FanPost

What trading the 2nd overall pick has historically been worth

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

As we get closer to the draft, and as the frequency and volume of mock drafts increase, it's understandable to see folks mock a few trades in there since the first round usually sees at least a trade or two go down every year. To be clear: I certainly don't expect those going through the exercise of completing a mock draft to also comb through years of draft history to make sure that any pretend trades are also historically accurate.

Having said this, I just want to make sure we're all on the same page as to what it has traditionally cost to trade up to the 2nd overall pick. Here's a list of every time a team has traded out of no. 2 overall in the last 30 years:

  • 1998, the Cardinals moved back 1 spot to let San Diego pick Ryan Leaf; they received:
    • 1998 1st(3rd overall), 1998 2nd (33rd ovr.), 1999 1st (would be 8th overall), plus PR/KR Eric Metcalf (1997 First Team All-Pro) and LB Patrick Sapp - net 2 additional picks, 2 players
  • 2012, the Rams moved back 4 spots to let WAS pick RGIII in what was a pretty legendary haul for then-St. Louis :
    • 2012 1st (6th ovr.), 2012 2nd (39th ovr.), 2013 1st (22nd ovr.), and a 2014 1st (2nd ovr.) - net 3 additional picks
  • 2016, the Browns traded back 6 spots with the Eagles so they could take Wentz. The Browns also sent a 2017 4th (139th ovr.) to PHI, who sent:
    • 2016 1st (8th ovr.), 2016 3rd (77th ovr.), 2016 4th (100th ovr.), 2017 1st (12th ovr.) and a 2018 2nd (TBD) - net 3 additional picks
Now, I understand trade charts and all that, but I'm not sure how relevant they are compared to precedent. One common refrain I've heard this year is that this class isn't strong enough to warrant the 49ers receiving a haul like this for the 2nd pick. That may be - I certainly don't claim to know the strengths and weaknesses of the top 10 players at each position - but I do know that in terms of teams thinking they absolutely need to build their franchise around a guy, it only takes one. Blake Bortles at 3 was a complete shock to most in 2014, and last year at this time I think you'd very likely get laughed at for suggesting the Eagles/Rams give up even remotely as much as they did for Wentz/Goff (the Rams-Titans trade happened 4/14 and the Browns-Eagles trade was 4/20, I believe). Teams will take extreme measures to land who they think could be their QB of the future, and Lynch & Shanahan don't need to point back too far to let others know where negotiations should begin.

One fair point of contention here would be the fact that in each instance mentioned above, teams were trading up to select a QB. It could very well be the case, as has been rumored with Carolina, that a team would be trading up for Fournette or Thomas (my personal opinion is that the Niners should be making teams think that they want Mahomes, but anyway). It may be that a non-QB as the target would affect how the trade market would develop. However I also don't have much doubt that if Lynch were to do a deal like the rumored CAR deal - sending 2 overall to them for 8 and 40, netting just 1 add'l pick - we'd hear much of the same chatter that we did after the Juszczyk deal when some said that Lynch's naïveté as a GM allowed for the Niners to get fleeced (I can see the @evansilva tweets already... all love to Rotoworld, of course!). Would that be better than nothing? More than likely, but it depends on how they value the guys at the very top of the draft.

Anyway, we could spend way too much time gaming out different possibilities here, but I basically wanted to just lay out exactly what trades of the 2nd overall pick have returned so that we're all operating under (most of) the same assumptions. Now fire away.

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.