How the 49ers can sneak into Day 2

The 49ers have ways of getting into Round 2 or 3. They could, for example, trade a veteran player like Solomon Thomas. (Photo: Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press)

NFL teams will barrel through Rounds 2 and 3 of the draft tonight. If the commissioner had prohibited trades over these three quarantined days, Kyle Shanahan could play video games with his kids this evening, and John Lynch could do 4,000 push-ups in his home gym.

The 49ers currently have no picks in the second round, and no picks in the third round, as you know. (They also have none in the fourth, but that’s a story for tomorrow.) The head coach and the general manager put themselves in this position through previous trades, and both have been emphatic that they don’t regret the decisions. They shouldn’t. Dee Ford and Emmanuel Sanders, the bounty from those mid-round picks, helped them reach the Super Bowl.

Just the same, you can be 100-percent sure that Shanalynch are in a wretched state of FOMO right now: fear of missing out on an exciting night of roster building.

Can the 49ers find a way to get into the second or third round? Here are some options.


There has been talk all week (and before) about the 49ers’ shipping out one of their many running backs, or (spurred by a Michael Lombardi report Monday) perhaps a defensive player. But realistically, how many of those guys could net a No. 2 or No. 3? Remember, veteran players, with some wear on the tires and many deep into their contracts, tend to be undervalued in draft-day trades.

Could the 49ers get a No. 3 for Matt Breida. I don’t think so. Tevin Coleman? Maaayyybe? Would the Patriots want Coleman? They have two compensatory picks (which now can be traded) at the bottom of the third round, and Bill Belichick has dealt with Shanalynch before.

What about on defense? Seems like the 49ers could easily get a third-rounder for Kwon Alexander, maybe even a second, but I don’t believe they’ll let him go. How about Jaquiski Tartt? Would someone deal a No. 3 for him? And could the Niners afford to let him go when they’re thin in the secondary?

Here’s my suggestion: Solomon Thomas.

Yes, the 49ers felt strongly enough about shoring up their D-line to use the No. 14 overall on defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw. Trading Thomas would undermine that approach to some extent. But Kinlaw has a chance to be an outstanding NFL player. I think it’s safe to say by now that Thomas is a solid rotational contributor, and will probably never be more than that.

But Thomas probably has trade value. He’ll be 25 when the regular season starts. He is versatile, and he’s an asset to any locker room. Also, though it has never made much sense to me, draft position tends to follow a player around through his career. The 49ers thought Thomas was a top-three talent in 2017. That is likely to influence how some teams view him now.

Solomon Thomas for a high third-round pick, who says no?


The 49ers have the 11th pick in the fifth round and the 31st pick in the sixth. My handy NFL trade evaluator is broken, so I’ll guess at what those two selections are worth. I think it would get them into the middle of the fourth round, and not much higher. That would end the Niners’ drought a little sooner, but it would still leave them out of Day 2.


Bad teams get into cycle of constantly mortgaging the future to plug immediate gaps. Good teams (think New England) are there to scoop up the future picks, which almost always seems like a good day when the next year rolls around. The 49ers have been building the right way. I don’t think either Lynch or Shanahan would be thrilled to start a bad trend.

That said, the Niners are in a peculiar predicament this year, with so little draft capital after the first round. They would have to at least consider, say, swapping a 2021 second-rounder (a low second-rounder, they’d like to think) for a 2020 third-rounder, especially if this year’s selection was near the top of Round 2.


The most likely scenario is the least fun to talk about, because it’s more convoluted. If the 49ers are able to reappear in Round 2 or Round 3 this year, it may well be due to a combination of the first three options.

Maybe they trade Nick Mullens and their fifth-rounder to get into the third. Perhaps they deal Tartt and a 2021 fourth-rounder to get into Round 2 tonight. These are the type of transactions that take a lot of internal discussion, a lot of creativity and a lot of confidence. Also, a willing trade partner. Often, they’re the trades that add up to define a regime. We’ll see if Shanalynch is able to put something together that makes sense.

Tonight would definitely be a lot more fun if the 49ers were, at some point, on the clock.


This article has 100 Comments

  1. I would love it if you could get a 4th rounder for Solomon Thomas, Dante Pettis, and Tevin Coleman all put together.

    1. Because draft capital follows a guy Id be very surprised to see Solomon Thomas exchanges for a fourth. A second is likely what SF values him at.

