Editor’s note: Matt Maiocco released his complete seven-round mock draft, without any trades, which you can find here. In this piece, he provides a glimpse of what the 49ers could look to acquire from their draft if they make trades to pick up picks in each of the first four rounds.
The 49ers’ top roster needs (or wants) heading into the NFL Draft are wide receiver, cornerback, defensive tackle and offensive line.
Rank those in any order. Rank them in order of the best player available among those positions at any time the 49ers are on the clock until those spots are filled during the draft.
The 49ers have two picks in the first round, and Nos. 13 and 31 overall But after that scheduled selection at No. 31, the 49ers are not scheduled to pick again until the fifth round (No. 156 overall).
General manager John Lynch has engaged in preliminary discussions with teams about the possibilities of making trades Thursday, whether it’s at No. 13, No. 31 or both of their first-round picks.
The 49ers are scheduled to have five picks in the fifth round or later, but it would be difficult for any of those players to make the team.
“We have one of the better rosters in football in my mind, and so it's going to be real hard for draft picks to make this as well,” Lynch said this week. “I don't think it’d be a great year to have 10 draft picks. I think it's going to be hard to make this team, so we've got to make them count.”
There are a lot of ways for the 49ers to maximize this draft in order to get more picks earlier in the draft.
Here is one path they can take to knock off their top four needs with a pick in each of the first four rounds, including one trade-up in the fourth round to select a targeted player.
- 49ers trade No. 13 (first round), No. 156 (fifth round) and No. 210 (sixth round) to the Miami Dolphins for No. 18 (first round) and No. 70 (third round)
- 49ers trade No. 31 (first round) to the Los Angeles Chargers for No. 37 (second round) and No. 112 (fourth round)
- 49ers trade No. 112 (fourth round) and No. 217 (seventh round) to the Detroit Lions for No. 108 (fourth round)
Projected draft class
No. 18 (first round): CB A.J. Terrell, Clemson
The 49ers have no cornerbacks under contract beyond this season, and that list includes Richard Sherman, Ahkello Witherspoon, Emmanuel Moseley and Jason Verrett.
“I think when you look at our roster as compared to the rest of the league, we've got a lot of players signed,” Lynch said. “Corner happens to be a position where that's not necessarily the case through this year. We're certainly aware of that, and will that affect how we approach this draft? Maybe.”
A.J. Terrell has faced the best competition in college football while being on an island. He could easily end up being the best cornerback in this draft. And if the 49ers can move back and still get him, that’s a win.
No. 37 (second round): WR Brandon Aiyuk, Arizona State
It would be difficult to pass up CeeDee Lamb, Jerry Jeudy or Henry Ruggs. But because the depth at wide receiver is so strong this draft, it is easy to make the case to select one later in the first or early in the second round.
Brandon Aiyuk has good size and exceptional quickness. Coach Kyle Shanahan can certainly find a role for him in the offense. Aiyuk recently underwent core-muscle surgery. Is that a concern? Not at all. Nick Bosa had the same surgery entering the 2019 draft.
No. 70 (third round): OT Matthew Peart, UConn
The status of Joe Staley continues to be something the 49ers have to take into account. Lynch said he has heard “nothing that would lead us to believe that Joe is not going to play.”
That double-negative is a lot different from learning from Staley that he is definitely going to play. So the 49ers have to prepare for the future. In a strong class of offensive tackles, Matthew Peart gives the 49ers a chance to find their starting left tackle on Day 2 of the draft.
No. 108 (fourth round): DT McTelvin Agim, Arkansas
Nobody is replacing DeForest Buckner. But McTelvin Agim has great upside as a three-technique who can be a solid player on base downs and eventually develop into a contributor in nickel situations, too.
No. 176 (fifth round): TE Thaddeus Moss, LSU
The 49ers will look for a tight end to pair with George Kittle. How about Randy Moss’ son?
The younger Moss is a well-rounded tight end who has plenty of room to grow. He declared for the draft after a national championship-winning season at LSU in which he caught 47 passes for 570 yards and four touchdowns.
No. 245 (seventh round): OG/C Darryl Williams, Mississippi State
The 49ers will look to add an interior offensive lineman on the third day of the draft. A player such as Darryl Williams is who the 49ers will hope to find. They will want a player with the versatility to play center or guard and who could be developed into a top backup or starter of the future.
Programming note: Don't miss NBC Sports Bay Area's coverage of the 2020 NFL Draft! Stream "NBC Sports On the Clock: NFL Mock Draft" on the MyTeams app and on NBCSportsBayArea.com on Wednesday at 2 p.m. to get all of the latest information on the 49ers and Raiders.