Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

PFF examines what it might cost the 49ers to move up in the draft

Jan 6, 2021 at 11:47 AM--

What would it take for the San Francisco 49ers to move up in the NFL Draft to grab a future franchise quarterback? Michael Renner of Pro Football Focus recently looked at five teams he feels should trade up to get a rookie passer and lists the Niners among them.

The analytics site recently released a mock draft that had the 49ers moving up to the No. 4 overall pick to select quarterback Justin Fields of Ohio State. Right now, the 49ers are slated to select at No. 12 overall. What would it take to move up to that spot?

Renner believes San Francisco would need to give up four total selections. They are the No. 12 overall pick, this year's second- and fourth-round picks, and next year's second-round pick. That would be quite a haul for the Atlanta Falcons, which currently sit at No. 4, and a lot to surrender for the 49ers to move up eight spots.

Renner also sounds like he feels Kyle Shanahan and company should part ways with Jimmy Garoppolo, which is a topic that will dominate the headlines in the coming months.

"The two big things in play here are that 1) The 49ers can create $24.1 million in cap space by cutting Jimmy Garoppolo, and 2) Garoppolo has not been that good," wrote Renner. "Two of his previous three seasons ended prematurely with injury, with a 75.1 passing grade season sandwiched in between, so it's difficult to say Jimmy G is decidedly better than players such as Cam Newton or Jameis Winston who signed for pennies this past offseason.

"The 49ers also aren't like a lot of other teams on this list that could desperately use those other picks. This is a damn good roster. If they weren't decimated by injuries on the defensive side of the ball, they likely make the playoffs — even with a backup quarterback. The added bonus with whomever they would target in a trade is the mobility factor."

While the Pro Football Focus analyst feels the 49ers have a "damn good roster," ignored in this argument is the fact that the 49ers had nearly 40 players who were playing on the final year of their deals, 27 of whom are scheduled to become unrestricted free agents.

Of course, freeing up most of Garoppolo's cap hit, as Renner suggests, might help bring back some of those players. The question is whether or not the team might want to hit the reset button at quarterback and force two players — a veteran and a rookie — to learn Shanahan's offense.

Still, for the right rookie quarterback, the 49ers might find it to be worth the growing pains.

"Kyle Shanahan hasn't had a rushing threat at quarterback since RG3," adds Renner. "In his rookie season, RG3 went for 815 yards on the ground and Washington ranked sixth in points per drive. The 49ers' offense has been missing that aspect — one that's becoming more en vogue with top offenses around the league."

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