The San Francisco 49ers are no strangers to the NFL limelight, as the framework of a trade to send backup quarterback Alex Smith to the Kansas City Chiefs was leading news on Wednesday (via NFL.com per Jay Glazer of Fox Sports).
The deal won't become official until the new league year begins on March 12, however.
If Smith leaving Week 10’s showdown with the St. Louis Rams was big news, Colin Kaepernick bursting on to the scene the following week against the Chicago Bears was gargantuan. And when Jim Harbaugh decided to stick with his young gun upon Smith being declared healthy, San Francisco continued its run in the spotlight.
Throw in the 49ers’ impressive jaunt through the NFC—on their way to the Super Bowl and eventual loss to the Baltimore Ravens—and this team has gobbled up most of the league’s headlines recently.
Don’t expect that to change anytime soon either.
After adding the 34th overall pick in the Smith trade (also acquired a similar pick in 2014 from Kansas City via Tim Kawakami of MercuryNews.com), San Francisco is expected to have 15 selections in the upcoming draft—including three compensatory picks.
While it would be unprecedented for all 15 new players to eventually make the team, each of the picks certainly holds value to both the 49ers and any potential trade partner looking to stock up during the draft.
San Francisco has numerous options here and could either bundle several mid-round picks to move up in key spots in this year's draft or parlay them into future years. The 49ers might also look to use their newfound riches to land one of the league's coveted playmakers available on the trade market.
With the New York Jets reportedly shopping cornerback Darrelle Revis (via Yahoo Sports), San Francisco would do well to make a play as the Jets would desire to be in the position of rebuilding their roster through the draft.
Jason Cole of Yahoo Sports is reporting that the 49ers are indeed interested.
While San Francisco has the ability to make the big splash, this team's core of young impact players also allows for more subtle moves to align for another Super Bowl run in 2013.
However this shakes out, the 49ers are certainly in an enviable position as the draft approaches.
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