San Francisco selected Wisconsin tight end Mark Anelli with its sixth-round pick (No. 201 overall) and Stanford guard Eric Heitmann with its seventh-round pick (No. 239). With their two seventh-round compensatory picks, the Niners selected Arizona State tackle Kyle Kosier (No. 248) and Tennessee cornerback Teddy Gaines (No. 256).
"Like the other players we drafted, they are all gentlemen, good football players, and they'll have a fair shot to make this football team," Niners coach Steve Mariucci said. "Really, it doesn't matter that you've been drafted one, two or eight or whatever. The fact now is that you're on the team competing for a job, and what matters is what you do now."
Anelli may have the best chance of the four to make the team. He was drafted as a possible replacement for Greg Clark, the team's erstwhile starting tight end who missed all of last season with a hamstring ailment and then was released in February in a cost-cutting move. Clark remained on the 53-man roster through the season last year, and the Niners return only two veteran tight ends.
Anelli (6-foot-3, 265 pounds) is best known for his blocking, but also managed to catch 35 passes last season in an offense that emphasized the run.
"He just was used in a certain fashion and was very good at it," Mariucci said. "He's a capable pass receiver but they used him primarily as a blocker, and we feel he's a terrific blocker playing in primarily a run offense."
Heitmann, a local product from nearby Stanford whom the 49ers know well, was projected as a fourth-rounder but slipped down the draft because of a back ailment. The problem didn't force Heitmann (6-3, 305) to miss any playing time – he started 34 consecutive games over the past three seasons – and Mariucci said he has been cleared to play by doctors.
"We've been watching him for a while," Mariucci said. "He had a back concern, but he's clear to go and we felt he was certainly worth drafting in the seventh round. He was a guy that was ranked much higher than he went. We'd like to see if he can be a center/guard-type of contributor for us."
Kozier (6-4, 293) was chosen to give offensive line coach Pat Morris a tackle to develop, while Gaines came highly recommended by Tennessee coaches and filled a void on the Niners' draft board at the cornerback position.