The San Francisco 49ers traded four times in the third and fourth-rounds of the NFL draft this past weekend. The 49ers kept trading back because the opportunity to stock up on draft picks for 2013 presented itself to GM Trent Baalke and still allowed him to draft the players he targeted in the fourth-round.
One reason for the trades in the third-round had to do with the 49ers draft working out as planned. That allowed Baalke to trade back from the third-round knowing the players they wanted would still be on the board when it came time for their pick. What you may have not noticed is most of the draft picks traded in the third and fourth-round are for the 2013 draft.
The trades show Baalke is not afraid to take risks. With all the trades there were no guarantees the guard they wanted and drafted, Joe Looney, would be available at their 125th pick in the fourth-round. Baalke had pushed the limits already by trading the 92nd pick to the Colts for their 97th pick, then traded pick No. 97 to the Dolphins for the 103rd overall pick, and then traded that pick to the Panthers for their 180th pick. Before all of the trades the 49ers had the 125th overall pick in the fourth-round, so Baalke knew they would get their chance to take a guard in the round. However, Baalke was not convinced Looney would still be on the board and traded the 125th and 180th picks to the Lions for their 117th overall pick. Whew! In the end Baalke and the 49ers got the man they wanted at guard and stock piled draft picks for 2013.
Here is a breakdown of the trades and what the 49ers netted for 2013:
- Trade with the Colts: Received their fifth-round pick in 2013. With the Colts expected to be slightly better than last season, we can assume the pick to be in the upper-half of the fifth-round.
- Trade with the Dolphins: Received their sixth-round pick in 2013. Same as with the Colts, the pick should turn out to be a good value.
- Trade with the Panthers: Received their third-round pick in 2013 and also received the Panthers’ 180th pick in the 2012 draft which they used to select free safety Trenton Robinson. The Panthers are expected to win more than six games in 2012, their total wins last season. So the pick might be in the lower-half of the third-round, but there is value to be found anywhere in the round.
The 49ers will most likely have 13 draft picks in 2013. Right now they officially have 11 picks but they will most likely receive two compensatory picks for losing out on free agents Adam Snyder and Joshua Morgan. Baalke was able to fill the few needs the 49ers had for the upcoming season while also being able to put the 49ers in great position to reload the team in 2013.
I’d be lying to suggest building up that many picks was our intention at the start of it. But we were able to turn the pick over three times and get our guy, plus five picks. So it worked out. We’re not trying to win in the court of public opinion, or win in the media. We’re trying to win games over the long haul and build a team for sustained success. Trent Baalke