5 players 49ers should trade up for in Round 2 of NFL Draft

With Round 1 in the books, all eyes are on the 49ers and when they'll inevitably trade up. Round 2 would be a good time to do it, so they can grab a strong starter.
NFL Combine
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The San Francisco 49ers have nine picks left in the draft after declining to trade up on Thursday night. Surely a trade up makes sense, as the team looks for some guys that can be immediate contributors in Week 1.

Whether you love the pick, hate it or just are looking to wait and see, the San Francisco 49ers went with a wide receiver. Ricky Pearsall joins a star-studded receiving corps and with reports that the team are unlikely to trade anyone now, it's an interesting time.

Read More: 49ers shock fans, draft Ricky Pearsall at No. 31 to bolster offense

But now attention turns to Day 2 and what the 49ers need to do. People losing their mind that it wasn't a tackle or a corner just need to relax, there's more than one pick in the draft after all.

But who can the 49ers look to move up for? The team doesn't need 10 rookies on the roster, so surely a move up the order is imminent. Let's take a look at some potential targets.

. Patrick Paul. 450. 1. . Offensive Tackle. 1. player. . Patrick Paul

One of the benefits of such a deep tackle class is there are prospects in the second day that are starters sooner rather than later in the NFL. One of these prospects is Patrick Paul, the tackle from Houston that the 49ers took a good look at during the pre-draft process.

A good size at 6-foot-7 and 331 pounds, Paul can start right away at Day 1 on the right side of the line before switching over as the blindside protector in the future.

. . Cooper DeJean. Cooper DeJean. 2. player. 2. 483. Cornerback/Safety.

A surprise slide out of the first round aside, Cooper DeJean is a talented and versatile defensive back who can play either nickel or safety in the NFL. If the 49ers are comfortable leaving Deommodore Lenoir outside, DeJean can have an instant impact as the starting nickel corner and backup safety.

DeJean had two interceptions and five passes defended for Iowa in 2023 before his season ended early. The 6-foot-0 and 203 pound defensive back won't last long in Round 2, so the 49ers should be aggressive to get him.

. 3. player. 3. . Cornerback. Max Melton. 452. . Max Melton

I love Max Melton. I've said before why he's my draft crush, so I won't go too far into it. But the simple fact of it is he's a perfect fit for San Francisco and a perfect trade up target for the team in Round 2.

Melton had three interceptions and six passes defended for Rutgers in 2023, following up a breakout 2022 season where he had two interceptions and nine passes defended. I truly believe he would have been a first-round prospect if he had played at a bigger school, and the speedy 6-foot-0, 190 pound corner can play on the boundary which would allow Lenoir to remain in the nickel.

Center/Guard. Jackson Powers-Johnson. 4. player. . . 515. 4. . Jackson Powers-Johnson

I had Jackson Powers-Johnson going No. 29 overall to the Detroit Lions in my final mock draft, so it's clear that I consider him a first-round candidate. While not an exciting pick or a tackle, he would be an upgrade at right guard and an excellent backup center that can eventually start.

Plenty consider Powers-Johnson the best interior blocker in this draft. A safe pick, but it would be a sensible one given you can never have too many good blockers.

. player. 523. Kool-Aid McKinstry. Cornerback. . 5. . Kool-Aid McKinstry. 5

Another surprise slider out of the first round, Kool-Aid McKinstry was a victim of the teams in the draft completely ignoring the secondary until well into the 20s of the first round. This made McKinstry inevitably slide.

McKinstry didn't have the best season in 2023 for Alabama, but he was still strong enough he should have been a first-round prospect. McKinstry had no interceptions but seven passes broken up, and the 5-foor-11, 199 pound corner can be an intriguing pick for the 49ers.

A word of caution however that McKinstry may work best as a press corner as opposed to a zone corner, but the value might be too good to ignore if he slides enough.

Day two of the 2024 NFL Draft kicks off on Friday, April 25 at 7 p.m. ET.

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