The 49ers today were awarded three extra draft picks, including a fourth-round selection, as compensation for the free agents -- such as Joshua Morgan and Blake Costanzo - they lost during the 2012 free-agency period. Those compensatory picks leave San Francisco with 14 total selections heading into next month's draft. That's the most any team has had since 1997 when Miami also had 14 picks. The other two compensatories are in the seventh round. (See details below).
No one expects the 49ers to end the draft with 14 picks. The team likely will pool them together and go after a few players they feel can help them right away (though the three compensatory picks cannot be traded). Where are the current holes on the roster?
* Safety. The 49ers have several players in the mix at free safety, and new acquisition Craig Dahl certainly could start there when the new season begins. Still, it makes sense that the 49ers use one of their top picks on a safety - it's a good year for big-bodied hitters - who could learn the position behind Dahl. (LSU's Eric Reid pictured above)
* Defensive line. The 49ers seem to be set at nose tackle with Glenn Dorsey and Ian Williams. What they could use is a defensive end of the future who could serve in tandem with Aldon Smith. Justin Smith turns 34 this year and is not signed beyond the season.
* Tight end. The team's No. 1 tight end is Vernon Davis. But the 49ers are likely to go after a new No. 2 after watching Delanie Walker sign with the Titans. There are a lot of good, pass-catching tight ends available in the draft. Finding one they can mold into a pass catcher/blocker is the 49ers' challenge.
* Wide receiver. Yes, the team traded for Anquan Boldin, who is likely to start opposite Michael Crabtree. Still, the 49ers still could use a wideout who can become a deep threat and who possibly could take over as a starter should Boldin, who is signed only through this season, depart next year. There is good value here between Rounds 2 and 4.
* Kicker. The 49ers haven't met with any free agents who could take over for David Akers, who was released. That market likely will be one of the last to see action, and moves still can occur. However, the 49ers also may want to break in a youngster, something a team with 14 picks has the luxury of doing.
* Return man. With Ginn likely headed elsewhere (Cincinnati?), the 49ers will need a full-time punt returner. LaMichael James will be given a shot, and Kyle Williams (ACL) can handle the role when healthy. Still, the 49ers initially were in the market for free agent Josh Cribbs, an indication that returner is still on their list.
Compensatory picks are awarded based on a super-secret formula that weighs how many free agents a team lost vs. signed, the size of the contracts, the departed player's impact and any postseason awards. (Basically, were the free agents you lost better than the ones gained). With that in mind, the team likely is in line for some compensatory picks next year as well. So far, they have lost Dashon Goldson, Ricky Jean Francois, Walker and Isaac Sopoaga. Others, such as receiver Ted Ginn, also could be signing elsewhere. The 49ers have signed Dorsey, Dan Skuta and Dahl, the latter two to modest deals.
49ers 2012 free-agent scorecard
Lost: Blake Costanzo, Joshua Morgan, Madieu Williams
Signed: Mario Manningham
49ers 2013 picks
1. First round, 31st overall: own pick
2. Second round, 34th overall: from KC, Alex Smith trade
3. Second round, 61st overall: own pick
4. Third round, 74th overall: from CAR from trade in 2012 draft
5. Third round, 94th overall: own pick
6. Fourth round, 128th overall: own pick
7. Fourth round, 131st overall: compensatory pick (No. 34 in the round)
8. Fifth round, 157th overall: from IND from trade in 2012 draft
9. Fifth round, 164th overall: own pick
10. Sixth round, 180th overall: from MIA in trade during 2012 draft
11. Seventh round, 227th overall: from CIN for 2011 Taylor Mays trade
12. Seventh round, 237th overall: own pick
13. Seventh round, 246th overall: compensatory pick (No. 40 in the round)
14. Seventh round, 252nd: compensatory pick (No. 46 in the round)
TOTAL 2013 NFL COMPENSATORY DRAFT PICKS
San Francisco: 3
Kansas City: 2
Green Bay: 1
New York Giants: 1
-- Matt Barrows