49ers NFL Draft strategy No. 2: No need to trade down
Unless John Lynch is sending off draft capital and trading down to acquire future picks in 2023, there shouldn’t be a need to accrue more assets in this year’s draft.
As noted earlier, the 49ers aren’t in a position where they have to revamp or overhaul the entire roster. The Niners didn’t suffer a massive exodus of talent via NFL free agency, and the ones they did lose shouldn’t require too much effort to replace if those voids are still there.
As such, this year’s NFL Draft needs to be about the quality of players, not so much the quality. Stockpiling a ton of draft picks is a tactic for rebuilding teams, not playoff-caliber ones.
In this sense, the opposite of trading down could potentially be true. Would it be a terrible thing if Lynch traded up in, let’s say, Round 2? While that’s not necessarily “letting the draft come to him,” it would afford a much better shot at landing some better talent in a superior tier of players. In that regard, this strategy still jives with the first one.
Lynch has had a knack for finding late-round talent, yes, including tight end George Kittle (Round 5) back in 2017 and running back Elijah Mitchell (Round 6) a year ago.
But the probability of landing a better player is significantly better in the earlier rounds, not the later ones.
So, if trading down is a strategy in Lynch’s pocket, he needs to table it for another year.