Does trading for David Njoku, Ryan Kerrigan make sense for 49ers?

Dalton Johnson
·3 min read

Do these two trades make sense for the 49ers this season? originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

The NFL trade deadline used to be a dud. That changed last season.

Stars like Jalen Ramsey and Marcus Peters both were dealt before the deadline last season, and Emmanuel Sanders felt like the missing ingredient to the 49ers reaching the Super Bowl. Will more big names be on the move this year?

ESPN's Bill Barnwell laid out two trade scenarios the 49ers could make before the Nov. 3 trade deadline. Neither one is earth-shattering by any means, but both certainly could help San Francisco after a disappointing start to the season. Do they make sense?

Let's take a look.

Trade 1: Acquire David Njoku for Tarvarius Moore

The 49ers need a second pass-catching option at tight end with the oft-injured Jordan Reed out. Reed sprained his MCL in the 49ers' Week 3 win over the New York Giants and was expected to miss six to eight weeks at the time of his injury. That puts him in place to return at some point in the middle of next month.

Njoku caught all three of his targets and had a touchdown reception in the Cleveland Browns' season opener, but then was placed on IR with his own MCL issue. He returned last week, and very well could be a trade candidate with Austin Hooper and Harrison Bryant in Cleveland.

The upcoming free agent started his career off strong and had 639 receiving yards in 2018. He missed 10 games last year with a wrist injury and has expressed his desire to move elsewhere. The 49ers seem like a good fit for the rest of the season, too.

Moore, 24, didn't play a single snap last week on defense against the Miami Dolphins, and played just one the week before. He has been subjected to a special teams player, but the Browns desperately need help at safety. If a straight swap is there, the 49ers should make this deal.

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Trade 2: Acquire Ryan Kerrigan for Dante Pettis, fifth-round draft pick

Barnwell suggested Kerrigan could be a trade fit for the 49ers last month, and San Francisco still has just as pressing of a need for pass rushers. The 49ers have just 10 sacks through five games, and injuries have wiped out all their top pass rushers aside from Arik Armstead.

Kerrigan, like Njoku, also is set to be a free agent after this season. The 32-year-old has two sacks and two QB hits through the Washington Football Team's first five games, but has just a 51.8 Pro Football Focus grade.

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This essentially is trading a fifth-round pick for Kerrigan. Pettis was inactive against the Dolphins, and there really is no reason for him to be on the roster at this point. After months of hearing how he was going to break out this season, that again has been thrown out the door.

So, is Kerrigan worth a fifth-round pick? The 49ers don't have a third-round pick, but they have two in the fifth. If they feel Kerrigan fits Robert Saleh's defense and this team still can sneak into the playoffs, then of course he's worth it. If not, they should hold onto as much draft capital as possible.

Neither one of these trades move the needle that much, though they could be small wins for a team searching for victories right now.