      A particular SF CB may be moved Though

      DL: Solomon Thomas, 4th Rd. trade
      A) WR: Dante Pettis, 6th Rd. trade
      B) WR: Marquise Goodwin, Pack of chewing gum (spearmint).
      C) RB: Matt Breida, 3Rd.
      D) All four for an early 3Rd draft pick and a 4th Rd. draft pick.

        1. If Thomas and Pettis worked out to be good draft picks, we would not have had to pick another D-Lineman and Receiver in the first round.

    1. ninermd
      Von Miller should have a talk with Elway and see if he can swing a trade with lynch, for the 9ers Thomas…Then VM could have his dream come true and play with his bro Kinlaw….lol

  2. Thomas will likely never live up to his draft status, but he serves as a good reserve to give the starters a breather.
    But if we can get a 3rd -5th rd pick for him that would be cool with me.

    At first, I gave Thomas a pass because he got bounced around on the Dline his first couple of years. But now, I will venture to say that he has hit his ceiling.
    The team could keep him as a second-line player because they may not be completely confident with Street, Taylor and Blair’ progress.

    “The 49ers have the 11th pick in the fifth round and the 31st pick in the sixth. My handy NFL trade evaluator is broken, so I’ll guess at what those two selections are worth. I think it would get them into the middle of the fourth round, and not much higher.”
    * “5th Rd., 11th pick.” WRONG! Not according to NFL Trade Value Chart – 2020:
    * “5th Rd., 10th pick” #156 = 27.8 Pts.
    * “6th Rd., 31st pick” #210 = 6.2Pts.
    * TOTAL POINTS = 34 Pts. 4th Rd., 3Rd from the last pick = #144. And belongs to the Seadderall Seahags.
    * NFL draft board (CBSSPORTS.COM) draft prospect(s)
    #144: WR Lynn Bowden Jr., Kentucky
    #145: WR Collin Johnson, Texas
    #146: TE Colby Parkinson, Stanford
    #147: DL Jason Strowbridge, North Carolina
    #148: TE Thaddeus Moss, LSU
    #149: OL Calvin Throckmorton, Oregon
    #150: WR John Hightower, Boise St.
    #151: OL Trey Adams, Washington
    #152: EDGE Anfernee Jennings, Alabama

  4. I have heard the 49ers are exploring a trade for Trent Williams. Only reason for doing that would be if Staley isn’t coming back. Fingers crossed it is just talk.

      1. If Staley retires I think they do.

        But yes, why pass on Wirfs if Staley is retiring? Maybe they weren’t that high on Wirfs.

        1. Posey over at NN thinks the team might be able to get TW for a day 3 pick. If that’s the case then the additional salary needed for TW plus a day 3 pick might be less than the value of a 1st round pick.

          1. Perversely, and as much as I love Staley, getting Williams would improve the 49ers OL. If they get him for a day 3 pick, awesome.

        2. Scooter
          Do you really believe Staley would pass up his last, best chance for a ring? I don’t.

          New subject:
          How are you with the 9ers draft picks, Kinlaw and Aiyuk? To me, it’s like the 9ers lost two great, high priced players, for two very good, but cheaper versions they can afford?

          1. I think the SB loss was gutting for him and he may see that as his last best shot passed him by. And that he doesn’t have it mentally in him to go through the punishment of another season.

            My thoughts on the draft are in the previous articles. In quick summary, I like the players, but don’t like the draft philosophy and it kind of feels like they are trying too hard to hold into/ recreate last season rather than evolve and get better.

            1. “…they are trying too hard to hold into/ recreate last season rather than evolve and get better.”

              That’s an interesting take.

              1. lol…….am not sure he watched any games last season.

                We have a system on D and O no one can stop……….why evolve?

                Some fans find it hard to connect the simple dots. We are simply drafting players based on our scheme. It is not rocket science.

              2. You got me oneniner, I failed to connect the dots. Oh, wait, that’s right, I said they are trying to recreate last season.

                I understand what they are doing. But have they gotten better? Is Kinlaw better than Buckner? Is Aiyuk better than Sanders?

                As the old adage goes, if you aren’t improving you are getting worse. Other teams will catch up with what the 49ers are doing and find ways to beat it. You need to be constantly evolving and looking for ways to get better.

