The San Francisco 49ers own 13 picks in the upcoming NFL draft, and five in the first three rounds — Nos. 31, 34, 61, 74 and 93. The 49ers have very few obvious needs.
If the NFL were a gated community of 32 mansions, the 49ers would own the biggest mansion in the neighborhood, three stories and an elevator and a fountain out front, stone Cupids wearing 49ers helmets shooting water out of their mouths, five Maseratis parked around the fountain, the whole house painted red and gold.
Upon first glance, a visitor might say: "Here's a house that's got it all, no need to make any additions. A new paint job should cover up the few blemishes."
But a closer look might reveal that the 49ers need some major overhauls on their mansion. The kitchen needs a complete remodel and the Maseratis need new engines, and the retaining wall in the backyard is shot.
In other words, the 49ers have specific issues they need to address in the draft to keep their roster elite. If they draft shrewdly, they should handle most of them. Of the 49ers' 13 picks, only six or seven rookies will make the roster, so they have picks to play with.
They can try to package them and trade up to get premier prospects, not B-level guys.
Think of the 49ers' kitchen as their cornerbacks. This involves serious remodeling. Two of the corners — Carlos Rogers and Nnamdi Asomugha — will be 32 years old next season.
Rogers' job is to cover the quick slot receiver, and he is no longer quick enough to do that. Asomugha is even slower <NO1><NO>and was one of the worst cornerbacks in the NFL last season before the Eagles released him.
General manager Trent Baalke easily could replace them with younger, better models.
Tarell Brown has one year left on his contract and is short — he can't cover the big receivers. Chris Culliver gave up a passer rating of 115 over the final five games of the season, including the playoffs.
The 49ers could stand pat at the 31st pick and draft D.J. Hayden from Houston or Jamar Taylor from Boise State — two good cornerbacks. Or the 49ers could package several draft picks and trade up to, say, the 18th pick and take Xavier Rhodes from Florida State or Desmond Trufant from Washington.
Think of the 49ers' safeties as the retaining wall in the back yard. Starting free safety Dashon Goldson signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this offseason, so there's a hole at that spot.
Strong safety Donte Whitner will be a free agent after next season, and he gave up 12 touchdowns in 2012. Baalke must pay attention to upgrading these positions. The 49ers probably could draft D.J. Swearinger from South Carolina or Eric Reid from LSU in the second round.
Think of the Maseratis as the 49ers' wide receivers. Two of them — Mario Manningham and Kyle Williiams — tore up their knees last season.