SANTA CLARA Last season, the 49ers gambled and won by making it through the year with only three outside linebackers. They're not willing to take the same risk two years in a row.
San Francisco on Saturday spent two of its five draft picks on pass rushers Notre Dame's Darius Fleming in the fifth round and Virginia's Cam Johnson with the team's final selection in the seventh round.
"We rolled the dice last year with only three outside linebackers," coach Jim Harbaugh said. "It worked, but that is risky what we did last year. Both those youngsters will be competitive and have tremendous upsides."
Fleming and Johnson likely will compete to be the fourth outside linebacker on the roster behind Ahmad Brooks, Parys Haralson and last year's first-round pick, Aldon Smith.
Filling out the last few spots on the depth chart was the theme Saturday.
The 49ers addressed depth at guard, center and safety on the last day of the draft and even added one more speedy wideout Stanford's Chris Owusu when the draft had ended.
They also added more picks for next year.
After trading out of the third round Friday, general manager Trent Baalke continued to maneuver down in Round 4. By the time the team selected Wake Forest guard Joe Looney in that round, they had accumulated extra selections in the third, fifth and sixth rounds in 2013. The 49ers already had an extra seventh-round pick from last summer's trade of Taylor Mays.
Baalke said Looney was the player they had been seeking all along. The 318-pounder likely will compete for the vacancy at right guard and also could have a role as the team's backup center.
Harbaugh said the 49ers fell in love with Looney's smarts.
"You cannot find a person on that campus who has anything less than glowing things to say about him," Harbaugh gushed. "Professors, coaches, trainers, equipment managers, from faculty to football to everybody that comes in contact with him there literally not a negative word."
The team added another offensive lineman, Jason Slowey of Western Oregon, in the sixth round. Slowey played left tackle at the Division II level but likely will be moved inside, perhaps to center, with the 49ers.
The 49ers also used the sixth round to find a safety, Trenton Robinson of Michigan State. The team currently has three safeties on the roster, but for the past two years the 49ers have been unable to sign starter Dashon Goldson to a long-term deal.
The 49ers made Goldson their franchise player in February, but he has yet to sign the tender and has not been on hand for the voluntary workouts that began this month.
Robinson, meanwhile, is an undersized safety at 5-9 1/2. But he has experience at cornerback, and the 49ers like his coverage skills and feistiness.
"He's a young man that plays the game fast and physical," Baalke said. "He's an undersized guy that has a chip on his shoulder. He's been a standout special-teams player there (at Michigan State) in his younger days within the program."
Owusu, meanwhile, is one of 18 players the 49ers will sign over the next few days in order to reach the 90-player limit for the offseason.
Owusu likely went undrafted because of the three concussions he suffered in 2010 and 2011. He missed five games last season, including Stanford's bowl game.
During the NFL combine in February, Owusu ran one of the fastest 40-yard sprints of any receiver, and he also had an impressive vertical leap of 40 1/2 inches.
"Chris wasn't wiped off our board," Baalke said. "You've got to remember, he was cleared to play by the same group of doctors that work with us on a regular basis. He certainly was not off our board."
49ERS REPORT CARD
To address the one position, right guard, where there is no starter and to add depth at wide receiver, running back, outside linebacker, safety and center.
The 49ers filled out the depth chart at just about every position on the roster and used their first-round pick on a position, wide receiver, that was wobbly at the end of last season. Fourth-round pick Joe Looney, a guard, might have fallen because of a recent foot injury. But if he's healthy, he could be a steal in the middle of the draft. Sixth-rounders Trenton Richardson and Jason Slowey could pay dividends in the future. If either fifth-rounder Darius Fleming or seventh-rounder Cam Johnson develops as planned, it will boost a defense that already is one of the best in the league. If there's a critique, it's that the team's first two picks, wideout A.J. Jenkins and running back LaMichael James, don't fit the 49ers' mold of big, stout players. Jenkins did not have to deal with much press coverage at Illinois, and at 193 pounds, he's slight of frame. But perhaps diverging from form was the point.
THE NEWEST 49ERS
Selected: 117th (fourth round)
College: Wake Forest
Position: G Height, weight: 6-3, 318
Comment: Looney is a strong, physical player who uses his hands particularly well. He will be thrown into the mix at right guard and also has experience at center.
Coach Jim Harbaugh says: "Really smart, smart person. Not only book-smart, but street-smart, football-smart."
Selected: 165th (fifth round)
College: Notre Dame
Position: OLB Height, weight: 6-2, 248
Comment: The 49ers had only three players at outside linebacker, and Fleming gives them depth. Early on, he projects as a core special-teams contributor who also could see action as a pass-rush specialist.
Harbaugh says: "We rolled the dice last year with only three outside linebackers. It worked, but that is risky what we did last year."
Selected: 180th (sixth round)
College: Michigan State
Position: S Height, weight: 5-9 1/2, 193
Comment: Robinson entered Michigan State as a cornerback before switching to safety his freshman year. He has good ball skills eight interceptions the past two seasons and could be an heir to Dashon Goldson, who likely will play on a one-year deal in 2012.
General manager Trent Baalke says: ""He's a young man that plays the game fast and physical. He's an undersized guy that has a chip on his shoulder. He's been a standout special-teams player (at Michigan State) in his younger days within the program."
Selected: 199th (6th round)
College: Western Oregon
Position: C Height, weight: 6-4, 305
Comment: Slowey dominated the Division II competition while playing left tackle at Western Oregon. He projects to center, where the 49ers seek a backup to Jonathan Goodwin.
Baalke says: "Jason's a young man that has the traits that we're looking for, much like we saw in (Mike) Person and (Daniel) Kilgore last year. He's a young man that played left tackle in college, and he's now going to move inside in the National Football League.
Selected: 237th (seventh round)
Position: OLB Height, weight: 6-3, 268
Comment: Johnson played outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense under former Cavaliers coach Al Groh before switching to defensive end in 2010. He has a nice combination of size and speed but must increase his consistency to stick with the 49ers.
Baalke: "We watched him move around at the Senior Bowl. I actually went to one of his games live (last season); I think it was the Maryland game. So we've had plenty of opportunity to see Cam, and he's a young man that's got a lot of talent."