              3. Great take Scooter and you bring attention to the realities of why teams go backwards after making it to SB. Famous phrases “essentially they have the same team” and “they can afford to spend that money”.

              4. Of course they are better.

                Buckner had 7.5 sacks last season, 28 total since drafted, 1 probowl – I agree Buckner is a great player but he is not ADonald.

                49er defense if you watched last season does not need a ADonald….we can get bye with above average DT play especially when defending the run… why not invest in an elite player to keep it strong for the next 4yrs…..

                Kinlaw is exactly what you want when trying to replace a DT like Buckner….he is cheaper and the potential is off the charts….

                Same with YAK he fits the scheme.. It is not like Sanders was Jerry Rice. …I don’t get it – have you watched his tape………Kshanny said only ceedeeL was the other option……It is really not that hard to figure out the kind of players Kshan wants.

                ..both players help with the salary cap and strengthen the team by (attacking the LS and scoring TD’s)

                Again if you don’t understand what the 49ers are doing you won’t be able to comprehend how much better we are right now with the elite youth, energy and good cap situation.

              5. Let those other teams catch us first.

                NE milked short passes and good D to get whatever number of SB they have…

                The Bulls had the Triangle…, The Utah Jazz had the pick and roll

                The 49ers have a winning game plan…….until they stop it….then we keep drafting players who fit the scheme………not players you like

              6. Lol! Ok.

                I like both players, but man, can’t get on board with the take the team is better with Kinlaw and Aiyuk compared to Buck and Sanders. Maybe in 2-3 years tjey are as good or even better, but highly doubtful this year.

                This is a cap management approach to trying to recreate as close to what they had last year as possible.

              7. hey fellas:) seems like everything i was thinking….is being discussed right here.
                Trent Williams-Scott McCloughan thinks hes better than all of the top 4 OTs ( said it b4 the draft). And the price is drooping fast! Skins are panicking….. if JS retires…..then $$ is not a problem. If he plays another year….we will have to get creative. Maybe wait to extend Kittle or structure a new deal with little $ this year and a big jump the following year. And we still have a hole at RG…….so id get TW now as long as the asking price goes down.

                out with the old, in with the new-i could see JK being better than Buck…….DB was not very good against the run….plain and simple! In fact, stopping the run was the weakness of our D! JK excels at that…..and has promise to be a good pass rusher too! I wouldnt be surprised if JK has better stats this year for the simple fact that DB will get double teamed all day… the only threat on that Colts D line. Ayuk has the ability to make us forget about Sanders as well.

                Did we get better? i still think we were the best team last year. KC made a couple more plays than we did……but they had more experience and help from the refs! Our team is so young….we will get better for no other reason then the added experience……not many players on our team even hit their prime yet…….probably only Staley and sherm.

                we lost 3 starters from last year……..1 was given the boot! addition by subtraction……
                and the other 2 were replaced by younger and cheaper guys with top tier talent!
                We got better!

              8. @scooter – I will agree with you if Buckner and Sanders were really really game changers and if there was a guarantee they would really improve their production from last year.

                Focus – what do we need from the players in both positions?

                Do we really need a $20mil DT next to Armstead, Ford, Bosa ?….cmon….use sense

                Do we really need a run blocking $10 mil WR who might not catch a ball in a game?

                But the production required from their positions don’t align with the investment the team was required to pay………

                The rookies can produce the same stats if not better because they are fresh meat…

              9. Geez. Niners wanted Buck back; couldn’t swing it. $$$$
                Niners wanted Sanders back; couldn’t convince him to stay. Chance at a ring? More or less equal, but Peyton-Brees pass happy offense gives Sanders a better chance to shine. OK.
                Niners roster is “close”. They found replacements for key losses.
                As good? No, probably not.
                Cheaper place holders with significant upside? Yes, probably so.
                Everybody wants to go to Heaven, but nobody wants to die. smh.

              10. Oneniner, you can’t put this Niner team in the same conversation as The Pats or the Bulls. They don’t even have one ring!

              11. I think you all are missing Scooters point.
                He understands why they moved on from Buckner but thinks the team will not be as good next year using this plan. Thats it.
                I love both Kinlaw and Aiyuk and thought they would be good fits on this team.

