5 draft prospects 49ers would trade up for after NFL free agency

Zion Johnson #OL22 of the Boston College Eagles (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Zion Johnson #OL22 of the Boston College Eagles (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /
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Christian Watson, North Dakota State
North Dakota State wide receiver Christian Watson (WO35) Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

49ers trade-up draft target No. 3: WR Christian Watson, North Dakota State

Getting away from offensive line needs now, the Niners could easily splurge on a luxury item, and that’s precisely what would be the case if they selected quarterback Trey Lance‘s former teammate at North Dakota State, wide receiver Christian Watson, who’s been quite the riser since his impressive efforts, both at the 2022 Senior Bowl and the NFL Scouting Combine.

Watson, 6-foot-4 and 208 pounds, ran a blazing-fast 4.36 40-yard time during his combine workouts, so scouts easily appreciated his combination of size and speed to create all kinds of mismatches at the next level.

Plus, adding another weapon to Lance’s arsenal (and one with familiarity already) would never be a bad idea.

For the long run, recent massive extensions for star wide receivers Davante Adams and Tyreek Hill could make it challenging for San Francisco to extend its own All-Pro wideout, Deebo Samuel, when his rookie contract expires after this upcoming season.

While the 49ers value Samuel a ton and will prioritize him, it wouldn’t hurt having a cheaper option waiting in the folds regardless.

Watson won’t be there at No. 61, that’s for sure. And he might go awfully early in Round 2, too.