49ers draft picks and values in 2014:
1st Round: #30 overall (620 points)
2nd Round: #56 (340)
2nd Round: #61 (292)
3rd Round: #77 (205)
3rd Round: #94 (124)
3rd Round: #100 (compensatory pick, not tradeable)
4th Round: #129 (43)
5th Round: #170 (24.4)
7th Round: #242, 243, 245 (~1 each)
There have been rumors of a monster trade up for a WR. I can’t see that happening for a couple reasons. One, I don’t think Trent Baalke would ever part with a future 1st round pick, which is what any team in the top 10 would be asking for, among numerous other 2014 picks, to move down to 30. Two, in a draft with so much depth at the position, are Sammy Watkins and/or Mike Evans superior enough to warrant spending the draft capital it would take to aquire them? Three, how do you go about addressing other needs after backing up the truck for one player?
Watkins does fit exactly what the 49ers need in a dynamic big play threat and a future #1 WR. And if I’m right that Baalke won’t risk future future picks, San Francisco would need to add all five of their tradeable picks in the first 3 rounds to get 1581 points. That would put them between picks six and seven on the classic trade chart (pictured above). Watkins would likely be gone by then anyway. It would take some combination of him falling far enough and a team willing to accept a modest return for Watkins to don a scarlet and gold cap Thursday evening. In other words, it’s a long shot.
The only thing that would be more surprising is if the 49ers don’t make any trades at all. Smart money is on a mid-round target. Three players who fit are Odell Beckham, Justin Gilbert and Kyle Fuller. There is a large gap after the top 5 corners in this class. I expect Baalke to go after one of those top cover guys early.
30(+77): Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech
Similar to the move made last year, the 49ers move up to the middle of the first using picks 30 + 77 to get there. The Ravens at pick 17 look like a good landing spot. Dallas (16), Miami (19), Philly (22) and KC (23) are also teams that could be looking to move back. Fuller is the guy who makes the most sense to me. He should be available within sensible trade-up range. And Fuller is the perfect fit from a scheme/style perspective with his length, athleticism, instincts, physicality and ability to play outside or in slot.
56: Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt
If Matthews is there at 56, that would be ideal. Smart, tough player who can line up in the slot as a rookie and become a starter as early as year two. Something like 56 + 94 could get them back into the 30s-early 40s range to nab Matthews or another falling WR (Lee, Benjamin, Latimer) that could carry a first round grade. Allen Robinson, Martavis Bryant, Davante Adams, Donte Moncrief, Paul Richardson and Jarvis Landry all could be in play from 56 to 100.
61: Marcus Smith, OLB, Louisville
OLB has climbed to #3 need with a bullet. Smith can contribute right away as a situational rusher. The former quarterback is athletic and get high marks for character. Starter potential. A trade down makes some sense here. It would be a surprise if Baalke didn’t add a future pick at some point in the draft.
94: Dominique Easley, DE, Florida
Easley is a big injury risk. Like Marcus Lattimore a year ago, Easley is a 1st round talent who tore two ACL’s and hasn’t been able to workout for teams. He could be in for a big fall. Aaron Colvin and Brandon Thomas could be medical redshirt targets as well.
100: Dri Archer, WR/RB/KR, Kent State
Archer is a guy who makes sense if the 49ers draft a bigger WR early that lacks return skills. LaMichael James looks to be on the way out. Archer would upgrade the return game immediately. Greg Roman would have fun utilizing Archer’s 4.26 speed on offense in various packages.
129: Logan Thomas, QB, Virginia Tech
Jim Harbaugh loves those raw tools. There’s a 50 percent chance Thomas becomes a TE. And he could become a good one. Which is why, despite his frustrating play, I can’t see him falling out of the 4th round. David Fales is another QB to watch on day three.
170: Storm Johnson, RB, UCF
Johnson has been getting some attention by the 49ers. He’s a good fit in SF’s power scheme. Johnson also has third down skills to be an ideal backup in the post-Gore era. Andre Williams, Charles Sims and Terrence West are some bigger bodied runners to keep an eye on.
242: Shaquille Richardson, CB, Arizona
243: Tyler Larsen, C, Utah State
245: Larry Webster, TE/OLB, Bloomsberg
Richardson is a sleeper at corner who was snubbed from the combine, but played great at Shrine Game and has 4.4 speed at 6 feet, 194 lbs. Larsen is another good player getting no love from draft media. Those two guys may go a lot higher than mocks show. Webster is a former hoopster and project at either OLB or TE. Albert Wilson, Kona Schewnke, Gator Hoskins, Khairi Fortt and Xavious Boyd are names to watch in 7th/UDFA.