3 players 49ers could attempt to trade by NFL deadline (but probably won't)

John Lynch could go against the grain and trade away players at the NFL trade deadline, right?

San Francisco 49ers running back Eli Mitchell (25)
San Francisco 49ers running back Eli Mitchell (25) / Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports
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No, the 49ers aren't going to be sellers at the 2023 NFL trade deadline, but what if they elected to move some excess anyway?

The 5-1 San Francisco 49ers aren't going to be offloading talent between now and the 2023 NFL trade deadline like other bottom-dwelling seller teams would do.

Simply put, Super Bowl-hopeful teams typically make moves to acquire more talent, not get rid of it.

Going against the grain of conventional thought, though, what if general manager John Lynch looked at the Niners' 53-man roster and opted to move less-needed players by the deadline? In some cases, players buried on the depth chart might be worth NFL Draft capital. Even if what's given up in return isn't much, stockpiling mid- or late-round picks can prove helpful in a multitude of ways.

Lynch has been pretty hush about any pending moves, but there are some players who could potentially fall into the category of tradable assets.

Let's look at three San Francisco could consider moving, even though the likelihood of doing so is awfully remote and small.

49ers tradable player No. 1: RB Elijah Mitchell

All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey's oblique injury almost mandates the 49ers to hold onto third-year pro tailback Elijah Mitchell as insurance, even though Mitchell has also dealt with numerous injuries over his career, including a knee issue this season.

But Mitchell has speed to burn. When healthy, he is an effective rusher who set the franchise record for most rush yards in a rookie season (963) back in 2021.

McCaffrey is already a bell cow, boasting 133 touches through six weeks, while Mitchell has just 21. Considering the Niners have successfully fielded second-year pro Jordan Mason as a backup, it might be worth exploring whether or not Mitchell has a trade market.

The return wouldn't be much, of course. But if San Francisco prefers a one-two punch of McCaffrey and Mason, while also opting to give fellow tailback Tyrion Davis-Price more action, moving Mitchell would be a reasonable choice.