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49ers mailbag: Will Brandon Aiyuk be on the roster on Friday morning? Will SF draft another quarterback?

Marc Adams
Apr 24, 2024 at 11:53 AM

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We're just over 24 hours before round one of the NFL Draft begins. The San Francisco 49ers are scheduled to have their first pick in the opening round since 2021 when they drafted Trey Lance. That didn't turn out well, but there is optimism that the team will be able to make its roster better over the next few days.

GM John Lynch spoke on Monday and said there's a possibility the team could trade out of the first round. I doubt that would go over well with the fanbase, especially since they haven't had a first-rounder in the past two years. But if it's a good trade that lands the 49ers some quality picks, we could see that happen, especially if there aren't any players at pick 31 that the team is excited about.

We opened up the 49ers Webzone Mailbag to see what was on your mind heading into the draft. Thank you for your questions. Our mailbags tend to be a little boring when no one asks questions.

Let's jump in.

How confident are you that Brandon Aiyuk will be on the roster on Friday morning? - Mr. Dave B. IV

I'm very confident that Brandon Aiyuk will still be on the team on Friday morning. He won't be traded if he's not traded before or during round one of the NFL Draft. It just makes no sense for the 49ers to trade the star wide receiver while they're trying to win a Super Bowl.

I realize Mike Silver, of the San Francisco Chronicle, reported that there's still a chance Aiyuk could be traded and I understand that Silver has excellent sources, but I'm still confident Aiyuk will remain with the team. Lynch said he doesn't anticipate trading Aiyuk. Now that could change, but I'm standing by what I've said all offseason—the 49ers aren't trading Brandon Aiyuk.

Can the 49ers still be contenders without Brandon Aiyuk? - Nathan

Can the 49ers be contenders without Aiyuk? Yes. Can they win the Super Bowl without him? As they're currently constructed, I don't think so.

Who would QB Brock Purdy throw to without Aiyuk? Deebo Samuel is great for what he does, but route-running isn't his strength. Jauan Jennings isn't a number-one wide receiver. Danny Gray and Ronnie Bell haven't shown anything that leads us to believe the 49ers offense can thrive without Aiyuk. If the team decides to move on from Aiyuk, the offense will not be nearly as dynamic as last season.

The 49ers barely made it to the Super Bowl. It's hard to get back there, especially when teams lose in the big game the season before. Making your offense worse won't make it any easier.

If the 49ers draft a starter in round one, what side of the ball will that be on? - Jessie D.

Defense. The only starter that's likely to come in and start in year one would be a corner. A rookie safety might be able to come in and start, but the 49ers aren't going to draft a safety in the first round.

I don't think a rookie offensive lineman could beat out Colton McKivitz or Jake Brendel unless the 49ers trade up to grab one of the top tackles in the first round. But they're not likely to do that. If the 49ers traded Aiyuk for a first-round pick and selected a wide receiver, maybe that receiver could come in and start as a rookie. But Kyle Shanahan is tough on rookies, especially on offense. He expects a lot out of them. That's why I think the odds do not favor an offensive player starting as a rookie.

Will SF draft another quarterback? - Bill D.

I believe they will. At a minimum, they will sign an undrafted rookie free agent. It's a good bet, though, that the 49ers will draft another quarterback somewhere in the later rounds.

Wouldn't it be crazy if they drafted a QB at the end of round one? I think the fanbase might riot.

If the 49ers don't address the O-line at No. 31, which position do you expect them to target? - Dr. Dave B. Esq.

If the 49ers don't draft an offensive lineman at 31, I would expect them to draft:

  1. Corner: They're thin at that position, and are looking at their top two corners, Deommodore Lenoir and Charvarious Ward, being free agents next March.
  2. Wide receiver: Same as corner, the 49ers are thin at that position, with Jennings scheduled to be a free agent after the season.
  3. Edge rusher: If any good edge rusher falls to 31, this might be the pick. But I wouldn't hold my breath for any of the top edge rushers to fall that far.
  4. Defensive tackle: Yes, the 49ers may take another defensive tackle in round one. I figure a lot of fans would be upset over that, but adding to the rotation, and building for the future, is a good idea.

As far as the 49ers drafting an offensive lineman in round one, I'm not sure they will make that move. The best tackles will likely be gone, and any remaining tackle that the 49ers are interested in may not be graded as a first-round talent. So for those fans expecting an offensive lineman at pick 31, be prepared. You may be disappointed.

Why do you think the 49ers didn't address the safety position in free agency? - John P.

For one reason, they like their two young safeties, Talanoa Hufanga and Ji'Ayir Brown. But I think another reason is that they plan on adding one in the draft, and probably another one after the draft by signing an undrafted free agent.

I thought they might add a safety in free agency. Hufanga is scheduled to be a free agent after the season, and he's coming back from an ACL tear. So no one knows how quickly he will be able to return to form. I had hoped they would sign someone as insurance in case Hufanga isn't able to round back into form.

The 49ers have scouted multiple safeties leading up to the draft, so I would be surprised if they don't add a couple of safeties this weekend.

So Marc, what are your menu choices for food and snacks to nosh on during the draft? Or might you be a pizza & wings guy? - Ed H.

I don't have any certain thing I eat during any event, be it the draft, Super Bowl, or whatever. I'm kind of moody when it comes to food, so I like to eat whatever I feel like eating in the moment. Sometimes my wife has me stop by the grocery store to pick up a few things. I always come back with more than she requested. When she says, "This wasn't on my list," I just remind her that she's the one who decided to send me to a giant building with food in it. I can't be held responsible for anything that ends up in my shopping cart.

That's all we have for this edition of the 49ers Webzone Mailbag. We'll be back soon so watch for us. Enjoy the draft, 49ers fans!
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.


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