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WHICH DRAFT STRATEGY IS BEST ........... STAY-PUT? TRADE-UP?  TRADE-DOWN?

Like all the rest of you I'm pissed about having to wait this long for the Draft. Tired of twiddling my thumbs, I decided to challenge myself to maximize the draft haul for the Niners using the three different strategies we've discussed over the last seeming eon ... stay-put, trade-up, trade-down.

I focused on the most obvious roster needs, targeted specific prospects based upon NFLDraftScout's 5/2/14 rankings, and used the Jimmy Johnson trade value chart in putting the proposed trades together. In light of Brother Girth's fine article on the effects on draft yield of trading up versus trading down, I wanted to see just how much of a difference alternate strategies might make in the Niners' draft this year. The table below shows the results ... specific trades are documented in the footnotes. Don't get too hung up with my specific selections because that's not the point ... mentally substitute your own selections if that makes you feel more comfortable. We're evaluating alternative draft strategies here, not my specific prospect selections.

Round A L T E R N A T E D R A F T S T R A T E G I E S
& Pick STAY PUT TRADE UP TRADE DOWN
1 / 24 (A) N / A CB Fuller or NCB Verrett N / A
1 / 30 WR Cody Latimer Traded to Cincinnati (A) Traded to Cleveland ©
2 / 35 © N / A N / A WR Cody Latimer
1 / 36 (B) N / A WR Cody Latimer N / A
2 / 56 OLB Marcus Smith SS Deone Bucannon OLB Marcus Smith
2 / 61 SS Deone Bucannon Traded to Oakland (B) SS Deone Bucannon
3 / 77 CB Pierre Desir Traded to Oakland (B) CB Pierre Desir
3 / 94 NCB Jaylen Watkins Traded to Cincinnati (A) NCB Jaylen Watkins
3 / 100 C Travis Swanson C Travis Swanson WR/KR/PR Dri Archer
4 / 106 © N / A N / A C Travis Swanson
4 / 129 QB McCarron or QB Murray QB McCarron or QB Murray QB McCarron or QB Murray
5 / 170 OG Brandon Thomas (NFI) OG Brandon Thomas (NFI) OG Brandon Thomas (NFI)
6 / 180 © N / A N / A RB Crowell or RB Gaffney (D)
7 / 219 (B) N / A CB Aaron Colvin (NFI) N / A
7 / 242 CB Aaron Colvin (NFI) WR Shaq Evans CB Aaron Colvin (NFI)
7 / 243 DL Ben Gardner (NFI) DL Ben Gardner (NFI) DL Ben Gardner (NFI)
7 / 245 TE Colt Lyerla TE Colt Lyerla TE Colt Lyerla
T R A D E S
(A) Niners trade 1/30 plus 1/94 to Cincinnati in exchange for 1/24
(B) Niners trade 2/61 plus 3/77 to Oakland in exchange for 2/36 plus 7/219
(C) Niners trade 1/30 plus LaMichael James to Cleveland in exchange for
2/35 plus 4/106 plus 6/180
(D) Replacing speed-back James with a power back to replace Dixon's function

Summary of the results ...

The Stay-Put strategy yields 8 active prospects plus 3 NFI Roster additions, a total of 11 picks. Of the active 8, at least 7 are likely to make the Final-53. Lyerla will either leap past Celek as the #3 tight end or be cut ... a boom or bust, but a seventh round pick with first- or second-round talent.

The Trade-Up strategy yields 7 active prospects, between 5 and 7 of whom are likely to make the Final-53, plus the 3 NFI Roster additions, a total of 10 picks. The obvious problem with the Trade-Up strategy in this particular draft is that you're probably trading 3 A's and a B to get an A+ and an A ... is that really best value?

The Trade-Down strategy yields 10 active prospects, at least 8 of whom will make the Final-53, plus the 3 NFI Roster additions, a total of 13 selections ... including a premier kick-returner/fast-WR and a power-back replacement for James/Dixon. Alternatively, what's given up with this strategy is selecting two second-tier CBs (Desir and Watkins) rather than a tier-one CB (either Fuller or Verrett). The obvious key question here is ... is the value of a Fuller/Verrett so much higher than a Desir AND Watkins in the long run that it justifies sacrificing adding other prospects who could improve the roster?

So, given these sample results, what say you? Which draft strategy best serves the Niners in this draft?

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Niners Nation's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Niners Nation's writers or editors.

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