We already know that the San Francisco 49ers are going quarterback after trading up to the third pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. It remains to be seen who they will select between Justin Fields, Trey Lance and Mac Jones.
Regardless of what the 49ers do with that franchise-altering selection, they have a very limited number of holes to fill after being surprisingly active in free agency as of late.
Despite moving off two future first-round picks and a 2022 third-round selection for the third pick, San Francisco could exhaust even more draft capital in a trade up back into the first round Thursday night.
In fact, head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch have made a whopping six trades involving first-round picks since conducting their initial NFL Draft with the 49ers back in 2017. Below, we look at three ideal San Francisco 49ers draft targets after the third pick.
San Francisco 49ers select wide receive Elijah Moore in the second round
No matter who the 49ers bring in to eventually replace Jimmy Garoppolo under center, they still need to find a slot receiver to pair up with studs Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk. That’s where standing pat with the 43rd overall pick in the second round could make sense for San Francisco.
Moore (5-foot-8, 178 pounds) would be an absolutely perfect fit in the 49ers’ system. He’s an immediate threat to gain separation off the snap, boasts plus-level route-running skills and has surprisingly strong hands for someone his size. Add in an ability on reverses like we’ve seen with Samuel and Aiyuk, and he’d excel in San Francisco — making this a truly elite offense in the process.
San Francisco 49ers trade up for offensive lineman
Even after re-signing the game’s best left tackle in Trent Williams and picking up six-time Pro Bowler Alex Mack, San Francisco still needs help on the offensive line. That’s especially true with the injury-prone Jimmy Garoppolo potentially set to start in Week 1. Even if the 49ers trade Garoppolo, an unnamed rookie needs all the protection he can get upfront.
That’s where moving the 43rd pick to a team like the Baltimore Ravens at the end of Round 1 could make sense. In turn, the 49ers yield their third-round pick in 2021 and another third-round selection next year. The targets here would be former Oklahoma center Creed Humphrey and stud offensive tackle prospect Teven Jenkins from Oklahoma State. While Humphrey transitions better to center in the NFL, he can play guard until Mack retires. Meanwhile, Jenkins would have no issue moving inside to right guard.
San Francisco 49ers pull off another blockbuster
At this point, we kind of have to expect the unexpected with the 49ers. They do not leak to the media, as evidenced by the fact that we have no idea who John Lynch and Co. are selecting at No. 3. San Francisco was also willing to offer up a bounty to the Houston Texans for Deshaun Watson before some troubling allegations became public record.
Perhaps, the 49ers move Garoppolo to the Patriots for a second and third-round pick (seemingly his going rate right now). They could then use said selections to move further into the first round for a target at a need position. If Alabama wide receiver and reigning Heisman winner Devonta Smith slips to the bottom half of Round 1, he’d be an obvious target. Meanwhile, former Crimson Tide teammate Najee Harris would be an absolutely amazing fit at running back in San Francisco.