So the 49ers decided to address a need area after all, moving up to the 18th pick to select LSU safety Eric Reid. San Francisco gave up their own first round pick (31) and one of their third round selections (74).
Reid should be expected to start at free safety right away, filling the void left by the departure of Dashon Goldson. At 6’1 and 213 pounds, Reid is an intimidating presence in the middle of the field and is a punishing down hill tackler. Overall, he’s a balanced safety who can play both the run and the pass and should be a starter for years to come. One knock on Reid is he can be over aggressive at times and finds himself out of position because of it. Still, he is a tough football player that seems to fit the mold Jim Harbaugh likes.
Reid is a good pickup for the Niners but I’m not sure they needed to trade up this far to get him. The team must have seen him as a cut above the remaining safeties still on the board (i.e. Cyprien, Elam) and history shows when Trent Baalke identifies his guy, he’s not afraid to go and get him. The 49ers still have a boatload of picks and limited roster space so it does make sense that they are aggressively targeting players they feel will fit their scheme.