Podcast: Breaking Down the 49ers’ Shutout Victory with Jason Aponte →
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports


49ers did the right thing by not trading up in the draft

Al Sacco
Apr 20, 2016 at 1:30 PM6


Every once in awhile, a rare talent comes along who has the ability to change the fortunes of a franchise. Although they're few and far between, we've seen quarterbacks like John Elway, Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck be touted by many as "can't miss" prospects. In that scenario, it's easy to see why a team would become enamored and pay a hefty price to land such a player, as the risk is perceived to be minimal.

If you're not dealing with an Elway, Manning or Luck though, it might be best not to bet the farm on something that basically amounts to a crapshoot. The NFL graveyard is littered with the names of first-round quarterback busts who've set their respective teams back for years, and cost general managers their jobs. Even having the top overall pick doesn't guarantee you anything, just ask the brain trusts who settled on Tim Couch, David Carr and JaMarcus Russell.

With these cautionary tales in the front and center of my mind, I have to commend the San Francisco 49ers for standing pat at number seven, and not mortgaging the farm to get either Jared Goff or Carson Wentz.

First and foremost, neither Goff or Wentz are anywhere close to a sure thing behind center. Some would say they're not even one of the top five players available. However, this is a quarterback driven league, and apparently it causes some teams to do crazy things. Just take a look at what the Los Angeles Rams and Philadelphia Eagles gave up to move to the number one and two spots (respectively) in this year's draft.

The Rams sent the Tennessee Titans their first-round pick in 2016 (No. 15 overall), two second-round selections (Nos. 43 and 45), a third (No. 76 overall), plus a first and third rounder in 2017 for this year's number one overall pick as well as a fourth (No. 113) and a sixth (No. 177).

Philly gave the Cleveland Browns their 2016 first-round pick (No. 8 overall), a third (No. 77), a fourth (No. 100), next year's first and a second in 2018. In return the Eagles got the second pick in 2016 and a fourth rounder next year. Philadelphia did this despite having already guaranteed $34 million combined to quarterbacks Sam Bradford and Chase Daniel. And do they know who the Rams are picking, or are they just kind of cool with either guy? I'm starting to understand why Chip Kelly had such an issue with Howie Roseman.

Anyway, those are both crazy packages for two unproven, possibly hit-or-miss prospects.

Now despite me commending them for their willpower, do I believe the 49ers still desperately need a quarterback? Yes, they absolutely do and I'd argue that in today's NFL it's impossible to sustain success without a good one. Even still, the cost to move up would have been too much to pay for what they'd get in return, especially considering the amount of holes San Francisco has on it's roster.

General manager Trent Baalke has now given himself the opportunity to sit back, as he's all but guaranteed an elite prospect will fall into his lap at seven (although it most likely won't be a quarterback). The top of the draft is loaded with defensive talent, as well as options at offensive tackle. While OT Laremy Tunsil and CS/S Jalen Ramsey will probably be gone, the Niners have a legitimate shot at landing DE Joey Bosa, DE DeForest Buckner, ILB Myles Jack, CB Vernon Hargreaves, or OT Ronnie Stanley. Bosa, Buckner, Jack, Hargreaves and Stanley are all potential franchise cornerstones who can also come in and make and immediate impact in an area of need.

While there isn't a quarterback worth taking at that point, the 49ers have the ammunition (12 total picks) to maneuver around if need be, and target someone like Paxton Lynch or Connor Cook. There have been rumors that the team is very high on Cook, and he could be the guy they're looking at. Although, they'll almost certainly need to trade up to get him.

Another option could have San Francisco actually trading down from number seven into the middle of the first round, gaining another pick or two in the process (although for me, it would be hard to pass up on someone like Buckner or Jack if he's fully healthy). In this scenario, think prospects like WR Laquon Treadwell, DE Shaq Lawson, OLB Darren Lee, or even OT Jack Conklin.

With options abound, Baalke and the Niners look to be in a very favorable position as the draft draws closer. The franchise made the right decision by not being overly aggressive, but now they have to execute a solid draft plan that nets impact players who can be centerpieces for years to come.

Al Sacco has covered the 49ers for various sites over the years. He's been a guest on multiple podcasts and had his work used by ESPN NFL Insiders and USA TODAY. Follow Al on Twitter @AlSacco49
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.


