- Bill Williamson, ESPN Staff Writer
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Mel Kiper Jr. isn't as sold on this NFL draft class as a whole as some others around the league are. Kiper, who has been evaluating draft prospects for 35 years, thinks there are some holes.
However, some good news for the San Francisco 49ers, Kiper does believe with the masses in this regard -- he thinks the receiver and cornerback positions are stacked and those positions just happen to be the two biggest need areas for the 49ers.
In a near-hour conference call with NFL Nation reporters, Kiper repeatedly talked about the virtues of the two positions. I asked him if he thought the 49ers, who have a surplus of picks and few needs, should trade way up in the first round to get a receiver, such as Texas A&M's Mike Evans or a cornerback such as Oklahoma State's Justin Gilbert.
Kiper said he thinks the 49ers, who have the No. 30th pick in the first round, can play the draft any way they feel comfortable. "They can go either way depending on their board," Kiper said, "or they can stay put and get both."
Also, Kiper is a believer in TCU cornerback Jason Verrett, who is recovering from a torn labrum. Verrett is small, but a supreme slot cornerback, Kiper said. Other cornerbacks, who the 49ers may be able to get in a trade early in the second round, include Nebraska’s Stan Jean-Baptiste and Utah's Keith McGill. Both are bigger cornerbacks, which the 49ers covet.