4 low-cost trades that could greatly help 49ers 2021 roster

Cameron Dantzler, Minnesota Vikings (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)
Cameron Dantzler, Minnesota Vikings (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) /
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Wayne Gallman, San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers running back Wayne Gallman (22) Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

The 49ers are already watching the injuries pile up two weeks into the 2021 season, yet these low-budget trades could easily reinforce the roster.

Yes, the San Francisco 49ers would be wise to stockpile what remaining picks they have in the next two NFL Draft classes, particularly after trading away first-round selections in 2022 and 2023 to move up and grab quarterback Trey Lance this year.

But for those who think the Niners don’t have any selections at all, think again. San Francisco has picks next year in Rounds 2 through 6, and it also has two seventh-round selections. Granted, two of those seven total picks are projected as compensatory ones, and they haven’t been announced yet.

Still, it’s safe to say general manager John Lynch has some low-cost ammunition to make some back-end-of-the-roster changes with the potential to land some high-reward players.

Trades can be weird at any point during the NFL calendar. Reserve linebacker Jonas Griffith was moved after the preseason to the Denver Broncos for a sixth-round pick swap, plus Denver’s Round 7 choice in 2023. And years ago, the 49ers acquired wide receiver Anquan Boldin from the Baltimore Ravens for a sixth-round pick.

Two strikingly different players, both involving Round 6 selections.

At any rate, here are four low-cost trades Lynch and the Niners should explore making with their day-three draft capital.

49ers Trade Target No. 4: RB Wayne Gallman, Falcons

Seems counterintuitive, right? After all, San Francisco parted ways with veteran running back Wayne Gallman at roster cuts ahead of Week 1, subsequently watching the soon-to-be 27-year-old tailback sign with the Atlanta Falcons.

Cutting Gallman made sense at the time. The 49ers already had rushers like Raheem Mostert, Elijah Mitchell, Trey Sermon and JaMycal Hasty outplaying, or at least out-positioning Gallman on the depth chart, and that’s all before the Niners were expected to get veteran running back Jeff Wilson Jr. back from his offseason knee injury.

But Mostert is now shelved on injured reserve for the year. Mitchell, Hasty and Sermon are all banged up after Week 2, too, leaving the recently acquired Trent Cannon as the lone healthy tailback on San Francisco’s 53-man roster.

Asking the Falcons to have Gallman back would be a bit embarrassing. But he’s currently buried on Atlanta’s depth chart behind Mike Davis and Cordarrelle Patterson, and Gallman hasn’t seen the ball once over these first two weeks.

Gallman knows the 49ers offense enough by now, and he probably wouldn’t take anything more than a seventh-round pick or even a late-round pick swap to revert back to the Niners in their time of need.