The San Francisco 49ers trade up in last year’s NFL Draft has changed the dynamics of this organization in a big way. San Francisco will now rely on 2021 No. 3 pick Trey Lance to replace Jimmy Garoppolo under center.
As for Garoppolo, his situation remains in flux after the quarterback led San Francisco to a second NFC Championship Game appearance in three years. The 49ers were unable to pull off a Garoppolo trade before most of the vacant starting jobs around the NFL were filled. There’s hope that something can get done here.
Without a first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft stemming from the aforementioned blockbuster trade, San Francisco is not in an enviable situation leading up to the annual event in Northern California. That’s magnified by Deebo Samuel’s recent trade request.
Below, we look at three trades the 49ers can make during the draft to help both their short-term future and long-term relevance on the broader NFL stage.
Related: 2022 San Francisco 49ers mock draft
San Francisco 49ers trade Jimmy Garoppolo
Obviously, this is something the 49ers’ brass would like to get done before the draft. It’s also somewhat unlikely given that he’s recovering from shoulder surgery and the market is limited for the quarterback’s services.
At this point, San Francisco should move Garoppolo for pennies on the dollar. If the Houston Texans or Carolina Panthers come calling by offering up a mid-round pick in the 2022 draft and future conditional compensation, the 49ers need to bite.
Garoppolo is still counting $26.95 million against the cap. The 49ers themselves have a mere $1.72 million in cap room. Even without a first-round pick, that’s not enough to sign their rookie class. Meanwhile, the team is currently in contract extension talks with All-Pro Nick Bosa. Taking care of the Garoppolo situation has to be of priority for general manager John Lynch and Co.
Related: Updated 2022 NFL Draft rumors
San Francisco 49ers trade for N’Keal Harry
The 49ers signed two mid-tier free-agent wide receivers ahead of the draft in that of Malik Turner and Marcus Johnson. San Francisco also signed one of the better punt returners in the NFL, Ray-Ray McCloud.
Even then, there’s a need for more talent and depth behind starters Deebo Samuel (if he’s not moved) and Brandon Aiyuk. Enter into the equation a still young 24-year-old former first-round pick in N’Keal Harry. He’s fallen out of favor in New England and could likely be had for a late-round pick. Despite Harry’s lack of of success with the Patriots, he fits the mold of a bigger-bodied wide receiver the 49ers need (6-foot-4). The Arizona State product would also come cheap ($3.2 million cap hit in 2022).
San Francisco 49ers trade Deebo Samuel
Not a single member of the 49ers’ front office wants to even consider pulling off a Deebo Samuel trade. However, the star wide receiver has apparently requested to be dealt. It creates some major issues for San Francisco heading into the NFL Draft.
If the next San Francisco 49ers trade is actually moving off Samuel, they’ll acquire a huge bounty in return. That includes a first-round pick, multiple higher-round selections and at least one player. It’s not ideal, but it’s something that could happen during the annual NFL Draft next week.