If the 49ers end up moving Deebo Samuel, they’ll likely try replacing him in the 2022 NFL Draft, and here’s one player they can target in each round.
Why would the Niners do so anyway? Samuel is under contract in 2022 and could then be hit with the franchise tag the following year, giving Lynch and Co. at least two more seasons without Samuel hitting the market.
Granted, San Francisco doesn’t want a headache amid such discussions, but there’s still an awfully good chance Samuel continues to don the red and gold this season.
However, should the 49ers end up trading Samuel for what will likely be a king’s ransom, they’d need to find an adequate replacement for him via the 2022 NFL Draft.
Without a first-round pick this year and not scheduled (at least currently) to pick until No. 61 overall, the hope is any Samuel trade would at least net a high first-rounder.
So, let’s go ahead and play that out, assuming Samuel is traded and then breaking down one wide receiver Lynch and the Niners could target in each round of this year’s draft.
Kicking things off in Round 1.
49ers Round 1 NFL Draft Target: Garrett Wilson, Ohio State
There’s a good chance Ohio State wide receiver Garrett Wilson is the first at his position to be selected on draft day, and it’s not uncommon to see mock drafts tab him within the top 10.
Sure, the 6-foot, 183-pound wideout might not be as surefire a home-run pick as last year’s top-drafted receiver, now-Cincinnati Bengals pass-catcher Ja’Marr Chance. But there’s a lot to like about Wilson in terms of being a well-rounded prospect.
For starters, Wilson is fast and showed this at the NFL Scouting Combine by running a 4.38 40-yard time, which suggests his yards-after-the-catch abilities would fit seamlessly into head coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense.
Additionally, Wilson has great hands and can easily serve as a primary go-to target in big-play situations.
|*2019||Ohio State||Big Ten||FR||WR||13||30||432||14.4||5||0||0||0||30||432||14.4||5|
|*2020||Ohio State||Big Ten||SO||WR||8||43||723||16.8||6||2||67||33.5||0||45||790||17.6||6|
|*2021||Ohio State||Big Ten||JR||WR||11||70||1058||15.1||12||4||76||19.0||1||74||1134||15.3||13|
Provided by CFB at Sports Reference
Now, the only way San Francisco would stand a good chance of landing Wilson is if a would-be Samuel trade nets a pick that falls within the top 10.
That’s probably not overly likely, but the 49ers could easily look to swap out Samuel for Wilson if such a development happens.