Just before the 1986 draft, the 49ers were reported to be looking for the first pick and a chance to add Bo Jackson to their team (rumors that they were trying to trade with Tampa Bay to acquire Bo swirled into the summer of 1986), a trade of Matt Cavanaugh to the Eagles, and some cornerbacks to fill holes in that area, where Eric Wright was hurt and Dwight Hicks’ play was diminishing. No trades had been made yet, though. By the way, the draft was happening at the same time that news was coming out about the Chernobyl disaster.
The Chronicle’s coverage of what the 49ers wound up doing in the draft started like this:
“The 49ers went into the NFL draft yesterday with eight selections in the 12 rounds and no chance to get a top player they really wanted.
They came out of it with 13 picks, which produced a pass-rusher they hope to groom as Fred Dean’s replacement, a potentially good backup running back and a defensive tackle who could be a steal if he recovers from a knee injury.”
The 49ers also got extra picks in the first and second rounds for 1987. Here’s a quick summary of the trades they made:
First-round pick (No. 18 overall) to Dallas for picks in the first (No. 20) and fifth (No. 131) rounds.
First-round pick acquired from Dallas (No. 20) and 10th-round pick in 1987 to Buffalo for picks in the second (No. 29) and third (No. 56) rounds.
Second-round pick acquired from Buffalo (No. 29) to Detroit for picks in the second (No. 39) and third (No. 71) rounds.
Second-round pick (No. 45) to Washington for the Redskins’ first-round pick in 1987 and Redskins’ 10th-round pick (No. 270) yesterday.
Matt Cavanaugh to Philadelphia for the Eagles’ second-round pick in 1987 and third-round pick (No. 64) yesterday.
Third-round pick acquired from Detroit (No. 71) to the Rams for two picks in the fourth round (Nos. 96 and 101) and rights to Jeff Kemp.
For posterity’s sake, here’s a list of what all those trades gave the 49ers in the 1986 draft:
Second Round: Larry Roberts, DE Alabama
Third Round: Tom Rathman, FB Nebraska, Tim McKyer, DB Texas-Arlington, John Taylor, WR Delaware State
Fourth Round: Charles Haley, LB James Madison, Steve Wallace, OT Auburn, Kevin Fagan, DE Miami, Fla.
Fifth Round: Patrick Miller, LB Florida
Sixth Round: Don Griffin, DB Middle Tennessee St
Eighth Round: Jim Popp, TE Vanderbilt
Ninth Round: Tony Cherry, RB Oregon
10th Round: Elliston Stinson, WR Rice
Afterward, Walsh said this about the rationale for picking up Kemp: “The people chasing the quarterback now are so much quicker than they once were, so (a quarterback has) to be quicker in his reflexes and his movement to deal with them and avoid them.”
Talking about the draft as a whole, Walsh said: “I feel very good about it, but I condition those remarks.”