6 Comments

  • Frank
    Good read! Great perspective too.
    Apr 21, 2016 at 7:03 AM
    2
    Response: Thanks, Frank!
  • MartyOne
    BPA is the way to go with #7. I have no problem with any of those players mentioned. If Connor Cook is really a good prospect, I'm afraid they'd need to trade back up to the late 20's to draft him.
    Apr 20, 2016 at 2:47 PM
    0
    Response: I think you're right. I have a feeling Cook will be a first rounder and Lynch could even be a top 10-15 guy.
  • 49er
    Niner, WTF are you saying? Read your comments back to yourself and make sure they make sense. Please. The 49ers will not be great , but all of you jumping on the Media bash train is pathetic. Just because the analyst on NFL Network and ESPN say its going to happen doesn't make it so. They all still have to play the games on the field. Injuries, players not adjusting or teams just having a bad year come into affect. So, just sit back and enjoy football season when it comes.
    Apr 20, 2016 at 2:22 PM
    1
  • Bayluv
    Goff is an all pro an hands down what the niners needed to return to there old glory days and anyone knowledgeable about football would see this oppertunity like no other. The draft if full of lineman offensive and deffensive and well probably waste our 1st rounder on that. Not saying its not a need but whats a car that can go fast with a bummy driver. Youll lose Sb like we did agaisnt the Ravens.
    Apr 20, 2016 at 2:08 PM
    1
  • Ladale
    Paxton Lynch played for the Memphis Tigers, a team that provided him with the worst supporting cast in Div1 football. That boy took those lowly offensive weapons and awful defense and went on a 15 game winning streak beating Ole Miss in the process. If he had one good receiver or tightend they've gone undefeated. All they talk about is the offense he ran, damn that!! Boy got a arm, athletic and quick release. Say what you say but I saw the kid slang it and he's the best QB in last years draft.
    Apr 20, 2016 at 1:54 PM
    6
    Response: Don't be surprised if he goes much higher than people were anticipating. I think there's some teams that love him
  • niner
    unless wentz or goff become all pros, it probably wasn't worth it. but then again, the 49ers would still be bad if they got one of the abs, and alex smith ed him. this way they will be pathetic again this year, and draft a qb next year, saving the works all that mean green. are their any more players they can cut because they don't want to pay them? bottled water must be expensive in Ohio.
    Apr 20, 2016 at 1:38 PM
    0

Facebook Comments



More San Francisco 49ers News



49ers set to face Cardinals' Colt McCoy, not Kyler Murray, in Mexico

By David Bonilla
Nov 21

According to NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport and other sources, the Arizona Cardinals are set to start Colt McCoy tonight against the San Francisco 49ers in Mexico City. On Saturday, the team listed its regular starter, Kyler Murray, as "questionable" due to a hamstring injury. Murray will miss his second consecutive game for the Cardinals. There was some question about whether McCoy would be healthy enough to start tonight's game. Like Murray, he was limited in practices this past week due to a knee injury sustained in Week 10 against the Los Angeles Rams. However, unlike Murray, McCoy did not appear on the Cardinals' Saturday injury report. RELATED:



49ers Notebook: Shanahan loved Friday's practice; Omenihu impressing; Niners "not there yet"

By David Bonilla
Nov 25

The San Francisco 49ers are working off a short week, preparing for Sunday's matchup against the New Orleans Saints. The team played on Monday night in Mexico City, not arriving back in the Bay Area until Tuesday, around 6 a.m. Players were given Tuesday off but returned to work on Wednesday with a light practice, which was held on the Levi's Stadium field and didn't begin until after 4 p.m.—very late for a 49ers practice. The team held another light practice on Thursday due to the Thanksgiving holiday. Fridays are typically the lightest sessions of the week. But this week, the team went full-speed during Friday's practice. Head coach Kyle Shanahan was asked how he felt about the final practice of the week. "I just loved the practice that we



"I'm not sure they can be stopped": Where the 49ers stand in Week 13 power rankings

By David Bonilla
Nov 29

The San Francisco 49ers turned in a gutsy shutout victory over the New Orleans Saints in Week 12, winning their fourth consecutive game and earning a full-game lead atop the NFC West. The upcoming matchup may be among their toughest of the season, though. The 49ers are set to host their former offensive coordinator, now head coach of the Miami Dolphins, Mike McDaniel, at Levi's Stadium in Week 13. San Francisco lost running back Elijah Mitchell for the remainder of the regular season but still boasts one of the league's most talented rosters on both sides of the ball. Plus, four of the team's final six games are at home. What does the national media think about Kyle



49ers Notebook: Shanahan happy with backup RBs in Mitchell's absence; 49ers overcome unusual week; Saints' impressive streak snapped

By Kirk Larrabee
Nov 27

It was a strange week for the San Francisco 49ers, who had to work through an unusual schedule that saw them arrive home from their Monday night game in Mexico City in the early morning hours on Tuesday, followed by Thanksgiving on Thursday. Still, they managed to work through it and prepare themselves to play against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, and in the end they came out on top with a 13-0 win. How did the 49ers work through that schedule? We'll look at that in this version of 49ers Notebook, along with some postgame thoughts from head coach Kyle Shanahan on the running back situation, a look at an impressive streak the 49ers snapped on Sunday, and much more. Let's get it started... (See also:


Featured

More by Al Sacco

More Articles

Share 49ersWebzone