The San Francisco 49ers made several trades during the 2017 NFL draft, including a move from No. 34 to No. 31 to select Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster. However, there were plenty of deals that did not happen that certainly could have shaken things up further.
The 49ers were active all day Thursday trying to figure out ways to get back into the first round after selecting Solomon Thomas. They had their eye on a variety of players, but as Foster slipped down the first round, they focused in on ways to grab him.
John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan eventually landed Foster by giving up a second round pick (No. 34) and a fourth round pick (No. 111, acquired from the Chicago Bears) to Seattle to move up to No. 31. However, they made offers to offers to a host of teams from No. 16 on down to move up.
MMQB’s Peter King was in the draft room, and wrote up a feature on day one. In it, we hear about discussions the 49ers had with at least three teams to move up. The 49ers ended up getting their guy for a minimal price, but this shows that sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good. Here are the offers, as reported by King.
The 49ers offered Ozzie Newsome a 2nd, a 3rd, and a 4th to move up to No. 16. The 49ers held No. 34 in round two, No. 66 and No. 67 in round three, and No. 109, 111, and 143 in the fourth round. Newsome wanted the second and both thirds in a deal to make the move. The 49ers said no without batting an eye, and Baltimore selected cornerback Marlon Humphrey.
The 49ers offered Washington the same deal they offered the Ravens to move up to No. 17. Washington declined and picked defensive tackle Jonathan Allen.
The 49ers offered Jerry Reese a second (No. 34), and two fourths (No. 111, 143) to move up to pick No. 23. The Giants declined and selected tight end Evan Engram.
One thing that is interesting about these proposed deals is it gives us at least a little bit of insight into the 49ers trade value chart. We don’t know where on the chart the team is rating these (whether it be a more aggressive or less aggressive offer), but it at least gives us some insight into what they are thinking is necessary to move up from No. 34.
The 49ers eventually got their man in a move up to pick No. 31. If they had done one of these other deals, it would have made for some interesting analysis after the fact. If they had dealt one of their third round picks to Baltimore or Washington, they would either not get Ahkello Witherspoon or they would not have gotten the Saints second round pick in 2018. My guess is they would not have done the latter deal.
They later used No. 111 to get Foster, and No. 143 to move up and get Joe Williams at 121. They still might have made some of these things happen, but it would have created an alternative universe that provides plenty of what ifs. Instead, they got Reuben Foster by only giving up a fourth round pick, and were able to do the rest of the work we eventually saw. But, the what-ifs are interesting to consider on an otherwise slow day in May.