49ers draft outlook: Outside linebacker

49ers draft outlook: Outside linebacker
April 17, 2013, 6:30 am
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Jarvis Jones recorded 28 sacks the past two seasons at Georgia after transferring from USC. (USA TODAY IMAGES)

49ers Draft Outlook
Outside Linebackers
Insider Linebackers
Defensive Linemen
Offensive Linemen
Tight Ends
Wide Receivers
Running Backs

With Aldon Smith and Ahmad Brooks already in place as starters last season, the 49ers did not necessarily have a need at outside linebacker.

But the 49ers were high on pass-rusher Bruce Irvin, and were believed to be waiting to pounce on him. However, the Seattle Seahawks got him with the No. 15 overall selection. The 49ers eventually selected two outside linebackers later in the draft.

If the 49ers were willing to invest a high draft pick a year ago on another outside pass-rusher, there's no reason why they would not be open to that possibility again.

[RELATED: NFL Draft central]

Who's here: Aldon Smith, Ahmad Brooks, Parys Haralson, Darius Fleming, Cam Johnson

Draft needs: Smith and Brooks both played more than 92 percent of the 49ers' defensive snaps. The team had no rotation at outside linebacker. Smith recorded a team-record 19.5 sacks, while Brooks added 6.5 sacks. The 49ers could use at least some semblance of a rotation with Haralson back healthy after spending the season on injured reserve with a torn triceps. Fleming missed his rookie season with an ACL tear, and Johnson played sparingly in his first season after being promoted from the practice squad late in the season.

Good fits: The 49ers will not hesitate to improve their pass rush if someone they really like is available. Jarvis Jones (Georgia) recorded 28 sacks the past two seasons at Georgia after transferring from USC, where doctors did not clear him to play due to spinal stenosis. He has reportedly received a clean bill of health from NFL teams. After the first round, Sam Montgomery (LSU) could figure as a situational pass rusher, lining up at defensive end in nickel situations.