Kevin from Los Angeles suggests the San Francisco 49ers could "easily" use their NFL-high 14 draft choices this year to leverage higher-round picks in future drafts.
"It seems like a team desperate for bodies this year would gladly give up future picks," Kevin writes via the NFC West mailbag. "With the glaring needs of some teams, wouldn't it be possible for them to go into the 2014 draft with six or seven picks in the first three rounds, or even the 2015 draft with 10 such picks?"
2013 Draft: 49ers Picks
Sando: I think the 49ers would like to use some of those 14 choices to set up future drafts. Eleven of the 14 picks are eligible for trading. The three compensatory choices are not.
The chart shows which picks the 49ers hold at present. The 31st or 34th choices come to mind as ammunition for landing a first-round choice next year. A look back at recent drafts could provide some precedent.
In 2009, the Seattle Seahawks sent the 37th overall choice to the Denver Broncos for a 2010 first-round pick. This trade worked out great for Seattle. Denver used the 37th pick for Alphonso Smith, who lasted one season with the team. The pick Seattle got from Denver wound up being 14th overall. The Seahawks used that choice to select Earl Thomas, who has become a Pro Bowl safety.
The Broncos made that trade with Seattle in part because they had an additional 2010 first-round choice acquired from Chicago in the Jay Cutler trade. The 49ers' division rival, St. Louis, has an additional first-rounder in 2014. I don't think the Rams will be trading that pick to San Francisco.
In 2006, the New York Jets traded the 35th pick to the Washington Redskins for the 53rd and 189th choices, plus a second-rounder the next year. The Redskins made that move because they wanted Rocky McIntosh.
Those are a few examples of teams acquiring future picks. The 49ers are in prime position to do the same. They appear to have more picks than available roster spots. There are no guarantees another team will play along, however.