The 2021 NFL Draft promises to be one of the wildest we’ve had in years, especially with a ton of quarterback talent entering the league. The San Francisco 49ers just made a huge, huge deal to move up from No. 12 to No. 3, sending a ton of future draft capital to the Miami Dolphins.
The 49ers get the No. 3 pick for the No. 12, a 2021 third rounder, and the team’s first round picks in both 2022 and 2023. The Dolphins have been stacking chips to build a contender, starting with the Laremy Tunsil trade with the Houston Texans, and it continues to pay dividends.
In a quarterback-heavy draft, where the first two teams on the board are expected to take players at the position, this deal only really makes sense if the San Francisco 49ers are locked in at taking someone to replace Jimmy Garoppolo. The Jacksonville Jaguars are taking Trevor Lawrence, while it looks increasingly likely that the New York Jets want BYU’s Zach Wilson at No. 2.
That leaves North Dakota State’s Trey Lance, Ohio State’s Justin Fields, and perhaps Alabama’s Mac Jones as the most likely takes at No. 3. Adam Schefter says that the 49ers don’t have “one quarterback in mind” at the spot, so take that for what it’s worth.
And the 49ers did not trade up with one QB in mind. They traded up because they’re good with the options that will be their at No. 3.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 26, 2021
Reading between the lines, it seems extremely unlikely that the 49ers made a giant move like this without having a very clear plan for the pick. The likely explanation here: if the New York Jets pass on Wilson, which seems very unlikely now, the 49ers are happy with him as an option. If not, they know which of the quarterbacks left they want.
Considering Trey Lance already had an impressive Pro Day a few weeks ago, and Justin Fields’ at Ohio State hasn’t occurred yet, most are pointing to the Bison star as the likely choice there.
There’s still over a month until the 2021 NFL Draft, but things are starting to take shape, even if teams like the San Francisco 49ers aren’t showing their hands quite yet.