49ers

NFL rumors: Kyler Murray seen 'universally' as No. 1 pick in 2019 NFL Draft

NFL rumors: Kyler Murray seen 'universally' as No. 1 pick in 2019 NFL Draft

The 49ers' dreams of selecting Ohio State edge rusher Nick Bosa No. 2 overall in the 2019 NFL Draft are starting to look a lot more like reality. 

Quarterback Kyler Murray, who revealed Friday that he is meeting with the Arizona Cardinals at the NFL Scouting Combine, could be a lock for the No. 1 overall pick.

"In terms of Murray, people are beginning to believe almost universally he will indeed be the No. 1 pick in this draft by the Arizona Cardinals," Kim Jones said Saturday morning on NFL Network.

Despite Arizona taking quarterback Josh Rosen No. 10 overall in last year's draft, Murray began to be connected to the Cardinals ever since they hired former Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury. And even though he's not going through drills at the combine, Murray’s stock seems to be on the rise. 

Murray measured in at 5-foot-10 and 1/8 of an inch while weighing 207 pounds, making evaluators less concerned about his size. Many believed he is under 5-10, and he played at 195 pounds in college.

[RELATED: 49ers eye wide receivers to pair with Pettis]

If Murray indeed goes to the Cardinals with the top pick, it will be the perfect scenario for the 49ers. The consensus is they would jump all over Bosa, whose combination of bend and power is exactly what the team is looking for in a pass rusher.

The 49ers have their franchise quarterback in Jimmy Garoppolo. Now, they can only hope the Cardinals make Murray their man, too.

2020 NFL Draft: Why 49ers are well-equipped to trade first-round pick

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AP

2020 NFL Draft: Why 49ers are well-equipped to trade first-round pick

The 49ers are set to pick twice in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft on April 23, but that doesn’t mean they will.

San Francisco has seven picks in this year’s draft: Two in the first, two in the fifth, one in the sixth and two in the seventh. The 49ers wouldn’t pick anywhere between the No. 31 and No. 156 overall picks.

NFL Media’s Daniel Jeremiah thinks the 49ers’ second first-round pick is a trade possibility, given San Francisco’s mid-round picks and the potential for a team to trade into the first round and draft quarterback.

“[It’s] not gonna be the 49ers making that pick,” Jeremiah said Tuesday on NFL Network’s “NFL Total Access” (H/T 49ers Web Zone), “but the 49ers trying to collect some picks they don't have in those middle rounds. I could definitely see that being a trade-up spot for some of those teams in Round 2 who want to get that extra year on the contract, come up to 31 and get your quarterback there."

Jeremiah said four QB prospects are surefire first-rounders: LSU’s Joe Burrow, Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa, Oregon’s Justin Herbert and Utah State’s Bryce Love. All it would take for the 49ers to trade the No. 31 overall selection, then, is one team interested enough in a quarterback such as Washington’s Jacob Eason or Oklahoma’s Jalen Hurts to make a deal.

The 2018 draft offers some precedent for the package the 49ers could receive. The Baltimore Ravens traded a second-round pick (No. 52 overall), a fourth (No. 125) and a 2019 second-round pick (No. 53) to select future NFL MVP Lamar Jackson.

[RELATED: 49ers favored to repeat as NFC, division champions in 2020]

That’s not to say Eason, Hurts or any other QB in the draft will reach Jackson's level, who fell to the end of the first round despite winning the Heisman Trophy as a sophomore in his decorated college career. The 49ers, however, likely would be able to recoup multiple picks if they traded out of the first round.

Coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch wouldn’t have the flexibility to do so had they not traded dominant defensive lineman DeForest Buckner to the Indianapolis Colts earlier this month. They acquired the No. 13 overall pick in exchange, setting them up to accumulate more draft picks if Jeremiah’s prediction holds true.

NFL odds: 49ers favorites to repeat as NFC West, conference champions

NFL odds: 49ers favorites to repeat as NFC West, conference champions

If you're expecting the 49ers to be a one-year wonder, you're in the minority.

San Francisco arguably was the NFL's biggest surprise last season, as the Niners improved by nine wins and were one fourth-quarter collapse shy of defeating the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV. The team's offseason priority has been to retain as much of its core as possible, and while there have been a few notable departures -- none larger than DeForest Buckner being traded to the Indianapolis Colts -- the 49ers have been mostly successful in that endeavor.

And, consequently, the betting public hasn't lowered its expectations for San Francisco in 2020.

Within the NFC West, the 49ers (6/5) currently are significant favorites to repeat as division champions, according to FoxBet. San Francisco is followed, in order, by the Seattle Seahawks (11/5), Los Angeles Rams (16/5) and Arizona Cardinals (10/1).

Should the 49ers win the NFC West in 2020, it would mark the first time they've won the division in consecutive seasons since 2013, the last of San Francisco's three straight trips to the NFC Championship Game.

While it's a narrower margin, the 49ers are favorites to get back there, too.

FoxBet currently lists the 49ers as 24/5 favorites to represent the NFC in Super Bowl LV, closely followed by the New Orleans Saints (11/2). The Dallas Cowboys (15/2) and Philadelphia Eagles (8/1) fall next in line, while Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9/1) have the fifth-best odds in the conference.

[RELATED: Sanders picked Saints over 49ers, Packers in free agency]

It makes plenty of sense why so much is expected of both San Francisco and New Orleans, given how strong both teams were last season and their respective developments since. The 49ers might have snuck up on some opponents last year, but you can be sure that won't be happening this time around.