The San Francisco 49ers don’t have many holes on their roster. Well, at least right now. Come free agency some players may walk due to the 49ers’ salary cap situation, and they don’t have many drafts picks in 2020 as they have in years past. So what do they do? Well, copy Seattle.
To project the Niners’ path, I looked north for a clue. The arch-rival Seahawks, with ever-restless GM John Schneider, provided an excellent example in 2019 of how to turn one first-round pick into a bevy of picks, replenishing what would have been a thin crop.
Seattle traded its first-round pick, 21st overall, to Green Bay for the 30th, 114th and 118th picks.
Seattle traded the 30th pick to the Giants for the 37th, 132nd and 142nd picks.
Seattle traded the 37th pick to Carolina for the 47th and 77th picks. At 47, Seattle picked S Marquise Blair.
Seattle traded the 77th and 118th picks to New England for the 64th pick. At 64, Seattle selected WR DK Metcalf.
Seattle traded the 114th pick to Minnesota for the 120th and 204th picks.
So Seattle turned pick 21 into picks 47, 64, 120, 132, 142 and 204 . . . two second-round picks, two fourth-round picks, one fifth-round pick and one sixth-round pick.
There’s plenty of speculation that the 49ers will be trading that 31st-overall pick back in the draft for some more options later. If the 49ers were to make a selection in the second round will depend entirely on how free agency goes. Depending on what opens up via departures, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the 49ers start trading for picks in 2021.
The one thing the 49ers need is depth—, especially on defense. When a starter went out, it led to some predictable catastrophe. The steep drop-off from the starters to the second string was huge and something that is almost unacceptable from a coaching standpoint.
The 49ers will need picks, either by doing the actions outlined above or by sending some players elsewhere.