Their allotment of draft picks increased 50 percent on Monday when the NFL awarded the Niners three compensatory selections for the league's 2002 lottery.
The Niners now will have nine selections in the April 20-21 draft in New York after the compensatory windfall that added one pick in the fifth round (No. 172 overall) and two selections in the seventh round (Nos. 249 and 256) to the six 2002 selections San Francisco already owns.
The Niners were awarded the extra selections as a result of the compensatory free agents they lost last season. Under terms of the NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement, a team losing more or better compensatory free agents than it acquires in a year is eligible to receive compensatory draft picks.
Last season, the 49ers lost these compensatory free agents: defensive tackle Brentson Buckner, running back Charlie Garner, cornerback Monty Montgomery and defensive end Anthony Pleasant. Linebacker Derek Smith was the only compensatory free agent signed by the Niners last season.
Compensatory free agents are determined by a formula based on salary, playing time and postseason honors. Not every free agent lost or signed by a club is covered by this formula. But the formula ended up working pretty well for the 49ers this past season.
In addition to its new picks mentioned above, the Niners also have April selections in the first round (No. 27 overall), second round (No. 61), fourth round (No. 125), fifth round (No. 157), sixth round (No. 191) and seventh round (No. 223).