The close of the 2014 NFL Draft also just about puts a bow on the Alex Smith trade. Eric Branch and Peter King both weighed in on the subject, and I thought I'd follow up with my own thoughts. Thanks to ProSportsTransactions.com for their awesome draft spreadsheets (2013, 2014). After all, we're running out of ways to talk about Alex Smith. Oh wait, the 49ers and Chiefs square off this season. That should be a reasonable discussion.
The 49ers dealt Alex Smith to the Chiefs on February 27, 2013, in exchange for a 2013 second round pick, and a 2014 conditional third round draft pick. The conditional pick upgraded to a second round pick when the Chiefs exceeded the eight win mark this past season.
Initially, those picks ended up being No. 34 in 2013, and No. 56 in 2014. Since acquiring those picks, the 49ers have made a handful of deals to get to where they are today. In total, the 49ers made four trades definitively connected to those two picks, and have a fifth trade likely to also be connected. On a related note, over the weekend, David Neumann broke down the 49ers 2014 trades and how they scored on a trade value chart.
The 49ers dealt the Chiefs 2013 second round pick to the Tennessee Titans in exchange for the Titans 2013 2nd (40) and 7th (216), and the Titans 2014 3rd (77). The 49ers used the 2nd to draft DL Tank Carradine. They then used the 7th to move up in the third round to draft OLB Corey Lemonier. They exchanged third round picks with the Packers in that deal, so it "cost them" the seventh on top to get Lemonier. The 49ers then used the 2014 third round pick on ILB Chris Borland.
The 49ers dealt the Chiefs 2014 second round pick, along with the seventh round pick acquired from the Saints for Parys Haralson to the Denver Broncos in exchange for the Broncos 2014 2nd (63) and 5th (141), and the Broncos 2015 4th. The 49ers then traded that Broncos 2nd, along with the 5th they acquired from the Broncos to the Miami Dolphins to move up in the second. They used that new second on RB Carlos Hyde. As Eric Branch emphasized in his article, the 49ers moved back one spot and the net "loss" was that they GAINED a 4th round pick. Draft Ninja FTW!
On Friday morning, the 49ers announced they had traded a conditional fourth round pick for Bills wide receiver Stevie Johnson. That pick can become a third if unknown performance conditions are met. If Johnson does not meet the conditions, that means the 2015 4th they got from the Broncos will more or less make up for the 2015 4th they are giving up for Johnson. Obviously it also depends on how the 49ers and Broncos both perform, but you get the idea. And obviously if it ends up moving up to a third round pick, this changes a little bit.
What does that leave us with?
Well, as I'm reading it, that means the 49ers traded Alex Smith and Parys Haralson for Stevie Johnson (sort of), Tank Carradine, Corey Lemonier, Carlos Hyde, and Chris Borland.
Lemonier is the only player to see game action with the 49ers, and he has looked very solid thus far. But all five of these players could (and hopefully will) impact the 49ers 2014 season in a notable way. Smith did some very solid work for the Chiefs in 2014, and Parys Haralson is a steady if relatively unimpressive reserve option at this point in his career. The 49ers were fine without Haralson thanks to Dan Skuta and the aforementioned Lemonier.
On a side note, the Peter King article included some interesting commentary from Trent Baalke. The whole thing is worth a read, but here's one notable part:
Baalke explained that he and COO Paraag Marathe work the phone and line up prospective trades, and it was hectic because there were a couple of other teams calling in that 22-minute span trying to get one or more of the Niners’ picks at 56 and 61. “That span you talked about was a little bit of a grind,” Baalke said late Saturday night. “A lot of action, a lot of things to consider. Paraag’s the best in the business at lining things up, and then we make the decision. After we made the trade with Denver, I thought we might be able to get Carlos at 61, but then we called [Miami] at 57 and figured we could use what we got from Denver in this year’s draft and keep next year’s pick and move up to make sure we got him. And it allowed us basically to get our four back, which we used to trade for Stevie.”