                I believe Kinlaw will be better than Buckner, but I dont see that happening year 1. He is a long, big bodied, DT who is very good at rushing the passer but can struggle with pad level and isnt elite at stuffing the run…. In essence this year, he is a slightly lesser version of Buckner.
                With Aiyuk, the upside is also very good. He is still raw but if he refines his route running and can get his hands to be more consistent he will be an elite wr. His balance, wingspan and hand size should translate to him becoming a very reliable receiver, with elite rac ability at the next level. Right now though Sanders is the better receiver as he can shake press-man coverage and make contested catches. SF doesn’t currently have a receiver that does that on the roster. Keep in mind this team was a league leader in drops before Sanders arrived. The hope would be that Taylor will provide a sure-handed receiver that Jimmy can go to in those situations… but that is no sure thing at this point.

                If the team is to be improved from last year… it will likely have to be because the growth of Jimmy and Deebo along with the return of Taylor and Hurd more than makes up for the loss of Buckner and Sanders.

            2. I agree with one and said it earlier. You draft for scheme and need. The Niners are still building their roster their way and with players with a specific skill set.

              1. scooter says ” buck is truly one of the least appreciated 49ers of the past few years”
                this is very true! DB had decent #s on some really bad teams…..and even worse defenses! Historically one of the worse Ds aginst the run in the history of the NFL!!!
                let that sink in………
                The one good season we had…..he basically disappeared!Im not sure what to make of it. I know i dont miss him though… wasnt just the $21 mil a year … was the structure! he wasnt going for anything less as far as a cap hit this year…..21 mil a year….PERIOD! that was the final straw! if he allowed paraag to get creative with the structure……i think he would still be here!

                In the end…..hes like a 2 guard on a bad basketball team…….his entire career here was him putting up #s ( sacks only, hes clearly not a good run defender) in garbage time! games that were more or less decided … lost seasons!

  5. Since about half (or more) of the FIRST rounders will turn out to be stiffs in the NFL, what is all this anxiety about not having picks in the second, etc, rounds in one draft ? Yes, there certainly will be Hall of Famers drafted after the first round (Owens, Haley, Brady and many others) but it’s only ONE draft . Looks like they got two top prospects in the first round this year and they’ll have plenty of picks next year.

  6. I had to go watch YAK’s highlights – dude is a smooth criminal………reminds me of Emmanuel a little creating space with his catch radius and with the quick burst right after the catch……..Dude is going to be a beast in the 49er offense

    After drafting Deebo and risking that much draft capital on rental Sanders….I am 100% absolutely sure KShanny knows exact what kind of WR the scheme needs.

    There is no-one remaining in this draft that would unseat a backup player on the team depth chart.

    1. Lol! So you are certain none of the WRs taken after Aiyuk would be capable of providing the same or similar impact as Aiyuk for the 49ers? Or that any round 2-4 pick would unseat a backup at another position?

      And why are you so certain Shanahan is right that Aiyuk is the guy? Pettis was meant to be the guy. And Lynch has confirmed that N’Keal Harry was actually the guy Shanahan wanted last year, over Samuel.

      I trust Shanahan’s judgement in finding talented WRs, but I am not fooling myself into thinking this one guy is the ONLY guy that could have been good for the 49ers or that Shanahan always gets it right.

      1. seriously you can’t see why YAK was his fav.

        Honestly it is so clear like water…..just go see his highlights……..Pettis was a beast in college and don’t sleep on him yet….

  7. NIners have been good at picking late in the draft. Bosa was an obvious “get.” The other recent home runs were in the later rounds. Let Lynch feed out of the grab bag.

  8. one thing that stands out to me- AA WANTED to be here! Local guy……structured his contract not just to stay……but to help the team.

    Our 2 first round choices…….
    JK- point blank said he wanted to be a 49er a week b4 the draft! very bold….wanted to be in red n gold
    BA- mom is a die hard niner fan… surfaced of him in a niner jersey at 4 years old

  9. By the end of the 2020 draft, the one position I hope the 9ers can find a late Rd. gem in, is CB.

    * For those who worry about not having a replacement for OT Joe Staley in 2021.
    Projected top 10 1St Rd. OT(s) in the 2021 DRAFT:
    Offensive Tackles: Alex Leatherwood (Alabama), Jackson Carman (Clemson), Samuel Cosmi (Texas), Liam Eichenberg (Notre Dame), Jalen Mayfield (Michigan), Abraham Lucas (Washington State).

