Right now the 49ers hold 12 draft day picks; the most of any team, the downfall of the 12 picks is that a majority of them fall into the later rounds. I of course concede that there have been some fantastic picks to come out of the sixth and seventh rounds. However, the gems that come from the third and fourth rounds far outweigh the late round gems. Draft day picks are like a fuel mixture, too quality or rich and you risk putting all your eggs into one basket and getting burned, too quantity or watery and you risk choosing between unproven rookies or veterans when it comes down to the cuts. What I think the Niners should do is go for a nice mixture even in the early rounds, which would require some trades. Holding the draft spot at number seven is perfect for a trade; it’s inside the top-ten and tends to be a lot less paid as far as salary.
The golden opportunity is New England, who holds two first round draft picks, two second round draft picks and even two third round picks. Bill Belichick and Patriot fans know that they are two pieces away from making another serious shot at the Super Bowl. New England could easily sacrifice one of its first and second round picks to move up into the top-ten. More importantly Belichick has a good history of making trades.
Though it’s hard to admit at this point, the 49ers need more all around talent; we are not one draft pick away from a Super Bowl game. Also we need to give Jim Harbaugh more of a selection to fill the holes. As an added benefit when we are beyond the lockout, trading down will give us some room to breathe inside the salary cap for possible free agent moves, or to re-sign a key player to a longer term contract.
I want instant impact like every other fan. I want the 49ers to be everything the “experts” said we would be last season, and make a deep playoff run. Harbaugh and the Niners need too many key positions and they need to gel as a team before that happens.
So, trade in the draft and give Harbaugh the best chance to success. Of course this is all wishful thinking for draft day.