5 bold predictions for 49ers in the 2023 NFL Draft

San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /
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John Lynch and the 49ers don’t have first- or second-round picks in the 2023 NFL Draft, but they do have 11 total selections. And some bold predictions, too.

For anyone who predicted the San Francisco 49ers would be bold enough to send away two future first-round picks to move up to No. 3 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft, kudos to you.

Yes, that was bold.

Now, entering the 2023 NFL Draft, general manager John Lynch and Co. are still dealing with the fallout of that move, one that involved this year’s first-round selection as part of that package to acquire quarterback Trey Lance.

Tack on the midseason trade pickup of running back Christian McCaffrey that spent their second-round selection in 2023, the Niners aren’t going to hear their name called until the very back end of Round 3.

They do have three picks to close out the third round, though (Nos. 99, 101 and 102 overall).

Predicting what Lynch will do with those picks can be pretty fun, so let’s start off our own list of bold predictions with speculation of what happens in Round 3 for San Francisco.

49ers bold NFL Draft prediction No. 1: John Lynch trades into Round 2

There’s no clear and concise value for each draft pick, although many have tried.

However, going by a simple draft pick-value trade chart like this CBS Sports one, it’s not hard to see that the 49ers’ three selections in Round 3 could equate to a value worth something in the range of a middle or late second-round pick.

As noted, the Niners have 11 picks total but don’t have that many holes on the roster. For a San Francisco team ready to win a Super Bowl now, the value in this year’s NFL Draft might be in quality.

Not necessarily quantity.

Moving up from Round 3 and into the second round might capitalize on some significantly better talent, even if it’s just one player on the return instead of three.

If such a bold move lands a plug-and-play starter at a key position via the second round, it’d be an aggressive move-up that would pay off nicely.