5 insane things the 49ers could do in the 2024 NFL Draft

Part of the fun of the NFL Draft is imagining some hypotheticals that are, at best, unlikely to take place. Could the 49ers pull one or more off? Let's get crazy.
San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch (L) and head coach Kyle Shanahan (R)
San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch (L) and head coach Kyle Shanahan (R) / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages
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Trade Brandon Aiyuk, and trade up for his replacement

Keeping in mind that same trade rumour, could the Niners make the same trade pre-draft and then package those picks for a receiver?

There's a couple of reasons why this might make sense: One, to replace Brandon Aiyuk himself, but two, with a long-term focus on the position as well. I looked in a previous article at the 49ers growing needs at receiver, but to summarise, it boils down to both short- and long-term issues.

For starters, fellow wide receiver Deebo Samuel's contract is beginning to look like an albatross and will likely need to be at least restructured if not outright shed off the roster at the end of 2024. Couple that with wideout Jauan Jennings' current one-year pact with the team, and if for some reason an Aiyuk deal doesn't or can't get done, then the talent and depth at the position could start looking pretty thin very quickly.

Outside of Aiyuk, Samuel, and Jennings, the only player with any real future hope is Ronnie Bell, and even he had an up-and-down rookie year. There's certainly nothing to rely on in the receiver pipeline behind the big three. Has anyone even seen Danny Gray?

It's also not as outlandish as it might seem, given the 49ers currently hold 10 picks in this year's draft. Even a cursory glance at the roster would probably tell you that 10 rookies aren't likely to make the 53-man roster, especially given the Niners being smack in the middle of a contending window.

Hell, at the time of writing, there's only 15 spots on the 90-man roster!

So, why hang on to those picks when they could be packaged to add something that could bring some punch to the roster right now? Two late firsts plus one of the team's many, many mid-round picks could be packaged to a take a swing at a Brian Thomas Jr. for instance.

Regardless, given the six or seven Round 1-level pass catchers available this year, it might even be a good year to do it.