The San Francisco 49ers traded quarterback Alex Smith to the Kansas City Chiefs today, and received the Chiefs second round pick (#34 overall, the second pick of the second round, plus a conditional 2014 Draft Pick) in return for their former starter. This gives the 49ers 11 selections in April’s NFL Draft, (plus yet to be determined compensatory picks) and I would argue that they are already the NFL’s deepest team. There is no way that, on a roster as deep as the one the 49ers currently have constructed, 11+ rookies will be making the team. This is why I expect the 49ers to be one of the most active teams in the NFL this offseason.
The 49ers went to the Super Bowl last season and got as far as the NFC Title Game in 2011, so they are very good football team as constructed. This is why I expect them to be extremely aggressive this offseason, they were so close, and one additional piece or a few roster tweaks could be all they need to win the 2013 Super Bowl.
In the NFL, windows to win the Super Bowl are very small, and rookies take some time to develop into valuable contributors in most cases. Players such as Minnesota Vikings wide receiver/return man Percy Harvin and New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis are two established star players who are rumored to be available in a trade during the 2013 NFL offseason. Would the 49ers part with a pick or multiple picks in April’s NFL Draft to acquire another star player that might give them the final push towards Super Bowl glory?
In the 2013 NFL Draft, if the 49ers love a player who they think will help them contend for Super Bowls both immediately and long term, they could also choose to package a plethora of draft picks to trade down and ensure that they select the player that they desire. The draft is not rich with talent at the top, but it is an extremely deep class ripe with players who should be solid NFL contributors, so if they 49ers elect to do so they can sit back and make their draft picks. If they draft the best players available with each of their 11 picks, they could bolster their roster depth even further for years to come, and create a competitive atmosphere for roster spots in training camp. If this is the case, expect other NFL teams to be sitting outside the 49ers facility drooling on roster cut down days, the team will be forced to release valuable players.
The 49ers will also have the option to trade 2013 draft picks for future draft picks, when other NFL teams see players that they covet sliding on draft and get desperate, and the 49ers can expect to receive these calls. It is always good to build up future assets, in case a need presents itself, or a move needs to be made down the road.
With so many valuable assets already in their pockets and such a deep and talent rich roster already, expect the 49ers to spend the 2013 NFL offseason aggressively chasing the players that they feel can help them win a Super Bowl right now, and expect them to be extremely active during the draft. They will certainly be a team to watch closely, as they have a ton of assets and not a lot of visible needs, I expect most NFL General Managers will have Trent Baalke on speed dial this spring.