Round 1, Pick No. 51 Overall (from Steelers): 49ers select OT Abraham Lucas, Washington State
From the Niners’ perspective, this year’s NFL Draft class needs to be about quality of players, not sheer quantity. So a high number of draft picks is less valuable to John Lynch than landing immediate-impact players.
So, a proposed trade-up from No. 61 overall in a deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers shouldn’t be ruled out, and it’ll end up costing Lynch some of his day-three selections to move up 10 spots.
Pittsburgh could use some extra draft capital anyway, but without diving too deep into the Steelers’ needs, San Francisco can take comfort knowing it has a better shot at landing some first-round talent that slipped into Round 2 now.
And who cares much about sixth-round compensatory picks from the 49ers’ perspective, right?
At any rate, the 49ers’ selection winds up being Washington State offensive tackle Abraham Lucas, who has notable upside in pass protection and can hold his own in run support, too.
While it might seem a luxury pick to grab a tackle this early, given both Trent Williams and Mike McGlinchey are on the roster, McGlinchey is working his way back from a serious quad injury suffered last year and isn’t guaranteed to be anywhere close to 100 percent by the time the season starts.
Plus, entering a contract year, the Niners may deem it best to identify McGlinchey’s long-term replacement now if they’re not planning on retaining him.
Lucas also has the projection to be effective enough on the inside, too, giving San Francisco some immediate flexibility at guard if need be.