    1. I’d be pretty happy to see Reggie Robinson at 156.

      49ers seemed pretty keen on Luq Barcoo though. Met him at Shrine game and had a virtual meeting.

      1. Scooter
        Most NFL analysts had Robinson in like the late 6th – 7th round, claiming he was too slow. Then he ran a 4.44s 40 at the Combine. I haven’t seen him as high as #156, but he’d be a great draft pick there.

        DB Luq Barcoo San Diego St.: A sleeper that Likely wasn’t going to get drafted.
        but then NFL scouts discovered him at Shrine game. Surprising, because he led the nation in probably the three biggest categories for a DB. In Int’s, pass break ups and passes defended and he was coached by one of the best DB coaches in college football, Rocky Long. Don’t know if you’ve seen his highlight? …..

  10. I hope they can trade Goodwin and Witherspoon to the Broncos for a 4th round pick.
    Maybe trade Tevin Coleman and CJB to the Chargers for a 4th round pick.
    Otherwise, they should just take the players at 156, 210 and 217. At 156, Akeem Davis-Gaither, Anfernee Jennings, Kevin Dotson, Bryan Edwards, Jordan Elliot and Darryton Evans may be candidates .
    JL needs to find some diamonds in the rough, with a few UDFAs.

  11. Everyone on this team needs to go. Jed for hiring Singletary. Singletary for being a moron. Alex Smith for being our QB instead of Rodgers. Hell, might as well trade Justin Smith and Frank Gore and just rebuild.

    1. Those long arms coupled with a 40 inch vert, means that he will be able to high point the ball. His game film shows a player who can out run the CBs. Solid pickup, but would have rather kept that 117th pick by being patient, and letting Aiyuk fall to the 31st pick.

    2. Don’t know where you got that stat but I know it is BS because I just watched him drop one late in the game against USC. A tough one, but a drop. Unless they were being extra generous and called it broken up.

      1. “A tough one, but a drop. Unless they were being extra generous and called it broken up.”

        BTW Scooter, this wouldn’t count as a drop. The reason is a “drop”, stat-wise, happens only when a receiver should have caught it without any extraordinary effort.

        In that game, there were two deep passes that he didn’t come up with. One early in the game where he was fighting through a defender (should have been a PI) than the one late in the game where he was half diving with a defender holding his off arm. Neither one of those would count as a drop.

        As essentially, only blatant drops count and you yourself said it would have been a tough one, it would not have been counted as a drop stat wise.

  12. One cb I like that could be there for us today is Darnay Holmes. I really like him. He doesn’t have ideal size but he has good speed and is always is almost never cleanly beat. He also looked good in the senior bowl against an impressive receiver class.

    I know he is not an ideal “cover 3” corner but is worth a shot simply based on how good he was in college. Worst case scenario has good value as a nickel corner who can fill in occasionally for one of the boundary corners if injured.

    1. Shoup: Allow me a second to respectfully disagree. I enjoy reading your comments, since you always add interesting insight and comments.

      But as a UCLA alum, my college football season is spent watching my UCLA Bruins play football. And Holmes did get cleanly beat…a lot. And not by NFL ready players, but by everybody. He was also not the most dedicated player; I wouldn’t go so far as to call him a malcontent, but he would skip practice (I believe he did get suspended a game also). Now, some of that may have to do with the UCLA football regime (which has led to the incredibly dire state of UCLA football; Chip Kelly has found a way to ruin two of my favorite teams), but this skews my perception of Holmes.

      He has started since his freshman year, and unfortunately I think he looked his best during his freshman year. He has, in other words, not shown any marked improvement during his time at UCLA; mistakes he made as a freshman still exist. He also played a lot of off coverage in heavy reliance on his natural athletic ability, only to allow a lot of uncontested catches; I don’t know if this means he would be great at zone “Cover 3″ coverage, but I am disinclined.

      I really love Amik Robertson, though he will be gone before the Niners pick in the 6th round (with news of the Niners’ trade of their 5th round pick and a 2021 3rd round pick for Trent Williams). While Robertson is only 5’8”, he can play nickel right away should K’Won Williams not re-sign after next season.

