Reviewing 49ers’ biggest draft questions

May, 16, 2014
May 16
8:00
AM ET
Prior to the draft, we looked at several big questions facing the San Francisco 49ers. With the draft in the books, let's review how, or if, these questions were addressed:

Will it be easy to trade up? There was big talk the 49ers would trade way up in the first round. That didn't happen and they stayed put at No. 30. The 49ers made five trades during the weekend, but none were in the first round.

Is this the year Harbaugh drafts a Stanford player? No. It was the last full recruiting class for Jim Harbaugh at Stanford. He left after the 2010 season to go to the 49ers. Harbaugh had previously brought undrafted free agents to the 49ers but he never drafted one. It didn't change this year. The 49ers did sign standout linebacker Shayne Skov as an undrafted free agent. He was expected to be a mid-round pick.

Will the drafting injured player trend continue? And how. The 49ers utilized their surplus of picks. They drafted Clemson guard Brandon Thomas in the third round. He recently tore his ACL but was previously considered a middle of the second round pick. Later in the draft, the 49ers took cornerback Keith Reaser and fullback Trey Millard. They are also both recovering from torn ACLs and will likely not play in 2014.

Will the quarterback whisperer get a new charge? Not in the draft. Harbaugh worked out several quarterbacks, but he didn't draft one. They did sign Southern Illinois quarterback Kory Faulkner as an undrafted free agent.

How many picks are enough? Twelve. Wow. The 49ers entered the draft with 11 picks. With so few needs, the thought was the 49ers would trade several picks. But they kept getting picks in trades and they kept taking players. Not all 12 will make this team, but the 49ers will go to camp with a lot of good competition. That's not a bad thing.

Will they pick a new return man? Fourth-round pick, speedy South Carolina receiver Bruce Ellington, can return kicks and punts. Incumbent returner LaMichael James is open to a trade. That likely won't happen, but it is no sure thing James makes the team.

Where does a pass-rusher fit? In the fifth round. The 49ers took South Florida's Aaron Lynch there. There are some character concerns, but Lynch has big ability. The 49ers need to load up on pass-rushers with off-field issues clouding Aldon Smith's future.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN San Francisco 49ers reporter

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