The San Francisco 49ers is hopefully far from complete, but the 2014 NFL Draft order and their draft picks are slowly coming into focus. Following the weekend's Wild Card round games, the first 24 picks of the 2014 NFL Draft are set. The teams left to figure out their positioning (strength of schedule in parenthesis):
25. San Diego Chargers - 9-7 (.496)
26. Cleveland Browns (via Indianapolis Colts) - 11-5 (.484)
27. New Orleans Saints - 11-5 (.516)
28. New England Patriots - 12-4 (.473)
29. Carolina Panthers - 12-4 (.494)
30. San Francisco 49ers - 12-4 (.494)
31. Denver Broncos - 13-3 (.469)
32. Seattle Seahawks - 13-3 (.490)
As it currently stands, the 49ers could end up drafting anywhere from No. 26 to No. 32 in the first round. I think we all would prefer the No. 32 pick. Whatever pick they end up with, odds are pretty good they make some kind of trade with it. We saw it this past April, and I'd bet good money we'll see it again next May. I have no idea if it will be a move up or down, but Trent Baalke, Draft Ninja, will be moving.
Although we don't know the positioning of the 49ers seven own draft picks, we are getting a better idea of where some of their other picks will start lining up. The first pick is of course the second round pick belonging to the Kansas City Chiefs. It started the season as a third round pick, but when the Chiefs got to the 8-win mark, it became a second round pick. The Chiefs won their first nine in a row, and once it was clear they were going to be a playoff team, we had to wait and see what their final position would look like.
With Saturday's loss, the Chiefs finish the season with pick No. 23 in the first round. The second round pick that belongs to the 49ers is actually pick No. 24 of the round (No. 56 overall). The Chiefs held the same record as the Bengals at the end of the regular season. The playoff positioning determines the first round order, but then teams with similar records in similar positions rotate each round.
The second pick is the Titans third round pick, acquired when the 49ers moved down in the second round last season to select Tank Carradine. That Titans pick that now belongs to the 49ers is No. 13 of the third round (No. 77 overall).
The 49ers close out the draft with four seventh round picks. They have their own pick, plus picks from the Colts (for Cam Johnson), Saints (for Parys Haralson) and Panthers (for Colin Jones). Those picks are all still to be determined for a couple reasons. First, those three teams all remain in the playoffs, so their positioning in each round is not determined.
Additionally, third, fourth, fifth and sixth round compensation picks are still to be determined. Those will not effect what pick in the round each is, but will effect where they are overall. That is pertinent in terms of trade value. Players selected in the seventh round often end up as camp bodies, but seventh round picks have tremendous value as add-ins to move up in other rounds. For example, the 49ers packaged a seventh with their third in 2013 to swap places with the Packers, and select Corey Lemonier.
The 49ers are also looking at a potential third round compensation pick for Dashon Goldson. Comp picks will not be announced until after the season. The team is not able to trade those picks, although it obviously makes life a little easier to deal other picks, knowing you have those in your back pocket.
And so for now, the 49ers are looking at something like this for May:
Round 1, Pick X
Round 2, Pick 24 (Chiefs)
Round 2, Pick X
Round 3, Pick 13 (Titans)
Round 3, Pick X
Round 3, Pick X (Comp)
Round 4, Pick X
Round 5, Pick X
Round 6, Pick X
Round 7, Pick X (Saints)
Round 7, Pick X (Panthers)
Round 7, Pick X (Colts)
Round 7, Pick X
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