49ers draft outlook: Safeties

49ers draft outlook: Safeties
April 28, 2014, 5:00 pm
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The 49ers could look at Wyoming free safety Marqueston Huff who also has some experience at cornerback.
Matt Maiocco

Editor’s note: In the buildup to the NFL Draft (May 8-10) CSNBayArea.com will have content every day, including position breakdowns, retrospectives, mock drafts and more. Bookmark our Road to the NFL Draft and set your DVRs for April 28 at 4:30pm, when the 49ers Draft Preview show debuts on CSN Bay Area.

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.

[MAIOCCO: 49ers' 2013 draft class: What's expected in 2014?]

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]