San Francisco 49ers: 5 Best Trade Down Scenarios In 2017 NFL Draft

The San Francisco 49ers own the No. 2 pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. Nevertheless, they should be doing everything they can to trade down.

The 49ers find themselves in an uncomfortable situation heading into the 2017 NFL Draft. There is no clear-cut draft prospect worthy of being taken with the team’s No. 2 pick. Additionally, the team suffers from a starless roster so accumulating draft picks would benefit them greatly.

As reported by Matt Barrows of The Sacramento Bee, while addressing the media at the 49ers local Pro Day, general manager John Lynch wanted other teams to know that:

We’re open for business. We’ll listen to anything. I’ve always said – you don’t like being at 2-14, but you like having the second pick. It puts you in the driver’s seat. A lot of options at your disposal, and we’ll explore every single one of them.

Lynch was referring to the team’s openness to trading the No. 2 pick. He the went on to explain that other clubs had already started to call and ask about a potential trade. If it wasn’t known before it is now, Lynch is actively trying to trade down. Which is a no-brainer he should be. The question now is, will another team be willing to pull the trigger.

If another team did want to pull the proverbial “trigger”, what would that deal look like? Would the 49ers have to get less trade value to make it happen? The possibilities are endless.

What follows are the top five trade scenarios for this year’s draft.

Disclaimer: This is not a prediction, but rather an exercise of “what-if” trade scenarios. For reference, all trade values provided courtesy of which is based on Jimmy Johnson’s draft trade model.


Sep 18, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; A detailed view of a Jacksonville Jaguars helmet during the fourth quarter at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

5. Jacksonville Jaguars

This one is a bit far-fetched. Yet, if the Jags were to fall in love with one of these quarterbacks they could make the move as the trade up from No. 4 would not cost much.

Reports have started to come out from Jacksonville that the Jaguars are souring on starting quarterback Blake Bortles. Bortles was drafted third overall in the 2014 draft and since then, he has gone on to lead the NFL in total turnovers (63).

In fact, the team’s new executive vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin failed to commit to Bortles as his starting QB heading into 2017. This may indicate that Jags are ready to move on. If so, this is what a potential draft day trade would look like.

San Francisco 49ers get No. 4, No. 68, No. 110 and 2018 2nd Round Selection

Jacksonville Jaguars get No. 2 Overall Selection

Based on the ol’ Jimmy Johnson trade values, the 49er’s No. 2 selection holds a value of 2,600 points. To match that value, the Jags would need to give up their No. 4 (1,800), No. 68 (250), No. 110 (74) and a 2018 second-round pick. They could give up this year’s second-round pick, but most team’s opt to give up a future pick.

In this scenario, the 49ers and Jags would swap firsts. This allows the 49ers to still select within the top five of the draft while picking up a third and fourth in 2017 and a second-round selection in 2018. An excellent haul, while the Jaguars get their man.

While this may seem lopsided, the Jaguars actually come up 476 points short of the total value. The 49ers would essentially be investing on a future second-round pick to make up the difference.


Oct 17, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Detailed view of a New York Jets helmet during the game against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

4. New York Jets

The next team up is the New York Jets. The Jets enter the 2017 NFL Draft with possibly the worst starting quarterback situation. Let’s face it, the Jets were not a very good football team last year and this was before their quarterback situation worsened. Jets fans aren’t terribly thrilled about Christian Hackenberg or Bryce Petty getting the starting nod.

The Jets’ front office should be considering a trade. If so, Lynch should be able to extract maximum value from NYJ pretty easily. What would a trade down net the 49ers with the Jets? According to the trade values, the Jets would need this year’s No. 6 (1600), No. 39 (510), No. 70 (240) and next year’s second-round selection.

San Francisco 49ers get No. 6, No. 39, No. 70 and 2018 2-Rd pick

New York Jets get No. 2, No. 202

To even out the deal, the 49ers would need to give up their No. 202 (10.2). The 49ers would end up being short in this exchange but the Jets need a QB badly so — extract maximum value!


