If one team has the ammo to make the jump up into the top 10, it’s the San Francisco 49ers.
Even though the 49ers employ Anquan Boldin and Michael Crabtree, general manager Trent Baalke is well aware of the fact that one of the two wideouts may not be on the roster in 2015. Boldin is nearing the end of the line at 33 years of age, and Crabtree is scheduled to hit the open market at the end of the 2014 season.
For those reasons, it shouldn’t surprise anyone if Baalke pulls the trigger and does a deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who own the No. 7 overall pick, for the chance to select Texas A&M wide receiver Mike Evans.
Evans has every tool in the book. He possesses the size (6'5", 231 lbs), strength and speed teams covet in a true No. 1 wide receiver. Here’s what Bleacher Report’s very own Ryan McCrystal had to say about Evans:
Evans is a prototypical No. 1 receiver and will be an ideal fit for a team that likes to challenge defenses down the field. Few receivers, even at the NFL level, are as dominant when battling for contested balls, and Evans should make an immediate impact in this area.
But don't mislabel him as a strictly a possession receiver. In five games I charted from the 2013 season (Alabama, Auburn, Arkansas, Duke and LSU), Evans averaged 9.3 yards after the catch. He's a dangerous weapon in many facets of the game and has the potential to quickly develop into one of the elite receivers in the game.
Based on McCrystal’s scouting report, it sounds like quarterback Colin Kaepernick and Evans would have a heyday together. Kaepernick loves to challenge the back end of defenses down the field, and Evans loves to battle defensive backs for contested balls.
Moreover, Evans could come in and make an impact on the outside right away. And we have all seen how dominant of a player Boldin is in the slot, which is why this move makes a ton of sense.
As far as cost goes, the 49ers would probably have to unload the 30th pick, a second-round pick and their first-round pick in 2015. Some may feel that cost is too high, but there’s no way 11 picks are making San Francisco’s roster in 2014.
Another player San Francisco could look to target in a trade-up scenario is Odell Beckham Jr. Beckham Jr. would be a great fallback option if the 49ers missed out on Evans.
The All-American pass-catcher out of LSU may not be viewed as transcendent talent like Evans is, but that’s OK. Why? Because he possesses a lot of the same traits Evans does, according to NFL Draft Geek:
One of the most explosive receivers in all of college football, Odell Beckham Jr. is the type of player with the potential to turn any touch into a touchdown.
Beckham possesses a fantastic blend of speed, agility, hands, and leaping ability rarely found from a collegiate prospect. Beckham does most of his work after the catch, breaking tackles, making defenders miss and running away from the defense. Additionally, Beckham displays a very polished and diverse game; he runs crisp routes, he high points the football, and proved to be one of the best return men in the country this season.
Let’s not forget, the asking price to move up and acquire Beckham would be a lot cheaper than it would be to get Evans. Odds are the 49ers would have to make a deal with the Baltimore Ravens, who sit at No. 17, in order to acquire Beckham’s services.
In exchange for the 17th pick, San Francisco would have to give Baltimore its first- and second-round pick in this year’s draft.
No matter which way you slice it, the 49ers are in a prime position to upgrade the talent level in their wide receiving corps.