArea.com's Matt Maiocco, the longest tenured writer on the 49ers beat.
The 49ers hold the No. 31 and No. 34 overall selections in the upcoming draft which makes the club flexible to do many things. San Francisco could stand firm at No. 31 and take the best player on their draft board or they can move up in the first round and target a player they covet.
It all remains to be seen, but for now, the fun part is discussing the many potential outcomes for the 2013 draft.
Maiocco shared his views on the 49ers potential needs on offense and defense. The respected writer believes the 49ers could go with a safety or defensive lineman with their first pick or go with a tight end or wide receiver should they choose to add offensive depth.
The later rounds of the draft will allow San Francisco plenty of options when it comes to boosting the competition at various positions on offense, defense and special teams. Maiocco suggested San Jose State offensive linemen David Quessenberry as a prospect who could fit the 49ers needs as a mid-round selection. The conversation also touched on members of the 2012 draft class and which players could potentially have greater roles with the 49ers in 2013.
Here are key points made by Maiocco in our latest podcast on 49ers.com:
On the team's defensive options with the No. 31 overall selection
"I know they don't want to get into a situation where you're drafting for need. Trent Baalke alluded to that when he spoke in the pre-draft media session. But if you look at the 49ers needs in this draft and where it aligns where the strength of the draft is, I think safety is a position that really jumps out at you. If they stay there at 31 or even at 34, those two picks are so close together, in many ways they're related. I like Jonathan Cyprien from Florida International. I like Eric Reid from LSU. If you're going to get one of those two safeties with either of those picks, they'll be doing good if they get one of those guys. They could complement that with a defensive lineman.
"Look at the 49ers defensive line from last season, Ray McDonald and Justin Smith were playing 90 percent of the snaps. If the 49ers could get more of a rotation in there, if they could get a defensive lineman who could take some of the workload off McDonald and Smith, that would really help."
On the team's offensive options with the No. 31 overall selection
"The offense is pretty darn young. Colin Kaepernick takes care of a lot of issues on offense knowing he's going to be there for quite some time. If they were to go offense, I like Stanford's Zach Ertz. Obviously Vernon Davis is the starter, he will be the starter for years and into the future. But where the 49ers lost somebody on the offensive side of the ball was at tight end. Delanie Walker was on the field for 60 percent of the snaps. I know they've always liked those two-tight end sets, that goes back to Greg Roman and Jim Harbaugh at Stanford as well. So, if they were able to get a guy like Ertz, they would be able to plug him in immediately and he might play 35-40 percent of the snaps next season."