After selecting Miami cornerback Mike Rumph with the 27th overall selection in the first round – the big, physical cornerback the team coveted all along – the Niners maneuvered their way backward to add another selection to the nine with which they began the day.
In a classic example of San Francisco draft shenanigans, the Niners dealt their second-round pick – the No. 61 overall – to the Buffalo Bills for picks in the third (No. 69) and fourth rounds (No. 102). With the fourth pick of the third round, San Francisco grabbed speedy Alabama linebacker Saleem Rasheed, rated on several draft boards as the No. 2 linebacker available.
"It was a good deal to move back (eight) spots and pick up another fourth-round pick," Niners coach Steve Mariucci said. "That was great. To get another pick in the fourth round was very well worth doing. We have eight picks (Sunday). Tape your ankles. It's going to be busy."
The Niners will begin Sunday with the fourth pick of the fourth round in addition to their own fourth round pick. They also have two picks in the fifth round, one in the sixth and three in the seventh.
Mariucci said that many picks gives San Francisco plenty of options to address several possible areas: A third quarterback, a defensive lineman, an offensive lineman, perhaps another defensive back, a third tight end and a kick returner. It also gives the Niners an option to go on the move again once the selecting begins Sunday.
"Who knows what goes on on draft day?" Mariucci said. "We could maneuver around again. Maybe even this time trade up and use a couple of picks to go grab a player we really want. We now have the ammunition to do that."
But even with a full day of drafting still ahead of them, the Niners already have improved themselves in significant areas. With ostensibly more of that to come.
"We've added a couple of defensive players that should participate in our first game," Mariucci said. "The two we took today we have real plans for."