The 49ers Have Just 22 First-Round Grades on Their Draft Board

If Lynch is being truthful, and I have no reason to believe he isn't, then the 49ers probably need to trade up or trade down.
Dec 10, 2023; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch stands on
Dec 10, 2023; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch stands on / Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

SANTA CLARA -- The 49ers have a first-round pick for the first time in three years, but still might not come away with a player to which they've given a first-round grade.

John Lynch held his pre-draft press conference on Monday and revealed that the 49ers have given just 22 first-round grades this year.

"We're slightly more than the last couple years," Lynch said. "So that's a good thing. But I think that just speaks more to we have a high standard that we don't change, blow with the wind to try to put first-round grades. When we like players, we draft them and I think we don't get beholden to ‘well the League sees them here.’ So 22 is kind of where we're at, 22 first round grades. We do have a high standard there that is up from the last couple years. So I think that's a good thing.”

If Lynch is being truthful, and I have no reason to believe he isn't, then the 49ers probably need to trade up or trade down. Standing pat at pick no. 31 means the 49ers probably will draft a player with a second-round grade in Round 1, and that's not good business. So if they want a player with a true first-round grade, they should trade up, and if they want a player with a second-round grade, they should trade down.

Given the options, I wouldn't be surprised if the 49ers find a way to trade up, because they need to get better to win the Super Bowl. They need an immediate impact player.


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Grant Cohn

GRANT COHN