Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller mentioned that his sources were told him the San Francisco 49ers are zoning in on a cornerback or wide receiver at pick No. 13 in this year’s upcoming NFL Draft. We’ll find out if that’s true or not, but that news isn’t surprising. The 49ers trading up from pick No. 13 is a move that would surprise most of us.
Marcus Mosher of Bleacher Report wrote about ten potential trade scenarios that could shake up the top-10 of the draft, and the Niners were included in one scenario. Here was Mosher’s proposal:
The Trade: Dolphins send No. 5 pick to 49ers for pick No. 13, No. 31 and 2021 third-round pick
The Selection: CB Jeffrey Okudah
If two quarterbacks are taken inside the top four, and the Dolphins can’t secure either Burrow or Tagovailoa, it wouldn’t be a shock to see the team move back and take a QB in next year’s draft class. Assuming Young and an offensive lineman are also gone, it’s impossible to imagine Okudah would fall past No. 5. If he’s available, there should be a number of teams interested in moving up for the cornerback.
In this trade, the 49ers make the bold jump up to secure the former Ohio State Buckeye. But with the 49ers lacking in trade capital this year, they could send picks No. 13, No. 31 and another 2021 third-round selection.
The 49ers have a win-now roster and could use a stud cover man to pair with Richard Sherman. Okudah is one of the best players in the draft and would give the team another versatile corner who could be used in both man and zone coverage.
Since the 49ers own two first-round picks and are in a championship window, don’t be surprised if they are one of the most aggressive teams in the draft.
Before we talk about the player, if you are going to trade two first-round picks for someone, he better be the real deal. The Rams did this with Jalen Ramsey, who is an All-Pro and already established in the NFL.
As for Okudah, he’s comfortably the best cornerback in the draft:
Been watching CBs in the draft. My top five isn’t going to look anything like the lists you’ve seen. Jeff Okudah is CB1, though. He reminds me of Jimmy Smith the way he beats WRs up at the LOS.— KP (@KP_Show) February 17, 2020
Here are 4 plays why he’s CB1 and yes confidence matters pic.twitter.com/3wXBmX9IGL
Okudah being the best cornerback in this class, doesn’t mean he’s worth two first-round picks, especially in a draft that’s full of quality players. My comparison for Okudah is Baltimore’s, Jimmy Smith. At his peak, Smith, a great player. Have you ever gotten a vibe from Smith that he’s on that Patrick Peterson/Ramsey level where he’s an elite talent? Probably not. If we’re sticking to Ohio State cornerbacks that have come out of the draft the past few seasons, I’d rank Marshon Lattimore and Denzel Ward above Okudah. That’s not a knock, but Okudah is more of a “top-15” talent than top-5, and for that, I’d be out on this deal.
If the 49ers view Okudah as “the missing piece,” then they’d pull the trigger on this deal. What Mosher doesn’t acknowledge is that San Francisco doesn’t have another pick until the fifth-round if they make this deal. So you go from free agency where you lose two of your best players. The draft was your only hope of replacing Emmanuel Sanders and DeForest Buckner, and instead of replacing them, you draft a cornerback and hope you can find a couple of late-round gems. That’s not a sound strategy.