It certainly looks like the San Francisco 49ers are set to take their quarterback of the future with the newly acquired No. 3 pick. The Niners gave up two future first-rounders, as well as their No. 12 pick, to trade up. That is generally not a move any team makes unless they're taking a quarterback.
That would certainly portend the end of Jimmy Garoppolo's time as the 49ers' franchise quarterback. The team has maintained that he remains in their plans, but it is hard to see that as realistic given all that the team is giving up here to take someone else at the same position.
There have been Jimmy Garoppolo trade rumors out there all off-season, starting well before that big trade. His former team, the New England Patriots, has been connected to him, after signing Cam Newton to a significantly under-market deal. The Pats could also draft a quarterback, though that may be more unlikely now that the 49ers' intentions are clear.
Former NFL star Chad Johnson has an interesting take on the situation. Not only does he think the 49ers could hang on to Jimmy G, but he believes taking a quarterback at No. 3 could have the same galvanizing effect that last year's NFL Draft did for Aaron Rodgers, the 2020 league MVP.
Of course, the comparisons fall short beyond first glance. There is, of course, a huge difference between jumping up a few late-first round spots to take Jordan Love, who was always viewed as a project player, and jumping up to No. 3, where the pressure is on for the team to start that player very early on. Rodgers has also always been on a much different tier than Garoppolo. At their best, Rodgers is an annual MVP candidate, while Jimmy G is a nice but far-from-elite player. Replacing Rodgers is a decision that will make or break the current Packers front office. There is not nearly that level of scrutiny on the same choice with Garoppolo. But perhaps Johnson is right. Maybe the 49ers keep Jimmy Garoppolo, he starts this season and has his best year with the 49ers. Having Mac Jones, Justin Fields, or Trey Lance on the roster as the former No. 3 pick is going to remain a huge weight around the necks of everyone involved with the pick, far more than the Love pick is for the Packers if they ultimately elect to commit to Aaron Rodgers long term beyond the 2021 season. [
49ers going after a QB at 3, Shanahan comments on it angering Jimmy G was a nice touch, all i could think about is what it did for Aaron Rodgers in a sense 💭
— Chad Johnson (@ochocinco) March 30, 2021