In scouring the Internet for information on the draft, there seems to be a general belief that the talent level is fairly high for this year's draft. Part of that might be due to the uncertainty with the collective bargaining agreement next season, leading to more juniors declaring for the draft.
Whatever the reason might be, there is a lot of talent to be had, particularly in the early part of the draft. At the same time, at certain positions there are generally accepted drops in talent at various points. For example, one simply needs to look at an area of supreme importance to the 49ers: the offensive line. The top tier of offensive linemen are some combination of OTs Russell Okung, Bryan Bulaga, Trent Williams, and , and OG Mike Iupati. Some might rearrange that order, but those would seem to be the big 5 on the offensive line.
After those five, you drop to guys like Bruce Campbell, Charles Brown, Roger Saffold, and Vladimir Ducasse. All are solid offensive linemen, but for some reason or another, they're considered "second tier."
Next week, the 49ers will be holding 3 of the top 49 picks in the draft. Generally, three picks would allow you to potentially fill both some needs and some wants. However, for the 49ers three picks (#13, #17, #49), they might have managed to land in a proverbial no-man's land. There will be plenty of talent at all three picks, but is it the right talent? While we've heard plenty of complaints about dealing last year's 2nd round pick (instead of drafting Everette Brown), it seems like the 49ers simply did not like the options in front of them at that point. If you don't like who you might pick, why force it?
Head after the jump as we look at the trading options in front of the 49ers in 2010...
Which brings us to this year. Everybody has their own idea of the perfect picks at 13, 17 and 49. However, if those perfect picks aren't there, how quickly would you be willing to move down or up to get what you want? Given the 3 picks in hand, the 49ers are in an intriguing position to do all sorts of dealing next week, particularly on Thursday and Friday.
Moving up in the first
With a pair of picks and the draft chart in hand, the 49ers could move up into the single digit picks to grab the offensive lineman of their dreams...or at least a talented one with upside. I won't go into the trade chart details because given all the picks, the 49ers could make an assortment of moves. They could package some combination of 13, 17, and 49, or even throw in a third or fourth rounder to get where they need to get. They could move one first rounder and another pick, thus sticking with 2 first round picks. The possibilities are somewhat numerous. It's just a matter of finding that dancing partner.
Moving down in the first
It's entirely possible the 49ers find an offensive lineman they like at 13, but then nothing at 17. Although I don't have a lot to base this one, I'm of the opinion that if the 49ers were only going to deal one pick, it would be 17 and not 13. Why? Well, if there's a player they are particularly enamored by, but they think might be there at 17, why roll the dice that someone in between grabs him? I believe they might be more inclined to reach at 13 and trade 17, than trade 13 and hope a guy they want is there at 17.
Say, for example, they like a Charles Brown type (although MM tweeted that might no longer be the case), but they don't want to spend 13 or 17 on him. You move down from 17 (or 13), and grab your guy, while picking up an extra pick or two this year or next.
Moving up from 49
In reality, this description would also factor in the moving down in the first discussion. For example, if the team really likes Vladimir Ducasse, there might be some concern that he'll be gone higher in the second. In that case, maybe package the second and third round picks to move up. I haven't looked at the trade chart, so the math might not add up with those particular picks, but hopefully you get where I'm going with this.
Moving down from 49
And after the events of last year, we certainly can't ignore the possibility of dumping pick 49 for later picks, or a future #1. I don't know if it will happen again, but after last year, it's certainly possibility. Although, given the talent potentially available, I'd be willing to sacrifice another version of Panthers Watch to get the right guy in the second.
So, are there particular players you like, but that you think would require a deal so as not to over-reach with an early pick (or miss out on with a later pick)?
Given the talent in this draft, will we see a lot of trades over the course of the three days? How likely do you think it is that the 49ers do some deals? Or does it all simply depend on who falls to their positions? Dez Bryant is one of those guys who could conceivably fall due to character concerns (rightfully or not). If he fell to the 49ers, but they're happy enough with their wide receivers, wouldn't you think somebody out there would want to move up for a potential playmaker like Bryant? I suppose that is what makes this all so intriguing and so hard to predict.