The San Francisco 49ers have been filling the airwaves recently with speculation that they will trade up for a playmaking cornerback or wide receiver. In this deep of a draft, however, is that really a good idea? Should the 49ers trade down?
The 49ers have a dilemma: this draft is really, really good, but the players that they want to select will either go too early or be able to be picked up a it later. Naturally, this leads many to believe that the 49ers will try and jump up nearly halfway in the first round, like they did last year to land Eric Reid, and try to pick up another instant starter.
What if, however, the 49ers have a different aim? It is fairly likely that there will be suitors knocking on the 49ers door, if they still have their pick at number 30, wishing to trade up and perhaps land Derek Carr or another quarterback before Houston or other early-selecting second round teams. The 49ers could turn this late first round selection into an extra second–where players they want to draft likely will be available anyway–and a first rounder next year that will likely be above where the 49ers’ selection will be. The 49ers can then pick up the second-round value players that will be just as good as anyone they could have gotten at 30–assuming the board falls as many expect and the 49ers would have to reach for a pick at a position of need–while adding a high pick next year. This would allow the 49ers to continue building for now as well as for the future.
Will this happen? Who knows. What I do know is that the 49ers, under Baalke and Jim Harbaugh, have not been shy about making tough or unpopular decisions, and have especially not been shy to make a move on draft day when they feel it is necessary. A.J. Jenkins might not have panned out, but Eric Reid sure has so far.
Should the 49ers trade out of the first round? Perhaps, but it will depend on what deals they can get to move up or down. I would imagine they will trade number 30, however.