The San Francisco 49ers are open for business as it pertains to the No. 2 pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, according to rookie general manager John Lynch.
Though the team says it’s not determined to move the pick, Lynch isn’t playing coy about being open to making a deal.
“We could stay pat right there and find a fabulous player, a game-changing player,” general manager John Lynch said, per Eric Branch and Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle. “It gives us a lot of flexibility to do some other things if we chose to be bold. There are going to be people that covet the pick we have, so there’s going to be some people that want to move up.”
The Cleveland Browns traded the No. 2 pick last season to the Philadelphia Eagles, who had their eyes on quarterback Carson Wentz. Philly moved up from the No. 8 spot and gave up a ton of draft capital in return (details here).
Orchestrating this type of trade would set the 49ers up nicely for a long-term rebuild, which is what the team is facing after a steady decline the past few seasons. Finishing with a record of 8-8 in Jim Harbaugh’s final season, the 49ers dipped to 5-7 under Jim Tomsula in 2015 and then won just two games last year under Chip Kelly.
The franchise isn’t devoid of talent, but it can’t fool itself into thinking it has a shot at a quick turnaround.
The Cleveland Browns are said to be interested in one of the draft’s top quarterbacks, Deshaun Watson, but not at No. 1 overall. The general sense is that Cleveland is enamored with Texas A&M pass rusher Myles Garrett and will select him first overall.
This means the 49ers hold the key draft piece for teams that are desperate for a quarterback. We could see a big deal go down between now and the draft as teams focus in on their targets.