No. 1: All-in
That’s the biggest takeaway from this entire draft. Whenever the next season happens, the 49ers are going to claim it as their own. This is it: the big push for a championship. That doesn’t mean they’ve hemorrhaged future flexibility, but the Niners focus through their draft was clearly for the now.
San Francisco 49ers
Both Javon Kinlaw and Brandon Aiyuk filled immediate holes, while as mentioned last slide, every draft pick has a spot to an important role right now. No draft-and-develop, no surprise redshirt candidates to avoid cutting them; every player drafted should make an impact on the roster today.
By doing so, the Niners made it clear they are focusing on the present.
Perhaps the biggest move that shows this was the trade for Trent Williams. The trade was a steal in objective value, as I pointed out here, but the risk lies in the future. By losing that third-round pick, no matter if it can come back, the Niners delayed their future asset or lost it entirely. By trading their fifth this year, the 49ers missed out on a chance to draft a raw talent with a chance to pan out. The return is a 31-year-old tackle who hasn’t played football in a year and will be a free agent next year. That’s the definition of a high-risk rental.
But the 49ers would make that move 10 times out of 10. Why? Because that’s the type of move a championship contender makes. That’s the move a team that’s gunning for the Super Bowl and should be considered a favorite makes.
That’s a move these 49ers have proven they’ll make.
The 49ers under John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan have sewn up leaks about their state of affairs. There’s not a lot to go off to understand how they think. But, with events like the draft and the trade deadline, we might learn more about their motives and methods.