USA TODAY Sports
Could the San Francisco 49ers address a need at the safety position in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft?
One interesting aspect about being the team that loses the Super Bowl is the fact that said team's offseason needs are generally based a good deal on that singular performance. The ultimate goal in every season is to be the team that wins the Super Bowl, and when a particular position or group of positions hurts that team in the big game, it's easy to put in black and white that significant improvement is needed at said position.
For the San Francisco 49ers, their biggest issues were in the secondary. Safety Donte Whitner and cornerback Chris Culliver were abused from start to finish by the Baltimore Ravens. Of the two, Whitner is older and his time as a starting player in the league seems to be nearing its end.
On top of that, safety Dashon Goldson could be on his way out as well. He wants a lot of money that the 49ers may not be keen on giving him. Fortunately, the 2013 NFL Draft is packed with safety talent for the first time in years and the 49ers stand a solid chance of getting one of them in the first round.
Jonathan Cyprien has emerged as one of the top safeties in this class, and the Super Bowl showed San Francisco's warts at the safety position. Consider that the Niners came out of left field to pick A.J. Jenkins a year ago, and it doesn't seem too farfetched that they would go after Cyprien.
Jenkins hasn't panned out for the 49ers of course, but most of the top safety talent in this year's draft appears NFL-ready from the get-go. Cyprien is a wild card, given the level of competition he played against at Florida International, but he could play either safety position for the 49ers and does fit the bill of the kind of player they usually take.
While some other safeties might be more of a "sure thing," Cyprien would be an interesting selection for the 49ers. He would seem to fit right in at Whitner's spot in Vic Fangio's defense, likely from year one.