49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

April 30, 2014
Target practice: Who would the 49ers be after in a trade-up scenario?

The 49ers and Ravens have a good working relationship. I think I read that somewhere. After all, these are the teams that agreed to a trade of Anquan Boldin last year. They're scrimmaging against one another following a preseason game in Baltimore in August. And, oh yeah, head coaches Jim and John Harbaugh are related in some way. I forget exactly how.

Which makes them potential trade partners next week in the first round of the draft. Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome today said he's already received calls from teams looking to trade into his No. 17 spot in the first round. While I'm sure that his counterpart with the 49ers, Trent Baalke, made one of those calls, I'm also sure that Baalke has made numerous calls exploring both trade-up and trade-down scenarios. That's what general managers do before any draft and they probably make more calls in a year in which the draft is two weeks later than normal.

But let's assume the 49ers did move up from pick No. 30 to pick No. 17, a very plausible scenario considering they jumped up 13 spots last year to get Eric Reid. My guess is that they'd be targeting, in order, one of these players:

1. WR Odell Beckham, Jr., LSU
2. CB Kyle Fuller, Virginia Tech
3. CB Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State

Beckham seems to check all of the boxes when it comes to what the 49ers were seeking in free agency this offseason and what they need to round out their offense. He's a downfield receiver with very good, but not elite, speed. He's feisty and fights for the ball in the air. He's a very good route runner. He played in the toughest conference in the nation (and the 49ers moved up for an LSU product last year). And he also returns punts and kickoffs, and is especially good at the latter.

Fuller, meanwhile, has good toughness and experience and would be a fit both on the outside and in the slot cornerback role the 49ers must solve this offseason. Gilbert is perhaps the most athletically gifted of all the cornerbacks. It's doubtful, however, that he would be on the board at pick No. 17.

-- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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