Niners won't be stuck on WR in Day 2

The 49ers filled needs at DT, DE and OT during the first day of the NFL draft. Conspicuously missing from that list is a WR, which may have been the area they most needed to address with an opening-day pick. "You just can't take one to take one," coach Dennis Erickson said. "You have to take the best players. And there's no question, this is a lot better football team than when we started the day." Now, the coach said, S.F. will "stay up all night looking at everybody that's left on the board."

That may be an exaggeration. Then again, it may not.

"At this point in time, we are going to go back up there and reassess who is left," general manager Terry Donahue said. "We'll decide what we think we can do in terms of the remaining rounds. I think there are some real good players up there. History would tell you. There are a whole bunch of guys up there that could help the 49ers. We just have to go get them."

While it was a general belief the Niners would use one of their first three picks on a topflight wide receiver, Donahue said the team won't necessarily pick one on Sunday just to fill a need at that position. The Niners were looking for an impact receiver this year - one who could come in and challenge immediately for playing time - and now aren't likely to find such a player in the final four rounds.

"I don't really have an expectation like that," Donahue said. "I wouldn't take a receiver if there was an offensive guard, quarterback, defensive end or defensive back that was better. I don't think we have to pick a receiver. I don't think we are looking for specific things. I think we'll just see what happens. When we pick in the fourth round or if there is a player before our pick, we might go and search him out. It just depends on who is there. I think what we really believe is that we are going to take the best player. I think we are liable to take players at almost every position."

When asked if it was a disappointment the Niners didn't land a top receiving prospect on Saturday, Erickson, who has built his coaching reputation on offense, said, "We felt going in that we wanted to get one if the right guy was there."

After that scenario failed to materialize, Erickson said, "There are ways to cure that even if we don't draft one. Not that we won't still take one. There are some left that we like. You'd like to find a receiver out there (Sunday). We'll look and see.

"But to me, when you get into that second day, the value of the player that's sitting there is what's important, regardless of positon. If you're in the fourth round and there's a guy - regardless of position - that we've got a lot higher-ranked than somebody else, you've got to take him, just to make yourself a better football team.

"Because you want to try to find somebody who's going to make the team, regardless of the position. That's been my experience in the second day of the draft. Because, obviously, the first three (picks) are going to make your team. Or else you screwed up."

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