Should the 49ers Package Their Middle Round Picks to Go All-In on the First Round?

The 49ers have plenty of ammunition to package together and possibly move back into the latter half of the first round, like they did in 2017 to get *gulp* Reuben Foster.
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All 49ers draft talk is centered around the newly acquired third pick. 

There are three solid options to choose from in quarterbacks Justin Fields (Ohio State), Mac Jones (Alabama) and Trey Lance (North Dakota State). 

But once that pick is announced on April 29, don’t turn off the TV. The 49ers have plenty of ammunition to package together and possibly move back into the latter half of the first round, like they did in 2017 to get *gulp* Reuben Foster. 

The Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch regime has made plenty of first round trades with varying results. Yet, one can’t deny that if Shanahan and Lynch truly like a player, they are not afraid to unload middle round picks to get their guy. 

So what would it take to move up? 

Jacksonville’s 25th pick (the same spot Brandon Aiyuk was taken in 2020) has a 720-point value on Pro Football Reference’s draft pick trade value chart. The following six picks go down by 20 points each in value with No. 32nd (Tampa Bay) standing at 590 points. 

The 49ers could trade a second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth round pick to get in position to take an additional first-round talent. They would still have two fifths and sevenths (plus anything acquired if they trade a player). 

If the value chart remains close to true, the 49ers could send the 43rd (470 points), 102nd (92 points), 117th (60 points), 172nd (23 points) and 193rd (14 points) picks to a team in need of depth, like New Orleans, to acquire the 28th pick (660 points). (Pick numbers courtesy of Niners Wire.) 

The late first-round pick would grant San Francisco the opportunity to add one more high-end starter to a roster ready to compete for a Super Bowl in 2021. 

Potential targets include tackles Teven Jenkins (Oklahoma State) and Jalen Mayfield (Michigan), pass-rushers Gregory Rousseau (Miami) and Carlos Basham Jr. (Wake Forest), defensive backs Trevon Moehrig (TCU) and Asante Samuel Jr. (Florida State), and receivers Rondale Moore (Purdue) and Rashod Bateman (Minnesota). 

Given their inconsistent success with first round picks, it might be wise for the 49ers to stand pat with their remaining selections. There are plenty of solid players in the middle rounds, and three of them might outweigh the impact of the additional first-rounder 

Defensive back Jevon Holland (Oregon), interior lineman Quinn Meinerz (Wisconsin-Whitewater), defensive tackle Alim McNeill (NC State), cornerback Paulson Adebo (Stanford) and wide receiver D’Wayne Eskridge (Western Michigan) are just a few they would lose without middle-round choices. 

The 49ers don’t necessarily have to move back into the first round to acquire another premium talent. They’re also not in dire need of depth across the roster to the extent that they can’t afford to lose that many draft assets. 

Lynch and Shanahan have plenty of options to mull over before draft day, and this is just one more to keep things interesting the next couple weeks. 

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