Do the 49ers Want Us to Think They'll Draft a Wide Receiver in Round 1?

Maybe it's a coincidence, but it seems the gurus who are connected with the team started projecting the 49ers to take a wide receiver in Round 1 right around the time Brandon Aiyuk unfollowed the 49ers on social media.
Jan 28, 2024; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch hugs a
Jan 28, 2024; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch hugs a / Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

For months, every NFL draft expert worth his salt was certain the 49ers would spend their first-round pick on an offensive tackle.

Now fewer than two weeks before the NFL Draft, the trendy pick locally and nationally for the 49ers is a wide receiver in Round 1. And there really has been no explanation for the abrupt change of opinion.

Maybe it's a coincidence, but it seems the gurus who are connected with the team started projecting the 49ers to take a wide receiver in Round 1 right around the time Brandon Aiyuk unfollowed the 49ers on social media. When Aiyuk did that, he made it clear that he would prefer not to play for the 49ers anymore, presumably because they're unwilling to pay him as much as some other team would.

Suddenly, the NFL Network's Peter Schraeger released a mock draft predicting the 49ers would draft Georgia wide receiver Ladd McConkey in Round 1. Keep in mind, when the 49ers have their State of the Franchise event for their season ticket holders, Schraeger often hosts it, which means he's connected with the most powerful people in the organization.

I don't know if Schraeger has talked to Jed York, John Lynch or Kyle Shanahan, but I do know that it's in the 49ers' interest for Aiyuk to think they're going to draft a wide receiver in Round 1, for Aiyuk to think the 49ers like some younger, faster, cheaper wide receiver more than him.

It seems like both sides are posturing and communicating through the media.

Unless the 49ers trade Aiyuk during the draft, you can forget about them drafting a wide receiver in Round 1.


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Grant Cohn

GRANT COHN