It’s been speculated about for awhile now, but the time is almost here – will the San Francisco 49ers trade up in this year’s NFL Draft? It’s a move that makes sense for a lot of reasons, but primarily because the 49ers hold a total of 13 picks. Not that a team could ever have too many picks, but that’s clearly a lot. Combine that with the fact that San Francisco is in ‘win now’ mode, and it seems unlikely they’ll stay put at No. 31.
Reports are swirling that head coach Jim Harbaugh is a big fan of wide receiver Tavon Austin, but the Niners will likely have to trade way up to get him. You can’t rule it out, though, because there are plenty of teams that want to move down. If a team will want to move to the back end of the first round? Is a separate issue, but odds are that San Francisco will find someone to deal with.
The other main factor at play, is that the 49ers also hold the second pick in round two (from KC). If they packaged their first round pick with a mid-round pick to move up, they’ll still select at No. 34 overall.
One thing you can say for sure about the Harbaugh-led 49ers – they play to win. Trading up into the middle part of the first round is a move I can easily see taking place. Even if they have to give up a couple mid-to-late round picks, they’ll still end up with double digit selections. It’s fairly simple logic, but if you’re San Francisco, why not trade up and try to get another difference-maker?
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