Already boasting one of the most complete rosters from top to bottom in the NFL, the San Francisco 49ers have an opportunity to add to their loaded personnel group this upcoming draft day. Boasting a whopping 12 picks, with 5 of them coming in the first three rounds of the draft, the 49ers have the ability to add a lot of young talent to their roster. But would it be in their best interest to add more talent, or go for a top-tier player?
In the last three years, San Francisco 49ers have been participants in the NFC Championship, and even made a Super Bowl appearance one of those years. In each of these games, they came up short, losing each game by only one score. It begs the question of what the 49ers need in order to get over the hump and claim the ultimate prize of the Lombardi trophy. In this draft, the 49ers need to consider that this year, quality trumps quantity. The 49ers heartbreaking playoff losses the last three years may have been different if they had just one more young playmaker with the 49er logo on their helmet. That is what they need to look for when May 8th rolls around.
The 49ers’ first pick in the first round is 30th out of 32, so while there will still be quality players at that spot, the big name game-changers will more than likely be off the board. This is why the 49ers need to pull the trigger and trade some of their picks to move up and land a big name receiver such as Sammy Watkins out of Clemson or Mike Evans out of Texas A&M.
All three of the close playoff loses the 49ers have had have come down to the offense having the inability to execute in the clutch when a game-winning drive was needed, and if the 49ers were to use a lot of these picks they have collected and use them to trade up in the first round and pick in the top 15 picks or even the top 10, they could snag one of these vaunted play-makers.
Take the Atlanta Falcons for example. In the 2011 draft, Atlanta moved up from the 27th overall pick all the way to the 6th overall pick by trading away multiple top picks in that year’s draft and the 2012 draft in order to get wide receiver Julio Jones. To put into perspective what kind of an impact Jones made for the Falcons, in 2012 the Falcons played the 49ers in the NFC Championship game, and Jones torched the 49ers with 182 receiving yards and two touchdowns. In 2013, when Jones was lost for most of the year off of a foot injury that required surgery, the Falcons finished the season 4-12.
Julio Jones gave the Falcons the spark they needed to almost make a Super Bowl run, so the amount of impact certain players have who are top draft picks can be vital to a team’s success. This is why it is pivotal for the 49ers to pull the trigger on trading up to get a top draft pick this year. This team has been inches from either reaching or even winning a Super Bowl the last three years, and this group of players are hungry and primed to win it now. All they need is that spark to get them over the hump and be able to hoist that Lombardi Trophy and put the heartbreaking losses of the last three years behind them.