With the NFL draft coming up, every team has major decisions to make. Every team has a chance to impact their future severely. The San Francisco 49ers hold the 12th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Even though they were just in the Super Bowl last season, this season was filled with disappointment.
Injury after injury killed the 49ers, and on top of that, they just lost their star defensive coordinator. With all of this being said, the team must try to fill some holes in the team. This starts on April 29th.
Option #1: Drafting Patrick Surtain II
Cornerback is one of the pressing needs for the 49ers this offseason. All of the current cornerbacks on the roster are ready to hit the free agency market this year besides one. That one player is Jason Verrett. Verrett is towards the end of his career, and it is desperately needed to get some young guys there.
There is an obvious need for secondary help in the San Francisco defense. Richard Sherman, the 49ers best corner, is now a free agent. Sherman was the leader of the secondary and taught the young guys everything they knew. He is a vital piece to keep. With that being said, Patrick Surtain II is arguably the best cornerback in the draft and is probably their best potential option. He had an impactful career with Alabama. He has the ability to be an instant starter in the NFL.
As far as the defensive coordinator situation goes, the 49ers promoted linebackers coach Given Ryans to defensive coordinator. He was on staff under Robert Salah. With that, he’ll probably carry over the same scheme as Salah, and that would be an amazing fit for the young corner.
Option #2: Trading Out of the Pick
The San Francisco 49ers are in several trade rumors around the league. Most of which are for a new starting quarterback. In order to get one of these quarterbacks, though, they will have to move off of this 12th pick.
Perhaps the 49ers get lucky enough to negotiate a trade for disgruntled star Deshaun Watson. They would have to move a lot to get him, but he is way better than anyone you could probably select with these picks. Watson is an elite-level talent, and he is already proven to be that. These other players in the draft are still young and have yet to step foot on an NFL field. If you are the 49ers, you move everything you can to land Watson. That includes throwing pick #12 out the window.
San Francisco might have their eye on someone else that they could potentially draft later on, so they move with a team such as Washington to move down in the draft. This way, they would get more for their pick and still get the player they wanted.
Option #3: Drafting The 49ers Future Quarterback
There has been a lot of talk about uncertainty when it comes to 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. Every trade talk for the 49ers is about bringing in a new quarterback. Yes, Jimmy G did help lead the 49ers to the Super Bowl last season, but it is uncertain around the league if he can do more than manage the game. Can he make the big play? Can he lead the team to victory? Or even the biggest question: can he stay healthy? All these questions are valid and give the 49ers to consider this option in the draft.
There are a few different options for a quarterback here for San Francisco. They could potentially trade up if they feel like Justin Fields is their guy. It would take a little more to trade up and select him, however. They could go with the young prospect, Trey Lance. Trey Lance is a little easier to trade up and get to than Fields, but there isn’t as much tape on him. The last and most reasonable option for the 49ers, if they choose to draft quarterback, is to trade down and draft Mac Jones.
Whatever they decide to do is going to impact the team going forward. There are a lot of different options and scenarios to go through. You have to worry about team chemistry, morale, injury risk, money, etc. The San Francisco 49ers are in an interesting situation because they have a very talented roster with very talented coaching staff, so this gives them a little more leeway than most teams. It will be something to keep an eye on for the future.