Does it makes sense for 49ers to trade out of Round 1 of 2024 NFL Draft?

We've explored whether or not the Niners should trade up in Round 1 of the 2024 draft, but what about trading down and out of the round altogether?
San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch
San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch / Stacy Revere/GettyImages

The 49ers currently own the No. 31 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, but there's logic to trading back and out of Round 1 altogether.

Right now, the San Francisco 49ers own the No. 31 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, the first of 10 selections at general manager John Lynch's disposal.

There may be a few prospects on Lynch's radar who'd be convincing enough for the Niners to trade up from that spot, although it'd be unlikely to see San Francisco engineer some sort of aggressive move-up that'd get any more than 10 spots higher than where the team is at, currently.

While trading up is always enticing, it might be better for the 49ers to simply stay put and let the draft come to them. We've already explored that notion right here.

Trading up is one thing. But, what if Lynch and Co. opted to trade down and likely out of Round 1 entirely?

There are some merits to doing so.

Why 49ers should entertain trading out of Round 1 of NFL Draft

Simply drafting the "best player available" sounds logical, but it doesn't always work in that manner.

Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan have their big board of prospects, but not all are going to be noteworthy targets. Case in point, certain offensive linemen may not be specific scheme fits for Shanahan's offense, meaning the Niners would probably put less a value on such a player than what fans might see in mock drafts and prospect rankings.

Should there be a solid amount of likable prospects San Francisco has a shot at with the 31st pick, trading back even a few spots would net Lynch additional draft capital. Perhaps a mid-round pick (or two) in return, and that could help stockpile additional needs without sacrificing much by the way of missing out on top prospects.

Niners Wire's Kyle Madson explained further, specifically looking at the 49ers' glaring need for an offensive lineman:

"Should the 49ers hang out at No. 31 they could find themselves in a position where they’re reaching for a player just to check their top need. Trading back opens the door for them to still get a tackle prospect they liked at 31 while also positioning themselves to check off some other boxes that have flown under the radar some in the lead up to this year’s draft."

Madson also notes that the Niners will likely undergo a major roster transformation over the next few years, so hitting on as many picks as possible this year is vital.

At a cost of not having a fifth-year option available for a top-drafted prospect, San Francisco would at least have more capital to help solve this budding problem. Whether Lynch decides a shotgun approach of drafting as many players as possible, or he elects to trade up later in the draft by using those acquired selections from a Round 1 trade-down, the 49ers should at least be open to the idea.

The 2024 NFL Draft kicks off on Thursday, April 25.

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