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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Kyle Madson

49ers make big trade for Trey Lance in 3-round NFL Wire mock draft

The 49ers could make their 2023 NFL draft much more interesting with a deal that moves quarterback Trey Lance. While there’s nothing certain on that front, the deal presented in a three-round mock draft from Touchdown Wire’s Doug Farrar would be tough for San Francisco to turn down.

By dealing Lance to the Texans, the 49ers pick up Nos. 33, 65 and 73 in this year’s draft, giving them a sizable upgrade in draft capital.

San Francisco already holds 11 picks between Nos. 99 and 253. Tacking on three more gives them a whopping 14 selections. It was hard to envision them making all 11 of those original picks, so it’s even harder to envision them adding three more without doing some additional wheeling and dealing to move up in the draft when they can.

Alas, the new TD Wire mock gives us a good look at what kind of players the 49ers would be able to snag if they unload Lance for a haul of three top 100 picks. Let’s take a look at their now six picks in this three-round projection:

Round 2, Pick 33 | CB DJ Turner, Michigan

Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Turner relayed the athleticism he shows on the field into an electric performance at the NFL combine when he ran a 4.26 in the 40-yard dash. That athleticism alone is enough to make him an intriguing prospect. He also turned in 20 pass breakups and three interceptions over his last two seasons with the Wolverines. His physical tools don’t jump off the page. He weighed in at just 178 pounds and his arms are shorter than 31 inches. Turner makes up for those measurements with his elite athletic traits though and could be a long-term answer for the 49ers in the slot.

Round 3, Pick 65 | WR Tank Dell, Houston

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

A wide receiver this early would be fascinating for the 49ers. While they have Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel atop their depth chart, San Francisco does need to start exploring the position to ready themselves for a future where they may not be able to afford both of them. Dell would provide an electric option in the slot who can create yards after the catch. He’s not a big receiver at 5-8, 165 pounds, but he posted more than 3,100 yards with 32 touchdowns on 228 catches in 35 games with the Cougars. That level of production makes it easy to overlook his lack of size or elite speed, and placing him in a YAC-heavy offense like Kyle Shanahan’s would be a perfect fit.

Round 3, Pick 73 | DE Tuli Tuipulotu, USC

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Edge help is a key for the 49ers in this draft. It would behoove them to take advantage of some earlier picks by using one on a player like Tuipulotu. He racked up 21.0 sacks in his three years with the Trojans where he played in 32 games with 30 starts. He also posted 30.0 tackles for loss. Tuipulotu is the type of defensive end who has all the tools to step in and affect quarterbacks as a situational edge rusher right away. He has excellent athleticism and can get the quarterback in a bunch of ways. This would be a nice depth addition for the 49ers.

Round 3, Pick 99 | TE Luke Schoonmaker, Michigan

Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK

Getting some earlier selections allows the 49ers to check off boxes like cornerback and edge rusher, which opens the door for them to go with a tight end earlier than they might have. Schoonmaker is a really fun prospect with terrific size (6-5, 250 pounds) and versatility. He should be able to line up all over the field as a pro, and his flashes as a pass catcher show a ton of upside in that area. He had just 54 catches for 637 yards and seven touchdowns in 44 games at Michigan, but as George Kittle showed – college production doesn’t mean much for a TE with traits like Schoonmaker’s.

Round 3, Pick 101 | CB Darius Rush, South Carolina

Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

Rush has been a popular mock pick for the 49ers. While Turner would offer some competition at nickel, Rush would immediately compete for a starting job on the outside. He’s 6-1, 198 pounds and has tremendous length with arms over 33 inches. He also has high-end athleticism to pair with those physical tools. San Francisco would jump at the chance to take Rush if he lasts until this late in the third round.

Round 3, Pick 102 | OL Blake Freeland, BYU

(Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

Offensive tackle is atop the 49ers’ list of needs in this year’s draft, but finding quality players at that spot isn’t easy outside of Round 1. Freeland is an interesting player because his physical tools all scream NFL OT. He’s 6-7, 302 pounds with long arms and good athleticism. Freeland moves like a player who would fit in very well in the 49ers’ run game. He also started 41 of the 44 games he played for the Cougars and saw action at both tackle spots. Some draft analysts question his readiness to play in the NFL, but betting on his upside is worth it for San Francisco if there’s not an OT they feel great about before this point of the draft.

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