Long before the 49ers make their two first-round selections (assuming they don’t trade up or back), the decision will already be made.
The 49ers will stack their board, in order, with the players they would select at those spots. And then the highest-rated remaining player will be the plucked from the top of the list.
“The most important thing for us is our board,” 49ers coach Mike Singletary said. “It’s critical because the work is done. It’s there on the board. We’re not going to reach. We’re not going to make something happen. It’s just going to evolve. It won’t be a surprise to any of us.”
In other words, the 49ers might have four offensive tackles evaluated as possible selections within the first 13 picks. If those four linemen have been selected, the 49ers will not “reach” for the fifth tackle just to fill a need.
This is similar to what happened a year ago when the 49ers were prepared to take Michael Oher with the No. 10 overall pick – until the higher-rated Michael Crabtree was sitting atop their draft board.
“We knew we had to make a decision,” Singletary said. “The X-factor was Michael Crabtree. We talked about it. We threw it out there. That was the one scenario that we did not anticipate happening – that he’d be there at 10. We joked about it.
“So when you do the math . . . this guy is gone, this guy is gone. OK, Michael Oher. But it didn’t happen that way. That’s just a tough situation because Michael Oher is a heck of a football player. But, certainly, Crabtree was an outstanding pick for us and I’m thankful to have him.”
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