The dream for many San Francisco 49ers fans is Nick Bosa. The Ohio State pass rusher fills a glaring need with the team and is considered, as of this writing, the best overall prospect for the 2019 NFL Draft. The two are a perfect unity (considering Bosa doesn’t fall flat in workouts leading up to getting drafted).
Just one problem: the Arizona Cardinals have the first pick. They could definitely use Bosa as well. Not as badly as the 49ers could, but the Cardinals are in a great spot to fleece some trades or jam the 49ers in April. There are a few scenarios that play out in terms of the 49ers landing Bosa. Some of them likely, others not happening at all. Let’s look at all of them.
Scenario 1: The Cardinals select Bosa, 49ers have the board minus Bosa
The scenario that we’ll be reading a lot about for the next couple of months. The “safe” scenario. The Cardinals will take Bosa, and the 49ers are left to pick a pass rusher. All reports would indicate Josh Allen would be the guy if you’re looking at BPA from a pass-rusher standpoint. I do like Allen a lot, not just for pass rushing, but for his versatility. Aldon Smith was known for his pass rush skills, but he was no slouch dropping into coverage when needed. The 49ers run a 4-3 now instead of the 3-4 Smith was in (where this was needed), but having/teaching Allen to do that can make some nice disguised coverages for the 49ers, and also have a versatile outside piece when opposing offenses go no huddle.
Scenario 2: Cardinals select offense BPA/interior defense/Kyler Murray, 49ers have the board (and get Bosa or Allen)
This is the scenario I see playing out in the draft. The Cardinals are in the unique position where BPA isn’t necessary due to that offense being atrocious. They have a great running back in David Johnson, but no offensive line to get him the lanes needed to run the ball. Not to mention Josh Rosen has been taking sack after sack after sack. Last year, the 49ers grabbed Mike McGlinchey who was projected as pick 15-20 in some mocks and the top-10 in others because they wouldn’t have gotten what they needed otherwise. The Cardinals don’t need Bosa. At least, not this year and not at the extent of what the 49ers need him for. The Cardinals defensive interior is much worse than the exterior. Chandler Jones’ contract isn’t up until 2021 so maybe that would be the reason to get Bosa now. With the way the offense is, the Cardinals very well could reach and take an offensive lineman to get their young quarterback that much needed protection.
Or, they take Kyler Murray who may declare for the draft. This is not out of the realm of possibility.
Scenario 3: Cardinals trade back to a quarterback-needy team, 49ers have the board
There is no way anyone is going to trade for the number one pick unless it’s for a quarterback (but we have a scenario just for that below). There is one problem: who besides the Jacksonville Jaguars needs one? The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are sticking behind Jameis Winston, Washington is too far back, and the Denver Broncos have Gary Kubiak reunited with Case Keenum.
So that leaves us the Miami Dolphins, the Cincinnati Bengals, and (maybe) the New York Giants as the competition for that pick. The Dolphins would be considering a new quarterback because of Ryan Tannehill, and the Bengals have a ‘meh’ one in Andy Dalton. Are either of those better than Dwayne Haskins? Then there’s Eli Manning. He’s not confident about his future, but there’s been nothing confirming the Giants are moving on. The Giants sit in front of the Jaguars at No. 6 so they can get Haskins if he falls naturally.
Haskins has some talent and without a doubt he’s the first quarterback off the board, but I don’t think he’s the first overall pick. The only reason the Jaguars would jump to first would be to leapfrog the Giants and secure their quarterback, but they can do that with the Oakland Raiders, Tampa Bay Buccaneers or New York Jets. You’re telling me Haskins is worth so much that the Jaguars and the Giants are going into a bidding war for him at number one? I don’t know about that. If you find your guy, you do everything to get them, but not at that pick. Like I’ve said, hope Haskins plays lights out in combines and pro-days. There could be a bidding war, but it probably won’t be for No. 1. If there is, this will happen before the draft begins.
Scenario 4: Cardinals select Bosa, 49ers trade back
Just like the above scenario, there are other teams behind the 49ers that would be a cheaper sale. If Haskins is the can’t-miss quarterback or the Giants/Jaguars found their guy to develop, it could happen.
Now, the way this plays out is a possible verbal agreement between the 49ers and a team. Paraag Marathe did this with the Bears in the 2017 trade. The agreement would be something like Bosa would be off the board and if they didn’t get something crazy like eight first rounders then they’d solidify it. There would be nothing set in stone until after the first overall pick. The 49ers would trade into the six or seven slot and get whoever they were targeting. I wouldn’t expect a trade until the moment the 49ers are on the clock for this as they would want to wait and see what the Cardinals do.
Scenario 5: Cardinals select anyone but Bosa, 49ers trade back
If the 49ers were to select Bosa and then get a phone call before turning it in, it would be a chance to fleece a team. A team not only would be moving to the top spot to get their quarterback (or Bosa) but make the 49ers miss out on him as well. That is going to cost a pretty penny. Don’t worry about the trade value on this one, a team is going to give up waaaaaaay more than they should for this to happen.
Now if this trade is for Bosa, it’s still a chance to get a haul. I doubt the Raiders get in on this—they just got a haul for that last pass rusher, they are trading that haul in for another? The Jets may, but going up one spot for one guy is going to cost them. It doesn’t seem likely a trade specifically for Bosa will happen.
Scenario 6: Cardinals select anyone but Bosa, 49ers select anyone but Bosa
If the 49ers take someone else (even Josh Allen), better hope there’s a good explanation for this. The 49ers are not getting a chance like this again, and with that pick, Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch may have gambled their jobs.
Scenario 7: Cardinals trade to a pass-rusher-needy team for a vault of picks, Bosa selected, 49ers get screwed
The one scenario NONE of us want. Not only do the 49ers miss out on the best pass rusher in the draft, but the Cardinals get a king’s ransom for the pick. With this scenario, the Cardinals would then have a boatload of first rounders to fill out that roster while the 49ers get stuck with a Bosa-less board. The Cardinals would then have to make sure all those picks are hits and with Cardinals general manager Steve Keim, that’s asking for an awful lot.
A lot of you have suggested the Cardinals may take Bosa just to keep the 49ers from having him. If they take him, it’s not for that reason. If they really want to jam the 49ers, they make the trade to a team that will select Bosa, get him out of the NFC West, and then reap the rewards of all those draft picks. Meanwhile, the 49ers hope to God Josh Allen isn’t a bust. Again, I don’t see a team making a trade like this for a pass rusher, but I’ve been wrong before.
Which scenario do you see playing out? If you can’t see the poll below, click here.
Which scenario happens?
This poll is closed
Other (specify in comments)