The San Francisco 49ers aren’t exactly a team known for making bold moves. In recent years, they’ve been content to avoid gambling on big-name free agents or overpaying stars, instead focusing on drafting well and extending their own young players when needed.
The closest the 49ers ever get to bold moves these days are on draft day. Last season, they traded up to No. 18 overall to get their chosen safety, Eric Reid. They also traded up to No. 55 for Vance McDonald and 88th overall to get Corey Lemonier. They’re not afraid to pull the trigger if they see a player they want.
Predicting that the 49ers will trade up to grab a player in this year’s draft isn’t bold, however. It’s expected—I’d be shocked if they didn’t make a move to jump some of the corner- and receiver-needy teams lurking in the mid-20s.
However, what if the 49ers really did want to shock the world? What if they wanted to make a move that would create ripples throughout the draft? Let’s make some bold predictions, and see what the 49ers could do.
Now, it should be noted, these bold moves are not all going to occur. Some would mortgage the future more than the 49ers are normally comfortable doing, and some go against their typical draft-day strategy.
All of these moves are possible, however, and with two-and-a-half weeks left before the draft, it’s fun to speculate. So let’s take a look at some of the bolder moves the 49ers could make in the 2014 NFL draft.