The 49ers sprung ahead for Dashon Goldson's replacement today, moving up 13 spots for LSU safety Eric Reid. Like Goldson, who departed via free agency, Reid stands out for his size, 6-2, 210, and his reputation as a big hitter. Free-agent pickup Craig Dahl may start the season opposite Donte Whitner but Reid, 21, will be expected to take over at some point, especially since the 49ers gave up extra picks to get him.
San Francisco traded its 31st overall pick and its first of two third-round picks, No. 74 overall, to Dallas at pick No. 18 to get Reid, who left school after his junior season. A two-year starter who called the defensive plays for the Tigers, Reid finished the 2012 season with 91 tackles, seven pass break ups and two interceptions.
"It really stands out," coach Jim Harbaugh told the team's web site. "He believes that he's a winner all the way and champion kind of guy and football player. I can't wait to have him here in our home in Santa Clara. I'm sure he's excited to have the process start and know the team that wanted him the most."
General manager Trent Baalke prefers players from big schools, and Reid fits that criterion. The 49ers reportedly spent a lot of time scouting Reid this season and one of their top scouts, Justin Chabot, attended Reid's pro day. In selecting Reid, the 49ers passed over Florida defensive lineman Sharrif Floyd, who is falling farther than prognosticators predicted.
The 49ers have an abundance of safeties on the roster, though only Whitner and Dahl have any real experience. In addition, they have C.J. Spillman, Darcel McBath, Trenton Robinson and Michael Thomas.
Reid is attending the draft in New York and is scheduled to speak with Bay Area reporters around 7:45 p.m.
-- Matt Barrows