The San Francisco 49ers are in an intriguing position at No. 9. They don’t need a quarterback in a draft that could see as many as five go in the first round. They have needs at quite a few positions, and with as many as four quarterbacks going in the top ten, they can expect quality talent to slip to them.
But, what if three quarterbacks go in the top eight, and a Lamar Jackson or Josh Allen or whomever is sitting there at No. 9? No, they will not select the player, but could another team come calling. The Buffalo Bills at No. 12 and the Arizona Cardinals at No. 15 are the two closest teams in need of a quarterback.
In his latest 2018 NFL mock draft, NFL.com draft analyst Chad Reuter has the 49ers doing a deal with the Bills. The Bills surrender the Cleveland Browns pick atop the third round to move up three spots from No. 12 to No. 9 to acquire quarterback Lamar Jackson. The Bills acquired that pick (No. 65 overall) in the Tyrod Taylor trade.
A third round pick does not seem like a lot to move up in the first round, but based on the traditional Jimmy Johnson chart, it would technically be an overpay. The third round pick is worth 265 points, while the move up would cost 150 points. There are multiple charts, so this is not the draft value gospel, but it offers some context.
Reuter has the 49ers landing Alabama defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick after the trade. Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward slips down past the 49ers, as do edge rushers Harold Landry and Marcus Davenport. Linebackers Roquan Smith and Tremaine Edmunds went No. 10 and 11.
The trade would give the 49ers three picks in the first ten of the third round. Here is the team’s final seven-pick haul from Reuter’s five round mock draft.
1(12). Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama
2(59). D.J. Chark, WR, LSU
3(65). Sam Hubbard, Edge, Ohio State
3(70). Kalen Ballage, RB, Arizona State
3(74). Rasheem Green, DE, USC
4(128). M.J. Stewart, CB, North Carolina
5(143). Nick DeLuca, LB, North Dakota State