The 49ers current roster is one with many no-name and/or unproven players, a handful of young up-and-comers, and only a limited number of established NFL stars. GM John Lynch and HC Kyle Shanahan quickly went about the business of addressing some of the holes in this roster via free agency. They acquired some important players on both sides of the ball. But the depth of this team was laid to waste by the incompetence of Trent Baalke. In other words, getting players in free agency is nice and definitely a breath of fresh air, but it is only half (probably less) of the battle.
The 49ers own ten total picks in the 2017 draft, including three picks in the first 66 selections. This is what happens when you are coming off a 2-14 season, however if they are utilized properly, these ten picks can go a long way towards laying a solid foundation for the future. The 49ers brass will have to determine, based on their big board and team needs, who to select with each of their available picks. Additionally, based on the established or perceived needs of other teams, they will also have to decide whether trading back and acquiring more picks (number 2 pick cough, cough) is the best available option for them.
Myles Garrett is the clear-cut best player in this year’s draft and the Browns, based on everything we know, will most certainly be taking him with the number one overall pick. After Garrett, big boards are jumbled left and right. There is no consensus second-best player in the 2017 draft. Multiple noted draft expert’s opinions on who should be the second player drafted range anywhere from Stanford’s Solomon Thomas, to Louisiana State’s Jamal Adams, to Ohio State’s Malik Hooker, and just about everybody in between. In the midst of all this uncertainty, I believe the best option for the 49ers is to trade back and accumulate as many picks as possible in order to replenish this roster with difference-makers.
With that in mind, the following are some possible trade scenarios for the 49ers. These are just based on my personal perception. I have no sources or “insider info” as they say. Let’s take a look.
THE 49ERS TRADE THE SECOND OVERALL PICK TO THE BROWNS FOR THE 12TH, 33RD, AND 108TH OVERALL PICKS IN THE 2017 DRAFT.
This is assuming the Browns have already selected Myles Garrett with the first overall pick. They also have fallen in love with Mitchell Trubisky, and do not want to take the risk of him being gone by the time they pick again at 12 overall.
The 49ers select Clemson’s Mike Williams with the 12th pick, Texas Tech’s Patrick Mahomes with the 33rd, and Toledo’s Kareem Hunt with the 108th.
By trading back and selecting these players, the 49ers find a true number one WR, a QB for Shanahan to mold for the future, and a stud all-purpose back. This would address three important needs on the offensive side of the ball. Three picks for the price of one? Count me in.
Another possible way to go with this scenario is to pick Williams at 12, then use the 33rd (from the Browns) and the 34th (their own), and a future pick, and trade those picks to Tennessee for the 18th overall pick. With that pick, the 49ers would select Gareon Conley from Ohio State, filling the need at cornerback opposite Rashard Robinson.
Although I prefer the first variation of this scenario, the 49ers can’t go wrong with either of those possibilities.
THE 49ERS TRADE THE SECOND OVERALL PICK TO THE NEW YORK JETS FOR THE 6TH AND 39TH PICKS IN THE 2017 DRAFT.
The Jets, also in dire need of a quarterback, trade up to secure Trubisky.
The 49ers select LSU’s Jamal Adams with the 6th pick and USC’s JuJu Smith-Schuster with the 39th pick.
Adams, an elite safety who is suited to play in the box or in center field, would give the 49ers flexibility in deciding whether Jimmie Ward goes to safety or stays at corner. Additionally, it would allow them to decide whether oft-injured Eric Reid fits in with the future plans for this team. Smith-Schuster has good size, great hands, and runs crisp routes within a diverse tree. He would also fill a need as a future number one wideout.
THE 49ERS TRADE THE SECOND OVERALL PICK TO THE ARIZONA CARDINALS FOR THE 13TH, AND 45TH PICKS, PLUS ARIZONA’S 2018 FIRST ROUND SELECTION.
The Cardinals are looking for a future signal-caller, given the fact that Carson Palmer is in the twilight of his career. Bruce Arians is also believed to be in love with Patrick Mahomes. Some might say trading up to two overall is a stretch for Mahomes, but based on that future need for the Cardinals, it could make sense. More importantly, with five teams looking for quarterbacks picking before 13 overall, the Cardinals might feel pressured to move up.
The 49ers select Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey with the 13th pick and Washington’s Kevin King with the 45th pick.
McCaffrey would provide Kyle Shanahan’s offense with tons of flexibility, being able to deploy him out of the backfield or lined up as a receiver. Think Tevin Coleman but better all-around skills. McCaffrey would also be an excellent option returning kicks and punts. King is a defensive back who has excellent size (6-3) and speed (4.43s 40-yard dash) in addition to outstanding ball skills. He would automatically be the most talented cornerback on the 49ers roster. Oh, did I mention that they would also get Arizona’s 2018 first-rounder? Talk about a dream scenario.
Any three of these possibilities should make any 49ers fan extremely happy as we dive in to this new era of Red and Gold football. Sure, these scenarios might be far-fetched. But it doesn’t cost anything to dream. And hey, we’ve all seen crazy scenarios and trades play out in drafts past. Either way, I trust Lynch and Shanahan to do the right thing and use the picks available to them in the best possible way as they return this franchise to its former glory.