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A year ago, the 49ers targeted the safety position in the draft to compensate for the loss of Dashon Goldson in free agency.
Again, the 49ers lost another high-priced veteran safety. But, this time, the 49ers decided to replace Donte Whitner with the addition of a veteran free agent. The 49ers signed Antoine Bethea, formerly of the Indianapolis Colts, to a four-year, $21 million contract.
Who's here: Eric Reid, Antoine Bethea, Craig Dahl, C.J. Spillman, Bubba Ventrone, D.J. Campbell
Draft needs: Reid and Bethea are the starters. Dahl started 16 games for the St. Louis Rams in 2012 before signing with the 49ers last year as a backup. Dahl, Spillman and Ventrone were among the team’s core special-teams contributors last season. The 49ers could use one of Day 3 draft picks on a player who can make an immediate impact on special teams while working toward eventually taking over for Bethea as a starter.
Good fits: Forget about Calvin Pryor (Louisville) or Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (Alabama). Those top safeties will be long gone by the time the 49ers start thinking about adding a safety. But as the draft goes deeper, the 49ers could look at a player, such as Marqueston Huff (Wyoming) who also has some experience at cornerback. The 49ers could find some value in late-round pick Vinnie Sunseri (Alabama), who is coming off an ACL tear. Sunseri could be a younger, less-expensive option early in his career on special teams.
[RELATED: 49ers draft outlook: Cornerbacks]