Does trading up in the first round make sense for the 49ers…..?

A couple of recent mock drafts have the San Francisco 49ers moving up in the first round of the NFL Draft this year. For as much talk as there has been about this being a historic wide receiver class, the offensive tackle class has just as much firepower at the top.

When you consider the Niners’ potential move to secure a top offensive tackle, it’s a strategic decision. The likes of Tyler Guyton, Amarius Mims, and Kingsley Suamataia could be on their radar, especially if the top four prospects of Joe Alt, Olumuyiwa Fashanu, JC Latham, and Taliese Fuaga are off the board by the top 20 picks.

But what about the cost? Is the prospect worth the potential loss of draft capital? A more precise way to consider a trade-up is by evaluating whether the positional drop-off justifies the sacrifice of your draft capital. According to the classic Jimmy Johnson trade chart — a tool often used by teams for trades in the first rounds — the 49ers’ current pick is valued at 600 points.

In ESPN’s mock draft, the Niners moved up to pick No. 24, which is worth 740 points. That would mean San Francisco would part ways with No. 94 at the end of the third round, which is worth 124 points, and their fifth-rounder, which is worth around 21 points, to make this trade worth it for the Dallas Cowboys.

The more picks you have, the more opportunities you have to find a gem. John Lynch and company must be absolutely certain that the player they are targeting is the right fit, especially considering their track record of success in identifying starters with their Day 3 picks.

A move in front of the Miami Dolphins — another team projected to select a tackle — and we’re talking about a potential third and fourth. Of course, the Niners could use next year’s picks, but you get the gist.

Looking at the work Kyle Shanahan and Lynch have done, they’ve been at their best when they stand pat and take the best player available. Let the board come to them. Don’t pigeonhole yourself into one position. If a defensive tackle happens to be the best player available, build on your strength. The same goes with wide receiver, center, etc.

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