PHOENIX – The 49ers have not necessarily narrowed down their list of potential targets for the No. 2 overall pick.
Although there is reason to believe former Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa tops the team’s list, the 49ers are still formulating a plan to consider all options, including potential trades, that could become available prior to next month’s draft.
The 49ers have six draft picks, including the No. 2 overall selection.
“We’re looking at a ton of people right there and kind of figuring out, ‘OK, if we’re here, this is what we’re doing,’ ” 49ers general manager John Lynch said. “If not, we got to be prepared to understand who are the guys we like that we think can make us a better football team.”
The NFL owners meeting is a time when coaches and general managers can get together over a cold, icy or neat beverage to discuss different trade scenarios.
On the surface, the 49ers’ decision at No. 2 looks simple: Come up with two names, in order. If the Arizona Cardinals take the first player on the list at No. 1 overall, select the second guy on the list.
Boom! There you go.
But 49ers CEO Jed York said it’s imperative for Lynch, coach Kyle Shanahan and executive vice president of football operations Paraag Marathe to have a more detailed plan in place.
“We’re very, very happy with players who will be there at two,” York said. “And we need to be prepared, if somebody offers a trade that is too good to pass up, we need to know what we’ll do if we move back and what would we not take.
“You have to have that planned out beforehand because if you’re trying to figure all that stuff out, it’s OK in the second or third round, but when you’re the second pick in the draft, you can’t do that on the fly. It’s way, way too hard, so you need to get a sense of it.”
Bosa, Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams and Kentucky edge rusher Josh Allen are scheduled to visit the 49ers next month. Each is worthy of serious consideration for a high draft pick.
“You really want to come out of it with a player who is really going to be able to change the fortunes of your franchise,” Lynch said. “This year is a draft that’s very deep and there are also very good players at the top, so I think we’re in good position.”
The 49ers finished last season with a 4-12 record to be assigned the No. 2 overall pick. They need at least one difference-making player to make an immediate impact.
“I don’t expect to be drafting in the top two again, and if that’s the case, you have to add really, really talented players,” York said. “Or you have to get a ton of capital in order to move back, so you can make up for maybe not getting that No. 2 guy in the draft, but you’re getting a lot in return if you’re going to give up that opportunity.”
The first wave of free agency has ended, and the attention shifts toward the three-day draft, which kicks off on April 25. The conversations at the owners meeting are an important part of the draft process.
“Things aren’t fully in focus, yet, in terms of what everybody is going to do,” York said. “But this week helps you at least get a better sense of that and just keep working toward your plan so you’re ready when the whistle blows come draft day.”