The 49ers can be major movers and shakers in this year's NFL draft.
Following the New York Jets' hiring of Robert Saleh, the 49ers earned a compensatory third-round pick as a condition of the NFL's changes to the Rooney Rule. That brings the 49ers' total selections to 10.
The 49ers' picks, as of this writing and per Tankathon, are as follows. Draft order following the third round is subject to change as a result of compensatory picks.
- First round, No. 12 overall
- Second round, No. 43 overall
- Third round, compensatory
- Fourth round, No. 108 overall
- Fifth round, No. 139 overall
- Fifth round, No. 157 overall (via New Orleans Saints)
- Fifth round, compensatory (for Emmanuel Sanders' signing with New Orleans in 2020)
- Sixth round, No. 170 overall
- Seventh round, No. 194 overall (via New York Jets)
- Seventh round, No. 204 overall
The 49ers' abundance of draft capital comes at the right time. As many as 38 players are eligible for some form of free agency this offseason, per Spotrac. That includes key contributors in the secondary (cornerbacks Richard Sherman, Jason Verrett and nickel back K'Waun Williams, just to name three) and left tackle Trent Williams. The 49ers won't be able to afford to keep all of them due to a significant projected decrease in the salary cap next season, thus necessitating the team drafts contributors who can be signed to cost-controlled contracts.
Of course, the 49ers also have the ammunition to make a splash, should they so choose. Whether that's enough to trade for Deshaun Watson or move up for a quarterback like Justin Fields remains to be seen, but they should have the ability to move up at least a few spots.