The San Francisco 49ers are in a fortunate position where they will not need to draft a quarterback in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft. With plenty of other needs, they’re in a position to take the otherwise best player available. More importantly, it could open the door for a profitable move down the draft board if somebody else needs a quarterback.
But looking at the draft board, how likely is a trade? We can’t say with certainty, but looking at the many mock drafts out there, it is tough to tell for sure. CBS Sports released their latest 2018 NFL mock draft, and they have three quarterbacks going in the top six. Here’s what their top nine looks like.
1. Cleveland Browns: Sam Darnold, QB, USC
2. New York Giants: Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
3. Indianapolis Colts: Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State
4. Cleveland Browns: Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama
5. Denver Broncos: Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
6. New York Jets: Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame
8. Chicago Bears: Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa
9. San Francisco 49ers: Derwin James, DB, Florida State
I would be surprised to see the Cardinals do a deal with an NFC West partner, but I wonder if we’ll only see three quarterbacks go ahead of the 49ers. The New York Giants might decide to continue trying to let it ride with Eli Manning, but at some point they need to figure out the future of the position. That would give you a fourth quarterback right there.
Where it also gets interesting is with soon to be free agent Kirk Cousins. The New York Jets and Denver Broncos are both reportedly interested in Cousins. If either of them signs Cousins, they will not pick a quarterback in the first round. That could help one drop to the point that the 49ers can work a trade with somebody else.
It’s also entirely possible the 49ers could move down if someone is particularly interested in a non-quarterback. A quarterback seems the more likely reason someone would move up in the first round, but other draft needs could still create some movement.
But how likely is it? I am inclined to think the 49ers stand pat with their pick but we’ll have to wait and see how the quarterbacks shake out.