How 49ers might approach NFL trade deadline at each position
There could be a trade that involves this position group, but the 49ers would have to receive the kind of compensation that no team was willing to give the club before the start of the regular season.
The 49ers likely want no lower than a third-round draft pick (and maybe even a second-rounder) for Nick Mullens or C.J. Beathard. Mullens is the backup behind starter Jimmy Garoppolo. Beathard has been inactive for every game this season. The 49ers like their depth chart at quarterback, and they are not going to just give away Mullens or Beathard.
The 49ers own the league’s No. 2 running game behind Matt Breida, Tevin Coleman, Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson.
With that kind of depth, there is no reason for the 49ers to give up a future draft pick to add another player at this position. The loss of fullback Kyle Juszczyk was a big blow to the running game, but he should be back in plenty of time for the stretch run of the regular season.
There could be some options out there, including aging veterans Emmanuel Sanders, 31, and A.J. Green, 31, who has not played at all this season due to an ankle injury. Every penny the 49ers would spend for a high-priced rental player is money they no longer can offer to George Kittle or DeForest Buckner in upcoming negotiations.
The 49ers invested second-round draft picks in Dante Pettis and Deebo Samuel the past two seasons. The 49ers selected Jalen Hurd in the third round this year. Hurd could be cleared to play later in the season after spending eight weeks on injured reserve with a stress reaction in his back.
Trent Taylor (foot) and Hurd are candidates to return from IR, so the depth chart at wide receiver could see some shuffling later in the season. Right now, the 49ers seem content with the all-around games of Pettis, Samuel, Marquise Goodwin, Kendrick Bourne and Richie James.
Could the 49ers trade for Trent Williams? It seems highly unlikely because they have made it this far with Justin Skule and, now, Daniel Brunskill. And it will not be long before Joe Staley and Mike McGlinchey return.
Williams, a holdout with Washington, is signed through the 2020 season at $12.5 million. It does not seem logical for the 49ers would pay the price to acquire him from Washington and then shove Staley or McGlinchey aside to keep him in the lineup.
The 49ers have found a combination on the interior -- guards Laken Tomlinson and Mike Person, and center Weston Richburg – that works well together. It would be too much to ask for a player to come in from the outside, learn the system and create that immediate chemistry.
The 49ers have a tremendous amount of depth on their defensive line. They certainly would not look to pay the price to add someone. Would they look to trade away a player for a draft pick? That’s possible, but there’s no reason to mess with success.
The organization hopes this group will continue to be the driving force of this team. The depth is such that this unit should not wear down late in the season. Plus, Kentavius Street is a candidate to return from IR in the second half of the season.
Kwon Alexander and Fred Warner have done a good job in helping the 49ers set the tone on defense. Those two work very well together. Rookie Dre Greenlaw starts at the other linebacker spot, but he could fill in if he is needed at any point to replace Alexander or Warner.
Azeez Al-Shaair and Mark Nzeocha are solid backups and special-teamers. And if the 49ers need someone else, Elijah Lee is waiting for his opportunity on the practice squad.
The 49ers might have been open to adding Jalen Ramsey – but not at a price anywhere near the one the Jacksonville Jaguars squeezed out of the LA Rams. The 49ers have to feel good about their defensive backfield.
Richard Sherman has started every game. Ahkello Witherspoon returns soon, and Emmanuel Moseley has proven to be a solid backup. Moreover, the 49ers had depth at safety with Tarvarius Moore proving in the first three games that he can play winning football if he is needed to step in for Jimmie Ward, again, or Jaquiski Tartt.
This is one area where the 49ers could have been looking to acquire a player. After all, the club has been trying to make upgrades at long snapper. But help is on the way here, too. Kyle Nelson is available to return to the team next week after serving a 10-game suspension over two seasons for a second violation of the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.