Bill Belichick

2020 NFL Draft: How DeForest Buckner could influence 49ers to trade down

2020 NFL Draft: How DeForest Buckner could influence 49ers to trade down

Whomever the 49ers select with the No. 13 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft will always be compared head-to-head against defensive tackle DeForest Buckner.

Little attention will be paid to the contract sizes. Buckner is scheduled to make $21 million annually over the next four seasons, while the choice at No. 13 will check in at approximately $4 million per year over the length of his four-year deal.

This will always go down as a one-for-one trade, however misleading that might be. The 49ers sent Buckner to the Indianapolis Colts for their first-round pick in the 2020 draft.

Generally, when teams trade a high-caliber, proven player with many years ahead of him, such as Buckner, they understandably want to parlay that move into acquiring multiple players.

Maybe it’s because of the value of adding two or more players while trading away one player. Maybe it’s because teams want to sidestep those head-to-head comparisons. Maybe they want to avoid placing undo pressure and expectations onto a rookie who has enough to worry about upon entering the NFL.

Most recently, the New England Patriots did this after receiving the 49ers’ pick at No. 43 overall in the 2018 NFL Draft in exchange for Jimmy Garoppolo.

Bill Belichick traded out of No. 43. The Patriots picked up a later selection in the second round in addition to a fourth-rounder. When the draft was over, the Patriots had made four trades involving the original pick and the picks acquired in trades. Good luck trying to figure out, exactly, which players the Patriots acquired in connection with the Garoppolo trade.

The 49ers did the same thing four years earlier after they traded Alex Smith to the Kansas City Chiefs for second-round picks in the 2013 and 2014 drafts.

Then-49ers general manager Trent Baalke flipped those two draft selections in five players -- Tank Carradine, Corey Lemonier, Carlos Hyde and Chris Borland -- along with another trade that enabled them to acquire veteran wide receiver Stevie Johnson.

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The 49ers will have plenty of options at different positions with the No. 13 overall pick. If they love a player in that spot, they will undoubtedly make their selection.

Nobody would be surprised if the 49ers address wide receiver, offensive tackle, cornerback and defensive line with any of their top selections.

[RELATED49ers, Raiders go offense/defense in latest mock NFL draft]

But if one or two targeted players are not there when it’s the 49ers’ turn to select in three weeks, they will almost assuredly look to bail out of No. 13. That would allow the 49ers to pick up more selections to take advantage of what is expected to be a deep draft at a number of different positions of need.

And it would also give the 49ers the opportunity to select more than one front-line starter to soften the blow of trading Buckner.

Wes Welker, now 49ers coach, doesn't subscribe to Bill Belichick's methods

Wes Welker, now 49ers coach, doesn't subscribe to Bill Belichick's methods

Bill Belichick's Patriot Way has delivered unmatched success over the past two decades, with the legendary coach and quarterback Tom Brady winning six Super Bowls and appearing in three more.

Former wide receiver Wes Welker, now the 49ers' receivers coach, thrived as one of Brady's main weapons, catching 672 passes for 7,459 yards and 37 touchdowns in six seasons in New England. But Welker and the Patriots had a messy breakup when Belichick chose not to attempt to re-sign the slot receiver when he hit the open market in 2013.

Belichick's way, while proven effective, can wear on players and Welker doesn't subscribe to the no-nonsense approach to coaching.

"I was still upset about it," Welker told WEEI's "The Greg Hill Show" about his departure from the Pats. "I did want to be there, but there was part of me -- I just like enjoying the game. I like having fun, all those things. Coaching now, you learn a lot from the tactics and different things like that, but at the same time putting your own twist on it and understanding -- I tell my guys all the time: ‘As long as we’re giving great effort and we’re on top of our assignments we’re going to be good. Once it’s not where we need to be, that is when we have problems.’

“Kind of being there and there’s a big mental aspect to the game of being prepared, being this, being that, all those different things, but also enjoying yourself and having fun playing the game. I feel like you’re playing your best ball when you’re having fun and enjoying (yourself). I think there were some times where I didn’t really feel that at times for different reasons -- the guys that we had in the locker room, the camaraderie that we had was better some years than others. We had all these different things and when you’re one of the highest-paid players on the team you’re expected to deliver and like a highly paid player. There’s definitely pressure on that and all these different things is tough and it’s hard. Coach Belichick is hard on guys and tries to get the most out of him that he can.”

