49ers pick WR in Round 1 of mock draft decided by betting markets

Pro Football Focus published a fun spin on a mock draft where author Arjun Menon crafted a 32-pick projection based on odds implied by betting markets. That is to say each player was selected based on which player has the best odds to go to a team. It’s a fun process, but the 49ers pick for it comes with a pretty sizable flaw.

Menon’s mock sends Georgia wide receiver Ladd McConkey to the 49ers because “it seems like the 49ers and Brandon Aiyuk are moving further apart in contract negotiations with each passing day.”

We’ll put a pin in the assumption on contract negotiations for now and focus instead on the potential trading of Aiyuk itself.

McConkey landing with the 49ers is certainly not out of the question. He’s a versatile, tough WR who spends an almost comedic amount of time running open. It’s easy to see why head coach Kyle Shanahan would love having a player like him to pair with quarterback Brock Purdy for the foreseeable future.

What isn’t accounted for in the world where the 49ers are drafting McConkey because they traded Aiyuk is that they’d likely only deal Aiyuk for a first-round pick this year. Perhaps it’s the Jaguars and the No. 17 choice. Maybe it’s the Steelers with the 20th pick. Either way if we’re going to venture into this world where the 49ers are trading Aiyuk, there should be additional implication that the trade fetched them something in the first round.

Perhaps odds aren’t accounting for that possibility despite the fact “it seems like the 49ers and Brandon Aiyuk are moving further apart in contract negotiations with each passing day.” Maybe McConkey being the implied favorite to land in San Francisco has nothing to do with Aiyuk.

It should still at least be acknowledged that if the 49ers are dealing the All-Pro wide receiver it would be for a first-round pick this year and probably something else. The Titans received Nos. 18 and 101 for WR AJ Brown. Baltimore got the No. 23 pick for WR Marquise Brown and the 100th overall selection.

It’s easy to envision a scenario where the 49ers trade Aiyuk and pick a wide receiver in the first round. It’s also not hard to see the 49ers picking a WR in Round 1 without trading Aiyuk. What is difficult is to see the 49ers dealing Aiyuk this offseason for anything less than a first-round pick in this year’s draft.

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Title: 49ers pick WR in Round 1 of mock draft decided by betting markets
Author: Kyle Madson

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