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49ers post-2012 Draft: Strong AND Flexible...

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San Francisco ended the 2012 NFL draft with just as many (seven) picks as they started out with. Despite this, the 49ers did make four draft day deals and picked up three additional picks in 2013.

Essentially, they traded down from the third to the sixth round to acquire a third-, fourth- and sixth-round pick in 2013. San Francisco picked up a seventh-round pick in the Taylor Mays trade during the 2011 offseason. This gives them a total of 11 picks next year.

Peter King over at CNNSI (great read by the way) has also indicated that the 49ers are going to receive two compensatory selections due to 2012 free-agent departures. This leaves them with a total of 13 picks next year.

Of course, the 49ers are not going to hold on to all those picks. Why would they? This is a Super Bowl contender, not a franchise that is going to go into a season with a quarter of their roster allocated to rookies.

Now, San Francisco has an incredible amount of flexibility, both for the remainder of this offseason and into the future.

They can now make a play for a veteran that hits the trade market later in the offseason. There promises to be a multitude of those as teams start to get a better feel for their roster following the draft. This would enable San Francisco to pluck a proven player at a position of need for a mid- to late-round pick.

The New England Patriots have consistently done this throughout the years.

It's amazing to find the 49ers in a position with amazing talent AND amazing flexibility.

A year ago they had just come off a 6-10 season. Now they are Superbowl contenders. Wow.

Meanwhile, the changing of the Guard:

San Francisco now has four draftees battling out for the starting job at guard: Joe Looney, Jason Slowey, Mike Person and Daniel Kilgore. What are the chances that one of them doesn't turn out to be a starter-caliber guard? Not really good if you ask me. Then they are able to continue building depth with the three youngsters that don't earn a starting job.

I love what the 49ers did.

Mike Sando of ESPN writes:

What I liked: The 49ers, having already kept together one of the NFL's most dominant defenses in free agency, made a concerted effort to improve on offense. Their first three picks went for a receiver (A.J. Jenkins), a running back (LaMichael James) and a guard (Joe Looney). The team is now in better position to succeed with quarterback Alex Smith and running back Frank Gore. Likewise, if Smith struggles and age catches up to Gore, the 49ers are in better position to succeed offensively with younger players at their positions. The team also fared well in trading back to acquire additional picks, including for next year.

Question marks: It's quite possible none of the 49ers' draft choices will win a starting job this year. A roster without many holes is partly responsible.

Great account of the later round trades:

The San Francisco 49ers parlayed the 92nd and 125th picks in the 2012 NFL draft for the 117th and 180th choices, plus 2013 selections in the third, fifth and sixth rounds.

That had to be one of the better value plays in the 2012 draft, the 49ers' own little penny project.

The fun began when the 49ers traded the 92nd pick to Indianapolis for the 97th choice and a 2013 pick in the fifth round. San Francisco then sent the 97th choice to Miami for the 103rd and 196th picks, plus a 2013 sixth-rounder. The 49ers then sent the 103rd choice to Carolina for the 180th choice and a 2013 third-rounder.

Finally, the 49ers traded the 125th and 196th picks to Detroit for the 117th choice, which San Francisco used for Wake Forest guard Joe Looney.

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