Barnwell claims 49ers have six players worth a first-round pick

Barnwell claims 49ers have six players worth a first-round pick originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

When it comes to the 49ers’ roster, there’s no doubt it is brimming with talent. But have you ever wondered just how much value their star-studded group holds?

Let’s step into an alternate universe where the 49ers consider tearing down their roster. What kind of return could they get for trading away their stars?

In a recent column, ESPN’s Bill Barnwell delves into this question and identifies six 49ers players that he believes are worth at least a first-round pick.

Two first-round picks and more: DE Nick Bosa

“Outside of the torn ACL that limited him in the 2020 season, Bosa’s resume speaks for itself,” Barnwell states. “With a Defensive Rookie of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year award before he’s even 26, plus an impressive average of 13.5 sacks per 17 games, Bosa is widely recognized as an exceptional two-way defender.”

One first-round pick and more: LB Fred Warner, RB Christian McCaffrey

Barnwell describes Warner as a player who transcends his positional value.

As for McCaffrey, Barnwell notes that the 49ers’ trade package for him may have amounted to something like a first-round pick, but his value has soared since joining the team. He has dominated the league while wearing the San Francisco uniform.

One first-round pick: WR Brandon Aiyuk, S Talanoa Hufanga, QB Brock Purdy

“Aiyuk has truly come into his own this season,” Barnwell remarks. “While his absurd efficiency of just under 4.0 yards per route run may not be sustainable, his numbers would be astronomical if he had a larger role in the offense.”

“Hufanga showcased his skills as a playmaker and hard-hitting defender in his rookie season as a starter. He even earned the title of first-team All-Pro,” Barnwell adds.

Purdy, on the other hand, comes with the added bonus of a very affordable salary. “Between now and 2025, Purdy will earn less than $3 million. While he may not be the best quarterback in football as suggested by QBR, if he can be a solid starter, he would be the biggest bargain in the league,” Barnwell explains.

Interestingly, the 49ers have even more star players who can bring them significant draft capital, but Barnwell believes they fall short of the first-round pick price tag. This list includes OT Trent Williams, TE George Kittle, WR Deebo Samuel, LB Dre Greenlaw, DT Javon Hargrave, and CB Charvarius Ward.

The 49ers boast one of the best rosters in the NFL and seem poised for continued success. However, if they were to completely change direction and initiate a rebuild, they could expedite the process with seven potential first-round picks and plenty of other draft assets.

Rest assured, no one associated with the 49ers, from players to coaches to executives and fans, anticipates or desires such a scenario anytime soon.

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