While CB is almost certainly the position of most immediate need, there's no doubt WR is an issue both now and down the road. We have two (and probably three, if Patton lives up to his potential) very good receivers this year, but no one with blazing downfield speed to stretch secondaries, and no one who we can trust to win a jump ball in the end zone against Richard Sherman. And it goes without saying at this point that Crabtree and Boldin may both very well be gone in the near future.
This is a very deep WR draft, and almost every mock draft has us taking a WR toward the end of the 1st round, using pick 30 or a modest trade up 5-10 spots, and/or a second round pick. But very few mocks have us trading far enough up in the 1st round to get one of the two truly top notch WR's in this year's draft: Sammy Watkins or Mike Evans. Evans is especially tantalizing because 1) Watkins may go in the top 4 and would be a more expensive pick, and 2) Evans' height gives us that jump ball specialist we desperately need, and 3), Evans is a total size/speed/skill package that is much more likely to excel at the next level than, say, Kelvin Benjamin. But to get either of these players, we are giving up a lot of quality picks in a deep draft, and this may not be the smartest solution. So what other options are there for a truly top flight WR?
If Crabtree and Boldin aren't enough to win a Super Bowl right now, and they both could be gone soon, why not deal one now and get some value added toward building the future?
Here the only choice is Crabtree. Boldin is too old to garner enough of a trade value and his salary hurts us less in the near future. Would the Vikings trade pick 8 for Crabtree, pick 30, and a Niners' second rounder to get an immediately productive WR and probably still get a QB of their liking later in the round?
As much as I would sentimentally be sad to see KingCrab go, the brutal reality is that he's
- Good but probably not elite
- Injury prone(?)
- Going to either be gone or cost us a lot next year
So if dealing him can help us get a superstar rookie who can help now and in the future, should Baalke consider it? Granted it's a big risk - last year taught us that Boldin and Davis aren't enough for Kaep to be productive. But if someone like Evans (or an Evans/Patton duo) can be that 3rd target, this might solve a lot of problems at once.