49ers

Why PFF loved 49ers' DeForest Buckner trade for first-round draft pick

Why PFF loved 49ers' DeForest Buckner trade for first-round draft pick

The news was shocking at the time. Hours after agreeing to a five-year, $85 million contract with Arik Armstead, the 49ers traded DeForest Buckner to the Indianapolis Colts for the No. 13 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. 

Buckner was voted as the team MVP last season. He is regarded as a better player than Armstead and seemed in line for a huge payday. Well, that payday came, but from the Colts instead of the 49ers. Indianapolis signed Buckner to a four-year, $84 million contract extension upon agreeing to the trade. 

While many 49ers fans shook their head at losing Buckner, analytics site Pro Football Focus loved the deal for San Francisco.

"With Emmanuel Sanders departing, the Niners are now in the market for a wide receiver, and by trading for Indy’s 13th overall pick, they are in a prime location to snag one of the elite receiving prospects in Jerry Jeudy, CeeDee Lamb or Henry Ruggs III," PFF writes.

In our latest mock draft between myself and Josh Schrock, the 49ers select Ruggs at No. 13 overall with Lamb and Jeudy both off the board. ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. gave them Jeudy in his most recent mock draft after the first week of free agency.

All three of Lamb, Jeudy and Ruggs rank in PFF's top-10 draft prospects this year. The 49ers need a No. 1 receiver to complement Deebo Samuel and now are in prime position to do so through the draft on a cheap contract.

[RELATED: 49ers, Colts approached Buckner trade with opposite logic]

General manager John Lynch saved money he now can use on a George Kittle extension and didn't have to hand top dollars to Buckner, which PFF believes is way too much for a defensive tackle not named Aaron Donald. Coach Kyle Shanahan surely will miss Buckner, but has to be smiling at the thought of adding a young star as a weapon for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. 

The 49ers' biggest strength took a hit by losing Buckner. One of their biggest weaknesses, however, soon could receive a significant upgrade.

NFL rumors: Rams trading Brandin Cooks to Texans for second-round draft pick

NFL rumors: Rams trading Brandin Cooks to Texans for second-round draft pick

The Los Angeles Rams' rebuild continues.

After releasing former All-Pros Todd Gurley and Clay Matthews during free agency, the Rams continued their roster overhaul by reportedly agreeing to send wideout Brandin Cooks to the Houston Texans in exchange for several draft picks, NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reported Thursday, citing a source.

LA has been dealing with salary cap issues, trying to find money to pay franchise quarterback Jared Goff, all-world defensive lineman Aaron Donald, defensive back Jalen Ramsey and the other 49 players needed to fill out an NFL roster.

The team still ends up taking a dead cap hit on Cooks in 2020, but at least removes the remaining four years of his deal from the books.

With the departure of offensive weapons Gurley and Cooks along with Matthews’ defensive presence, it will be a very different LA attack the next time the team takes on the 49ers.

[RELATED: Here's what McGlinchey had to say on Staley's 49ers future]

After four consecutive 1,000-yard seasons, Cooks struggled through injuries and inconsistency on his way to just 583 receiving yards in 14 games during the 2019 season.

ProFootballTalk reported Thursday that the team already took a financial hit by holding onto Cooks this far into his contract.

With the 49ers aiming to defend their title as NFC champions, the Seattle Seahawks remaining strong and the Arizona Cardinals fleecing Bill O’Brien and those head-scratching Texans for DeAndre Hopkins earlier this spring, there’s a clear new team at the bottom of the NFC West.

If we end up getting an NFL season in 2020, expect the division’s doormat to be in Tinseltown.

NFL Draft 2020: Why 49ers could trade up to No. 5 for Jeffrey Okudah

NFL Draft 2020: Why 49ers could trade up to No. 5 for Jeffrey Okudah

The NFL draft demonstrates to fans just how bold their team’s general managers can be.

Those willing to take a risk and try to move up in the first round sacrifice significant draft capital in exchange for a chance at a home run.

The 49ers happen to be one of those select few teams possessing multiple first-round picks in this year’s draft, giving GM John Lynch an opportunity to make a big splash.

One potential way Lynch could extend San Francisco’s championship window is by fortifying the secondary with Ohio State’s Jeffrey Okudah, writes Bleacher Report’s Marcus Mosher.

In this trade, the 49ers make the bold jump up to secure the former Ohio State Buckeye. But with the 49ers lacking in trade capital this year, they could send picks No. 13, No. 31 and another 2021 third-round selection. 

The 49ers have a win-now roster and could use a stud cover man to pair with Richard Sherman. Okudah is one of the best players in the draft and would give the team another versatile corner who could be used in both man and zone coverage. 

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Okudah is the consensus top defensive back in this year’s draft, combining length to disrupt the passing game with top-line speed, putting up a 4.48 in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine.

The Niners came up just short of hoisting the Lombardi trophy in February, despite holding dynamic gunslinger Patrick Mahomes to just 286 yards passing and the lowest postseason quarterback rating of his career.

[RELATED: 49ers' Thieneman teams with non-profit to make ventilators]

Okudah could provide an immediate impact in the secondary on the other side of Richard Sherman, but should the team sacrifice both of its first-round draft picks to fortify a position that is lower on the list of needs for Lynch’s roster?

Many fans likely rather would see the team grab one of this year's seemingly endless crop of talented wide receivers at No. 13 and then waiting and nabbing a cornerback later like TCU product Jeff Gladney at No. 31 overall.

We’ll find out just how bold this 49ers' front office wants to be in exactly two week’s time.