Successful franchises keep a long term perspective in their decision making. This year is the time to trade the first round pick for a later pick and a 2013 first round draft pick and possibly more, if possible. Which team may be interested in such a trade? San Francisco has a need for a guard, and the head coach's former star guard may be available at pick 14. Additionally, the 49ers may feel they are so close to the super bowl that the risk of trading up is worth the potential reward.
Using the draft value chart, pick 14 is worth 1100 points. Picks 30 and 93 in this years draft, plus pick 30 in next years draft (which is valued as pick 62 since it is commonly accepted that a pick in the next draft is valued one round lower) totals 1032 points. Based on points only, the 49ers look like the winners, which could insulate them from media and fan criticism. From the Cowboys point of view, however, the chances of the 49ers picking as low as 30 in the draft next year isn't high. And the potential additional downside is only 2 picks since the lowest first round pick is 32. The potential upside is much higher. Statistics show that on average approximately half of the teams that make the playoffs in a given year do not make the playoffs the subsequent season. The same applies to any other team picking near the end of the draft. Making a slight adjustment to the trade value points for the Niners picking at 23 next year (i.e. losing in the first round of the playoffs) makes the point values nearly identical (1100 vs. 1098).
Draft experts tend to agree that in this years draft, after the top 5-6 elite players, the next 15-20 players are graded fairly close together. Wes Bunting went even further and said there is not much separation between the players expected to go early in round 3 and those in the mid first round. This is the year to trade down, folks.
Imagine the choices at pick 14 are Decastro and Brockers with Cox, Barron, and Ingram taken. Would you rather have Decastro or Brockers or someone rated just lower (Zeitner, Silotolu, McClellin, Upshaw etc.) at pick 30 plus someone like Jamell Fleming or Bruce Irvin (using the 49ers 3rd round pick), plus their first round pick next year? Remember all those 1st round safeties coming up next year? One of them could be added with next years pick.