To say that the San Francisco 49ers have been doing everything possible to address deficiencies at the wide receiver position this offseason would be an understatement.
They signed prized free agent Torrey Smith to a five-year, $40 million contract in hopes of giving quarterback Colin Kaepernick the deep threat that he’s been missing over the years. San Francisco also took a chance on veteran Jerome Simpson, who was out of the league last year due in large part to off-field issues. In addition to this, Hakeem Nicks worked out for the 49ers late last month.
All that is fine and dandy, but the team still needs a long-term option to start opposite Smith once Anquan Boldin calls it quits.
That’s where Alabama’s Amari Cooper comes into play.
According to the respected Matt Miller over at Bleacher Report, San Francisco is interested in trading up from the 15th spot into the top 10 of the upcoming draft to select Cooper.
Are the San Francisco 49ers willing to trade up from Pick 15 to get Amari Cooper out of Alabama? That’s what I’m hearing. The Niners, and specifically general manager Trent Baalke, have fallen in love with the polished veteran coming out of Alabama.
The would represent somewhat of a deviation from Baalke’s philosophy of stockpiling picks and using one of the best scouting departments in the league to find quality throughout the draft.
Though, it must be noted that San Francisco did have a ton of internal conversations last year about trading up for Odell Beckham Jr. That move was never made, because the idea of trading up from the 30th spot was too expensive.
In the unique position of drafting in the top half of the first round with a playoff-caliber roster, San Francisco might find it makes more sense to move up this year.
Whether San Francisco makes the move up for Cooper will depend great deal on how far he falls. Most have the Alabama product as the top receiver in the draft, but West Virginia’s Kevin White has been receiving a ton of buzz recently. If Cooper were to fall to the second half of the top 10, that’s a price Baalke and company might be willing to pay. It would also give Kaepernick the best set of receiving options in the NFC West.
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