• Will Cuberos

Players on the 49ers Roster Who Could be on the Draft Day Trade Block

Image Credit: USA TODAY Sports

March 26, 2021 will be a date that lives in 49ers lore.

General manager John Lynch and the front office executed a trade that will alter the course of the franchise for the foreseeable future. The 49ers jumped from the twelfth pick to the third by sending this year’s first-round pick, their 2022 first- and third-round picks, and their 2023 first-round pick, to the Dolphins. While the 49ers paid a hefty bounty to secure the third selection, there are some players on the roster who could be dealt to recoup some of the cost.

Tarvarius Moore

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When the 49ers selected Moore in 2018 draft, he was assumed to be the heir apparent to Jimmie Ward at free safety. Despite getting opportunities over the last two seasons, Moore has yet to claim a starting role in the secondary. The issues keeping Moore off the field have been consistent: lapses in coverage and poor angles.

During Moore’s rookie season the 49ers attempted a position change, having the college safety move to cornerback, a move that highlighted Moore’s deficiencies in coverage and so a switch back to his college position was made. Moore has the physical skillset to thrive as a deep safety; at 6’2” and 190 pounds the rangy safety ran a blazing 4.32 40-yard dash at Southern Mississippi’s pro day.

Moore is only 24 years old, and the 49ers may feel that he can still develop into a starting-caliber player, but a plus-level athlete on a rookie deal may be enticing to a team that needs help in the secondary. Also working against Moore is the 49ers current depth at the safety spot, Marcell Harris was re-signed this season and free agent Tavon Wilson was signed to a one-year deal. The Niners are also hosting former Ravens safety Tony Jefferson this week and is likely to sign the veteran also.

Mike McGlinchey

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McGlinchey has the 49ers between a bit of a rock and a hard place. The fourth-year tackle seemed to regress last year, and it seemed after every game there were cutups of McGlinchey getting thoroughly beat in pass protection, to the detriment of whomever was playing quarterback that week. But while his pass protection leaves much to be desired, he’s still one of the best run-blocking tackles in football.

McGlinchey’s selection was initially a bit of a head-scratcher since the 49ers had Joe Staley and Trent Brown under contract, but much like Brown was at the time, McGlinchey is in the final year of his rookie deal and complicating his situation is his fifth-year option. The 49ers must decide whether to exercise the fully guaranteed $10.88 million fifth-year option by May 3, and the clock is ticking.

There are starting-caliber tackles in the draft who may be pushed down the board due to the depth at wide receiver and cornerback, so could the 49ers decide that the $10 million owed for a fifth-year deal be used elsewhere and make a late round selection on a replacement tackle? If I’m the front office that option would be appealing.

Jimmy Garoppolo

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We’ve reached the elephant in the room, the option that has been staring us in the face since March 26. Unless something catastrophic happens, the 49ers are selecting a quarterback with the third pick (and it ain’t Mac Jones), so what does it mean for Garoppolo?

John Lynch has used the phrase “the best ability is availability” on a few occasions, and that expression applies to Garoppolo. Since signing his five-year $137.5 million deal in 2018 Garoppolo has started only 25 games while missing 23. There’s no way the 49ers can stay competitive with their quarterback missing one out of every two games, with no guaranteed money left on his contract, the 49ers could trade Garoppolo with a cap hit of only $2.8 and $1.4 million over the next two years, while clearing $23.6 million in 2021 and $25.6 million in 2022.

It would be understandable if the 49ers were hesitant to deal Garoppolo while having a rookie take the reins in 2021; by now, we’ve all seen the tidbit of trivia that no rookie has taken a team to the Super Bowl, but I’d counter that no rookie has been put into such an advantageous position before. The 49ers have one of the deepest rosters in the NFL with All-Pro talent on both sides of the ball, coupled with one of the most brilliant offensive minds in football. I think a rookie could be successful, maybe not necessarily making a Super Bowl appearance, but I wouldn’t rule out the playoffs.

Something that also must factor into the 49ers’ decision on Garoppolo is the inevitable quarterback controversy; questions will crop up as soon as Garoppolo has a less-than-stellar game. Would Kyle Shanahan want that distraction during the season? How would the locker room respond to weeks of the same questions? In dealing Garoppolo, the team may take a small step back in 2021, but if 49ers are willing to trade three first round draft picks, then their eyes are already looking to the future.

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