Yes, we have a trade to kick off the 49ers’ efforts in the 2020 NFL Draft.
San Francisco could easily move out of its first pick in Round 1 in an attempt to stockpile additional selections. The tricky part is finding a trade partner and then settling on the right compensation.
The Indianapolis Colts need wide receiver help, and there are plenty of first-round talents available. Having acquired the Washington Redskins’ second-round pick, that’s part of the selection used to grab the Niners’ Round 1 pick (it’s No. 31 overall, so let’s not get cute about where the 49ers are selecting or worry about compensatory picks yet).
San Francisco picks up an added pick in Round 3, then another in 2021, while the Colts are able to move back into Round 1 to grab added wide receiver help. Even if they use their top pick (No. 18 overall) on a wide receiver, an additional receiving threat would help immensely.
The 49ers then use their first pick, now coming in Round 2, to grab a player on the fringes of the first two rounds, Alabama safety Xavier McKinney.
McKinney is versatile, rangy and reminds a lot of pundits of Pittsburgh Steelers defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick. And the Niners have some question marks ahead of them within their secondary, too, namely what to do about free safety Jimmie Ward, who’ll be a free agent in 2020.
John Lynch and Co. love Ward, and it wouldn’t be a shock to see him re-signed. Especially after such an amazing 2019 campaign. But Ward’s production this year might push him out of San Francisco’s budget range, as the team is starting to deal with salary cap concerns it hasn’t experienced in some time.
McKinney can work the center of the field or in a two-deep tandem. He can play close of the line of scrimmage, too, which fits right into defensive coordinator Robert Saleh’s 2019 switch of making the strong and free safeties much more interchangeable.