Sep 13, 2015; Jacksonville, FL, USA; A view of a Carolina Panthers helmet before the game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Carolina Panthers at EverBank Field. The Panthers defeat the Jaguars 20-9. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

3. Carolina Panthers

This one actually has some smoke to it and like the saying goes, “Where there’s smoke…”

Per Chris Biderman of Niners Wire, there is a lot of draft trade rumor that the Panthers are in talks with the 49ers about a trade from No. 8 to No. 2. In his article, Biderman writes that the Panthers would most likely have to give up their two second-round picks to make the trade happen.

However, per the traditional Jimmy Johnson trade chart, the Panthers would be woefully short of making up for the draft capital needed to make it worthwhile. The 49ers would most likely ask for a package consisting of those two second-rounders and an extra 2018 second-round pick to get to 2600.

Their No. 8 (1400), No. 40 (500), No. 64 (270) and a 2018 second-round pick gets them near 2600 mark.

Mathematically speaking, Lynch wouldn’t need to give the Panthers anything but the Panthers are not under a ton of pressure to make a trade. Lynch would need to sweeten the pot by throwing in No. 109, 146 and No. 202.

San Francisco 49ers get No. 8, No. 40, No. 64 and 2018 2nd Rd Pick

Carolina Panthers get No. 2, No. 109, No. 146, and No. 202 Picks

Who exactly the Panthers would be targeting with the No. 2 overall pick would be anyone’s guess. Solomon Thomas and Leonard Fournette would both make a lot of sense, however.


Jul 30, 2016; Nashville, TN, USA; General view of a Tennessee Titans helmet during training camp at Saint Thomas Sports Park. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

2. Tennessee Titans

This trade has an almost 99.9 percent chance of not happening, but it makes this list because the Titans have the draft ammo to pull off the trade.

The Titans are a team on the rise with a young quarterback that shows plenty of promise. Last season, the Titans narrowly missed making the playoffs. They are arguably a few pieces away from becoming a serious contender next season.

In addition, the Titans hold the No. 5 and No. 18 picks in the first-round alone. The Titans don’t need a trade. Yet, since this is an exercise in wishful thinking. We are going to say that the Titans are in love with one Malik Hooker, safety out of Ohio State University.

So much, that they are willing to make a deal. This deal in fact:

San Francisco 49ers get No. 5 and No. 18

Tennessee Titans get No. 2

No other trades required. Per the trade values, the 49ers get exactly 2600 points for their No. 2 pick. Here’s to hoping the Titans fall in love with Hooker or anyone at No. 2.


Oct 2, 2016; Landover, MD, USA; Detail view of Cleveland Browns helmet against the Washington Redskins during the second half at FedEx Field. Washington Redskins wins 31 – 20. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

1. Cleveland Browns

If the Panthers and 49ers trade rumors had smoke, this one might have real fire. It should, at least for the fan base in Cleveland. The Browns have done an amazing job of acquiring picks which is always an excellent strategy in terms of building a team. Nevertheless, at some point, hoarding draft picks means nothing if you continue to miss on players or if you don’t have your quarterback of the future.

Unfortunately, in that process last season, they passed on promising rookie quarterback Carson Wentz. Now, they enter the 2017 NFL Draft with a boatload of picks, including the No. 1 and No. 12 overall selections.

If the Browns had it their way, they would select a quarterback and the best player available with the No. 1 and No. 12 picks respectively. It’s rumored that Browns head coach Hue Jackson is high on North Carolina quarterback Mitch Trubisky. Unfortunately, sitting at the top of the mountain is Myles Garrett, who is the type of prospect that is so good that you select him even ahead of a solid quarterback prospect.

Sadly, Trubisky will most likely be gone by the No. 12 pick. So what to do? Their best option is to bring in both Garrett and Trubisky by trading with the 49ers. What would a trade of that sorts look like? Here’s the answer:

San Francisco 49ers get No. 12, No. 33, No. 52, and 2018 2nd, 3rd Picks

Cleveland Browns get No. 2, No. 202

Their have been reports (via Niners Wire) in the last few days that the Browns front office is split between picking Garrett or Trubisky with their No. 1 pick. This trade allows them to select a premier edge rusher and a quarterback back-to-back.

Come on Cleveland, your fan base deserves this trade. Bring in the beast known as Myles Garrett and bring in local Ohio quarterback prospect. The 49ers get some much-needed draft capital. It’s a win-win for both franchises.

This move makes too much sense to actually happen.

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