49ers draft clouded after Rams trade for top pick

In what’s sure to be a budding rivalry, the Los Angeles Rams threw the first punch at the San Francisco 49ers.

And they were going for a knockout.

On Thursday, the Rams made a blockbuster trade with the Tennessee Titans to acquire the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 draft. Following a lackluster season with quarterbacks Nick Foles and Case Keenum at the helm, it seems likely that they’re poised to swipe one of the top prospects from the 49ers grasp.

According to Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times, the Rams’ have narrowed in on spending their newly acquired pick on Carson Wentz of North Dakota State. However, that still spells trouble for the 49ers.

Even should Los Angeles take Wentz off the board, the 49ers won’t likely be able to realize their goal of bringing the Bay Area kid-Jared Goff-to the team.

The Cleveland Browns and their No. 2 pick will almost assuredly take whomever is left standing after the Rams are off the clock.

It was a costly, but potentially lucrative deal for Los Angeles, who now gets to choose a new face of the franchise before heading to their new home.

In exchange for their No. 1 overall, the Titans will receive the Rams’ No. 15 selection, as well picks No. 43, No. 45 and No. 76th in this year’s draft.

Tennessee will also receive the Rams’ first-round selection, as well as a first and third-rounder, in next years’ draft. On top of the No. 1 draft selection, Los Angeles will receive a fourth and sixth-round draft selection from Tennessee for this year’s draft.

There is a solid chance that Paxton Lynch be available to the 49ers at No. 7, but it seems doubtful that the team will spend a crucial pick on the quarterback from Memphis after failing to invite him for a private workout.

One option for the 49ers is to move back in this year’s draft, and acquire more draft picks that the team desperately needs after spending minimally in free-agency.

However, with most of the offensive playmakers sure to be off the board by the time San Francisco picks at No.7, the team can also look at rebuilding their once formidable defense.

Defensive standouts such as UCLA linebacker Myles Jack, DE Joe Bossa, DE DeForest Buckner, CB Jalen Ramsey and DE Shaq Lawson remain options for San Francisco.

On the offensive side, T Laremy Tunsil — who was expected to go to the Titans with the first-overall pick- will almost assuredly be gobbled up by the San Diego Chargers or Jacksonville Jaguars.

This leaves the 49ers with T Ronnie Stanley as perhaps the only offensive difference-maker worthy of that selection in the draft.


Shawn Whelchel is SFBay’s San Francisco 49ers beat writer. Follow @SFBay and @ShawnWhelchel on Twitter and at SFBay.ca for full coverage of 49ers football.