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Teams could call the Niners if a quarterback or offensive tackle they covet falls to No. 31

One thing that makes a first-round pick so valuable is the coveted fifth-year option. As we have daily discussions surrounding San Francisco 49ers Brandon Aiyuk, the Niners don’t have to do anything this offseason since he’s under contract for another season.

Rob Lowder, host of The Striking Gold podcast, raised an intriguing possibility when discussing the prospects the 49ers are evaluating. He suggests that San Francisco might be preparing a contingency plan in case they are not satisfied with the available players at pick No. 31. This could involve a team making a tempting offer for a quarterback or an offensive tackle, allowing them to secure the fifth-year option.

Let’s say Oregon quarterback Bo Nix or Washington’s quarterback Michael Penix is available, and a team like the Denver Broncos or Las Vegas Raiders offer their third-rounder this year and a second-round pick next year to move into the first round. It’d be an offer John Lynch has no choice to consider.

You never know how the board will fall, so covering all of your bases is smart. The Niners understand they need a group of prospects to fall back on if they decide to trade back. The temptation is thinking beyond 2024. Those extra picks give you more swings to secure a starter.

Thanks to Steph Sanchez, let’s discuss some of the prospects in the top 50 range the Niners have met with. One that stands out is Alabama’s pass rusher Chris Braswell.

He had eight sacks and three forced fumbles for the Crimson Tide last year. He was used as an edge setter on the strong side. But at the NFL Combine, Braswell ran surprisingly fast. At 6’3, 251 pounds, Braswell ran a 4.6 40-yard dash. He’s viewed as a “safe” pick.

We’ve discussed the other three at some point, as Texas wide receiver Xavier Worthy—Mr. 4.21 himself—BYU’s offensive tackle Kingsley Suamataia and Washington’s right tackle Roger Rosengarten are all options in a trade-down scenario.

One name that might be new to some is Ohio State’s defensive tackle Michael Hall. He’s a three-year sophomore who was not a full-time player for the Buckeyes. Hall has springs in his legs. He consistently wins with speed off the line of scrimmage, but at 299 pounds, he is strong enough to hold up against the run. Hall is one of the more intriguing prospects in the draft.

Other players the 49ers have met with who may be available in that second-round range are Uconn’s guard Christian Haynes and Houston tackle Patrick Paul.

Would you consider trading out if a team came calling?

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