There's no question Belichick's my way or the highway attitude isn't for everyone. Even Brady chose to turn in his Patriot Way membership card this offseason, electing to finish his career in Tampa Bay with the Buccaneers.

[RELATED: Raiders, 49ers go offense/defense in latest mock draft]

Welker, who began his coaching career with the Houston Texans before joining the 49ers in 2019, no doubt has taken some motivational tricks from Belichick while also crafting his own way that allows his players to be disciplined but also enjoy the journey.

What Kyle Shanahan, John Lynch have said about 2017 49ers-Patriots trade talks

What Kyle Shanahan, John Lynch have said about 2017 49ers-Patriots trade talks

Editor's note: Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch have been forthright in their explanation of how they acquired Jimmy Garoppolo from the Patriots in 2017. In light of a report that surfaced Thursday, here's how things played out in the words of the 49ers' braintrust.

Three years ago, 49ers general manager John Lynch asked New England coach Bill Belichick if he would be willing to trade backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

Belichick said no.

At that point, in early April of 2017, the 49ers did not have any long-term options at quarterback on their roster. The plan was to wait a year for free agency or try to land a possible franchise quarterback in a trade.

Then, Lynch, perhaps half-jokingly, asked Belichick if he would trade Tom Brady.

“Yeah, we were calling about Jimmy, and we did have that conversation and got quickly rebuffed,” Lynch said on Pardon My Take in August of 2018.

“I figured, ‘You know, what the heck, you’ve got to take your shot, right? You can’t score if you don’t shoot.’ So I had to summon up the courage — and, yeah, Bill laughed at me. He basically hung up on me, but, hey, I took my shot.”

Lynch went into a little more detail when he appeared on The Rich Eisen Show on Nov. 10, 2017.

"I'm not going to deny [that I asked for Brady]. That did happen," Lynch told Eisen. "He did shoot me down real quick. It was somewhat in jest, but somewhat kind of being a little bit of a smart aleck as well. 'OK, if you're not going to give him up, what about Brady?' And he nearly spit through the phone. It was a pretty visceral reaction from him. But hey, you gotta take the shot, right?"

The 49ers are on record many times about what happened next. On Oct. 30, 2017, the day before the NFL trade deadline, Belichick reached out to 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan and asked for a second-round draft pick in exchange for Garoppolo.

Shanahan recounted at the Super Bowl how the 49ers ended up acquring Garoppolo.

“It was like 5 in the morning,” Shanahan said.” And we had just got killed — I think by Philly – so I thought he was just texting me to try to make me feel better. But he said to give him a call if I had a second.’ And I called him and he ran it (the trade proposal) by me.

“I wasn’t ready for it. So it threw me off a little. But I was definitely excited. So I told him I had just to talk to John (Lynch). Hung up. Called John upstairs. He came right down. We talked for about 10 minutes. And we called back and said, ‘Yes.’”

Shanahan and Lynch have both spoken about the straight-forward nature of the trade talks. Belichick reached out to the 49ers. He made the proposal. Lynch and Shanahan discussed it. And they called back to accept the terms of the trade to acquire Garoppolo.

“It was nice to talk to somebody like Bill. Very football minded. Very efficient,” Shanahan said. “That’s what made it easy for the three of us to get that done, because a lot of times when you deal with people, whatever they ask for, the next time you talk to them, there’s more, there’s a lot of stuff to it. Bill is great to deal with because he’s a very direct guy. I think we are, too. That’s what made it very easy to get done in a short amount of time.”

Shanahan said he was surprised because he thought the trade talks ended in February when Belichick said he was not interested in trading Garoppolo.

[RELATED: 49ers' players never doubted Garoppolo's return]

“It caught me off (guard) because I know that wasn’t a possibility earlier in the year,” Shanahan said. “And then it did happen two days before the trade deadline. Was very surprising because it wasn’t like we were in talks up to that point. We checked on it earlier in the year and it wasn’t an option. Then when it did, he reached out to us to let us know.

“Once I could put it together and figure it out, it took about 10 minutes of John and I talking and we agreed with it, and we were very glad that phone call happened.”

When asked if Belichick told him his reasoning for trading Garoppolo when he did, Shanahan answered, “No, he didn’t. That’s how the dialogue went. You’d have to ask him that. Good luck with that.”