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Should the 49ers trade anyone on draft night?

Rohan Chakravarthi
Apr 21, 2023 at 3:15 PM

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The San Francisco 49ers are in an interesting predicament with the 2023 NFL Draft, lacking both a first and second-round selection, while they begin their weekend at No. 99, possessing three of the final four picks in Round 3.

With talent at potential areas of need on the board, the 49ers could look to trade up, or even trade down from their initial spot to fill the holes where they currently lack draft selections.

However, the team could also look to move players on draft night in an attempt to get younger and/or cheaper at positions.

With that said, let's play a "buy" or "sell" game in regard to some players being dealt on draft night with the 49ers and how realistic it could be.

Brandon Aiyuk

The soon-to-be fourth-year wideout has been the subject of trade talks this offseason, with several teams inquiring about Aiyuk's availability, although the 49ers have been reluctant to engage in those conversations.

If the 49ers look to move Aiyuk this offseason, it would be at the NFL Draft, where they could fetch a potential first-rounder to improve their roster.

However, Aiyuk has two more years of team control and should be the receiver that San Francisco looks to prioritize between him and fellow star wideout Deebo Samuel by signing him to an extension next offseason.

Regardless, even if he isn't in the future plans of the team, Aiyuk's value should only improve with another strong season under his belt and a closer deadline to his extension, which would increase the package in return. He should be off the market this offseason.


Trey Lance

Recently, former third overall pick Trey Lance has also been involved in trade talks, with NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reporting that the 49ers have fielded calls on their quarterback, with a trade potentially occurring at the draft.

A Lance trade would be the 49ers admitting their wrongs and looking to sell high, as his value diminishes this offseason if he loses the starting job to either Brock Purdy or Sam Darnold.

However, it would be irresponsible for the organization to do so, as the 49ers currently have uncertainty regarding their QB1 spot with Brock Purdy's recovery timeline unknown until he starts his throwing regimen three months post-op, while Sam Darnold has never taken a snap in a 49er uniform.

Moreover, the 49ers need at least three healthy quarterbacks to conduct their offseason program, and they're currently one short, even with Lance on the roster. It seems like a poor decision to roll into the offseason with Darnold and two rookies/undrafted free agents, as it would take away from the depth that San Francisco emphasized when they added the former Panthers quarterback.

It also appears that the 49ers have an exorbitant price tag for Lance, like a first-round pick, which seems unlikely in return.


Elijah Mitchell

The 49ers have consistently faced injuries at the running back position. So, why would they engage in a potential trade for their current backup running back who has two years of team control left?

Mitchell has been injury-prone, but very effective in his time on the field, and his trade value is currently high because he has two years remaining on a cheap contract and would fill in well as a complementary piece in any team's RB rotation.

The 49ers would then open up reps for second-year players Jordan Mason and Tyron-Davis Price, while likely targeting a rookie in the draft for their final running back spot.

With the trade, the 49ers would have years of team control over their entire room and unload Mitchell at the peak of his value.

The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


  • BigAl
    Your probably overthinking this. Cause they arent trading Lance or Aiyuk either. The 49ers are in SB win now mode. They if anything are looking to add that final piece, not trade it away. We arent rebuilding. There is very much a sense of urgency this year.
    Apr 21, 2023 at 5:37 PM
  • BigAl
    Yea right. Somebody lied to you chief. Mitchell is by far not at his highest value, theres enough RBs in this draft that it would make no sense for a team to spend a draft pick for a guy always hurt. At best a team would give up, maybe, a 6th. Which is what we paid and makes lil sense considering his talent in between injuries
    Apr 21, 2023 at 5:10 PM


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