The San Francisco 49ers were incredibly busy during the 2017 NFL draft, making six trades over the course of three days. The team ended up trading away nine picks, and getting back ten picks plus running back Kapri Bibbs. Of all the picks dealt, they gave up one 2018 pick (a fourth) and got two back (second, third).
We won’t know the full results of all these trades until next year, assuming they don’t turn one of those 2018 acquired picks into a 2019 pick. We can make some assumptions and predictions, but we don’t really know how those trades will work out for some time.
Last week, SI.com’s Chris Burke took a look at draft trades over the past decade (2007-2016), and figured out the best one for each team. The 49ers have had plenty of notable draft day trades over the past decade. Trent Baalke was notorious for his extensive wheeling and dealing of picks, and Scot McCloughan was not shy either, prior to Baalke.
Burke declared the 2007 trade that netted Joe Staley (fourth - John Bowie and 2018 first - Sedrick Ellis) the best of the 49ers deals over the past decade. He pointed to the longevity and the very good play over that time as why it was deserving of consideration.
[T]he sheer longevity of Staley’s tenure in San Francisco pushes that trade to the top. He is locked in as the starting left tackle again for 2017, which will make his 11th season on the first-team offense. Staley has 143 starts and five Pro Bowls to his credit as a 49er. He’s probably an extreme long shot for the Hall of Fame, but he’s already claimed a spot in the mythical Hall of Very Good. The ’08 first-rounder San Francisco traded away landed at No. 7 overall, so it was a costly move for Staley. But it’s still a reasonable price to lock down the LT spot for a decade.
Burke considered including the Colin Kaepernick trade given what the 49ers did with him in 2012 and 2013. I’m not sure if that’s enough, although trading a fourth and a fifth to move up nine spots in the second round was a solid deal. If Kaepernick had remained with the 49ers and built on 2012 and 2013, then yes, it would be worth including. He also mentioned Mike Iupati and NaVorro Bowman as solid additions via draft day trades.
The 49ers have not had a ton of big hits in recent years, but there are some trades that have turned out pretty solid. Deals like the Anquan Boldin trade with Baltimore do not count because they did not happen on draft day.
One good was involved using a third round pick to move up 13 spots in the first round to get Eric Reid in 2013. It would look better with a contract extension, but it turned out OK for the 49ers.
In 2014, the 49ers used a fifth round pick to move up from No. 63 to No. 57 in the second round to draft Carlos Hyde. Potential-wise, that could have gone down as a great deal for the 49ers. His injuries and the decent chance he is gone in free agency next year brings down the overall value.
One trade that turned out bad in some ways and good in other ways was their 2007 trade with the Indianapolis Colts. The 49ers dealt away a second round pick for a 2007 fourth round pick and a 2008 first round pick. The fourth round pick became Dashon Goldson. It took time for him to develop, but he was an impact player for a stretch. On the other hand, the 2008 first round pick became Kentwan Balmer. The less said about him, the better.