  13. Shoup
    The knock on Darnay Holmes is he can’t flip his hips. Kryptonite for an NFL CB. His tape shows he has trouble staying with receivers running their routs. (NFL scouts say he Lacks coverage instincts).
    Like most of the CB’s in Rd. #4 and Rd. #5, he lacks size (all are 5′ 10″ and under). except for CB Nevelle Clarke, UCF and he has the same problem as Holmes…He can’t flip his hips.

    1. I saw that scouting report on, but its certainly not a consensus opinion. The Draft Network, PFN’s Tony Pauline, and few others talk about his hip fluidity and ability to mirror in coverage.

      That said, the reality is this far down every prospect is going to have some question marks. I like the fact that he performed well at the senior bowl against good competition, was able to stick with hollywood brown on some deep routes and most importantly that he has had 3,3 and 2 ints in his last couple of years. This shows he already has a nose for the ball and at least a solid baseline to work with.

  14. 8 CBs that may be available that the Niners may be interested in are Javaris Davis, John Reid, Javelin Guidry, Kindle Vildor, Reggie Robinson, DeMarkus Acy, Luq Barcoo and Stantley Thomas-Oliver

    1. There is some potential in the group.
      I like Reggie Robinson the most among them though. I also like a few others not mentioned, at this point though I have no idea who will remain for the 49ers or go undrafted

      1. Well, now that the Niners traded away that 5th round pick, only Barcoo may be in play.
        However, getting Trent Williams for that 5th round pick(and a 2021 third), is highway robbery.

    1. uc, according to what I’ve read, yes, which is what one would assume they’d like to see in a pick. No more Pettis-like selections. I think they learned their lesson from that one. They want guys who give it up for the team. One review I read said, “He keeps working down the field and battles to hit blocks so his teammates can maximize their touches.”

      Check this out if you’d like:

      1. “Showcases good all-around competitive toughness which often shows up when blocking.”

        There you go, I like this guy already. Thanks George.

        1. Here’s another: “In the run game, he is sufficient as a stalk blocker. He has good physical toughness and is a willing stalk blocker.”

    2. Athletically he should be able to pick up the complex blocking schemes, but his physicality and the way he likes to finish runs; I think he’ll be an asset in the running game….

      1. Has to be right? I dont think they do this trade otherwise. I like the move if that’s the case. It keeps as a contenders, but I’m getting nervous about all the draft capital we keep easily giving up. I trust this FO and Paraage as far as the Cap, but when we look across our division at the Rams, it makes me nervous.

        Either way, to only give up a 5th and 3rd next year is quite a steal imo.

      2. I think he has to retire because TW will cost $14.5 million. Staley was slated to make around $11.5 million, so the difference should be about 3 million.

  15. Hmmmm, I wonder if Razor is gunna like an immature malcontent on the team? ;p
    Or maybe he was just trying to drive down the price.

  16. I assume Paraag has a plan…………… will be curious to see who restructures, and if Ford is willing to do so- they must have a plan in place before doing this as it would be nice to have Williams for 4-5 vs a one year loaner.

      1. Most likely. Compensatory picks generally relate to contract free agent signings vs. contract free agent losses. Here is an explanation that tries to deduce the formula for award of compensatory picks ( But Trent Williams would not count since he was a traded player (not a free agent), and I can’t think of other free agents the Niners signed that would be of the same value as Sanders.

        1. Thanks, Pot. It’s the free agent versus traded players that I tend to forget. So that means, the team would not get a probably 3rd rounder if they are unable to sign TW for more than 2020.

          1. Maybe as to Trent Williams, but that would occur in the 2022 draft (2021 would be his free agent off-season). It depends if the Niners sign any free agent of equal contract value/talent as Williams should Williams leave; but, given all of the Niners’ free agents in the 2021 off-season, I imagine the Niners will probably have 2-3 compensatory picks in the 2022 draft (Williams, Tartt, Sherman, Witherspoon, etc.; who knows who leaves).

      1. LEO
        Don’t know about that LEO! When a 300 pound man sucker punches Sherman in the face and Sherman brushes it off like it’s a fly? That don’t impress me much! Or should I say, Sherman impresses me more than Williams!

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