49ers play it safe in an 'all trades' ESPN mock 2024 NFL Draft

One might think the Niners would trade up from No. 31 overall in the NFL Draft, if they traded away from that pick at all.

Not according to ESPN, though.

San Francisco 49ers selection in the NFL Draft
San Francisco 49ers selection in the NFL Draft / Tom Pennington/GettyImages

ESPN's Bill Barnwell had a creative mock NFL Draft with all 32 first-round picks being traded away, but the 49ers opted to go the conservative route.

Mock drafts are merely educated (sometimes) guesses on what teams will do when they're on the clock during the NFL Draft.

And they're essentially always going to be wrong.

All it takes is one team grabbing a prospect whom no one suspected would be drafted at that point to throw things off. Or a trade can completely derail a mock projection.

That said, mocks are entertaining. What could teams do? That's the question everyone wants answered.

So, what if every pick in Round 1 of the 2024 draft ended up being traded? It'd surely make for a provocative start to the draft.

A 32-pick trading mock is exactly what ESPN's Bill Barnwell recently came up with, but his move for the San Francisco 49ers might not be all that exciting.

49ers trade down in ESPN's all-trades Round 1 mock NFL Draft

About the only time fans get excited about NFL Draft trade-downs is if their team is selecting in the top 10, or so, and said team winds up netting a slew of draft capital and/or a key player to make the deal worthwhile.

For the Niners, who own the No. 31 overall pick this year, trading down certainly doesn't generate the same kind of excitement.

Yet that's what Barnwell has San Francisco doing after the previous other 30 picks were mocked to be traded.

However, Barnwell's rationale for the move -- a deal with the Las Vegas Raiders that bumps the 49ers down into Round 2 at No. 44 overall -- does make some sense.

Here's the nature of the trade:

49ers-Raiders trade

Barnwell's assessment is less about the Niners' needs and more about Vegas seeking a new quarterback:

"Teams including the Falcons, Raiders, Saints and Giants are in the mix to move up if they really like Bo Nix or Michael Penix Jr. This would be a leap forward for Vegas, which would add one of those rookies to the mix with Gardner Minshew and Aidan O'Connell."

Related story: 5 creative things 49ers could do in 2024 NFL Draft

Las Vegas, should it go this route, would also have the option of landing a quarterback and getting that vital fifth-year option for first-round prospects.

As for San Francisco, it probably wouldn't want to move two fourth-round selections as part of the trade-down, but getting another second-round pick in 2025 doesn't sound like a terrible idea, especially considering the 49ers will likely have to make some serious roster changes amid their projected salary cap concerns for next year.

While a first round full of nothing but trades is about the most unlikely of things to happen (but still fun to speculate), the Niners may opt to trade down and would have a context in which such a thing could happen.

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