The 2022 NFL draft is almost here, and there’s a seemingly endless amount of options for the San Francisco 49ers to take.
San Francisco currently doesn’t possess a pick in the Top 50 selections, partially due to their run to the NFC Championship last season but also due to their trade with the Miami Dolphins in the 2021 NFL draft to select quarterback Trey Lance.
Bleacher Report NFL insider Joe Tansey thinks there’s a chance the 49ers trade up again in 2022. He offers three points in the draft where they could move up, but his first proposal involves the 49ers getting in the Top 50 by trading with the Jets for their 35th overall pick in the second round.
In exchange for the 35th pick, Tansey sees San Francisco giving up their No. 93, 172 and 187 picks, coming from the third and fifth rounds respectively. The established relationship between the 49ers and Jets head coach Robert Saleh helps, the B/R writer states.
“The New York Jets are an ideal trade partner for the 49ers because Robert Saleh came from Kyle Shanahan’s staff and the AFC East side owns two of the first six selections in the second round,” Tansey writes.
But, who could the 49ers take in that No. 35 spot?
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49ers’ Needs in 2022 NFL Draft
Since the end of the 2021 season, the 49ers have been repeatedly predicted to take a safety in the second round with their No. 61 pick. However, Kyle Hamilton, Dax Hill and Jalen Pitre are the top safeties in this draft, and NBC Sports insider Matt Maiocco believes that all three are likely “long gone” by the 49ers’ second-round pick.
A move up to No. 35 would at least give San Francisco the chance to get Pitre. CBS Sports insider Pete Prisco projects Pitre to be gone in the first, but NFL.com insider Charles Davis believes he’ll at least make it to the second round.
If Pitre does drop into the second-round, the 49ers should definitely be looking to move up. Since his move to safety at Baylor, Pitre has been sensational with four interceptions, six sacks and 29.5 tackles for loss in 23 games played.
He’s somewhat raw due to being a linebacker first in college, but his ball skills and ability to excel near and far away from the line of scrimmage are undeniably impressive for his experience level.
Could 49ers, Jets Trade Actually Work?
While Tansey’s idea for the trade is enticing, the plausibility of the 49ers being able to move up into the first few picks of the second round in exchange for a late third-round pick, a fifth-round option and a sixth-round option is suspect at best.
Utilizing Pro Football Focus’ mock draft simulator, putting those trade specifics prompts the computer to say there is no chance for the trade being accepted. While Tansey may be off in his valuation, that doesn’t mean the 49ers couldn’t get into the early second-round.
In terms of finding a fair value, PFF states that San Francisco giving up their No. 61 pick alongside their No. 105 and No. 187 picks in 2022 and a 2023 third-rounder would give the 49ers an 86% chance of getting the Jets to say yes.
The valuation may differ from Tansey’s proposal, but the Jets do possess two picks in the early second round and if there’s anywhere the 49ers could move up, New York seems like a best-case trade partner.