The biggest trade of the 2021 season (and possibly beyond) was casually dropped onto the NFL landscape on Friday. As Adam Schefter first reported, the San Francisco 49ers are sending the 12th pick, their 2021 third-round pick and their 2022 and 2023 first-round picks to Miami for the No. 3 pick, presumably to draft one. of the top three quarterbacks in next month’s draft.
Moments after that deal was consecrated, a follow-up exchange was completed which, while not on the same level as their meaty appetizer, does generate its own tantalizing knock-off effects into the upcoming season and adds to the overall excitement of the day. In that deal, the Eagles sent their No. 6 pick and a fifth-round pick this year to Miami, in exchange for a 49ers No. 12 pick, a fourth-round pick, and a 2022 first-round pick. uninitiated who have never seen the movement Draft Day and felt the thrill of a wave of draft trades involving a significant number of first-round picks, this could feel a bit overwhelming. Fortunately, we are here to analyze it all.
But first: the trades are a huge win for the Dolphins organizationally. We’ll get to the real roster implications in a second, but from an administrative standpoint, Dolphins general manager Chris Grier has essentially turned Laremy Tunsil, a player who stumbled upon them in the 2016 draft due to a harmless video of him smoking what appeared to be. being marijuana emerged on the day of the draft, in four first-round picks. By making the second deal with the Eagles, the Dolphins basically secured the best wide receiver in the draft; a player who would do I probably took with the No. 3 pick anyway, but instead I now have additional compensation for the value of the first-round pick.
Here’s what all of this means for all parties involved …
1. Tua Tagovailoa is safe but there is pressure
The Dolphins were spread out of the quarterback range (the top four picks) on Friday, which means they won’t import any more serious competition for the 2020 No. 5 pick than Jacoby Brissett. The mad rush to hit the top four on Friday speaks to the growing consensus that this year’s class of quarterbacks is elite. Essentially, Kyle Shanahan traded a king’s ransom for the right to select the third best quarterback in class, believed to have ranked first after Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson (as friend Dan Graziano notedShanahan’s former defensive coordinator Robert Saleh is the Jets’ head coach, so Shanahan probably knows what they’re doing with the No. 2 pick.) This is a massive bet on Tagovailoa, who shone higher last year but seemed out of his element at other times. He finished the season in Mitch Trubisky / Gardner Minshew territory in terms of DVOA. A combination of his percentage of completions above expectations and expected points added per attack were also among the worst in the league last year, albeit with a disappointing set of weapons at his disposal. Which brings us to the next point …
2. Miami is getting an elite wide receiver
Assuming picks one through three are quarterbacks, the draft intrigue begins with the Falcons picking fourth. New head coach Arthur Smith and general manager Terry Fontenot have been around to see some professional quarterback days so far, which means they might be in the market for a successor to Matt Ryan (or, at least, they’re offering a good smokescreen). Regardless, Atlanta is probably not in the market for what would be its third elite wide receiver, with so many other pressing needs on the list.
The Bengals, who just lost AJ Green, could theoretically be in the line of a wide receiver at No. 5, but their inability to strengthen their offensive line significantly this offseason may point them in the direction of an offensive tackle. higher.
Either way, a class of wide receiver that many consider generational (or perhaps a bit saturated) means that a high-level receiver will fall squarely in the Dolphins’ lap at No. 6.
3. Jimmy Garoppolo is on the clock
As a follow-up to the latest business news, Schefter noted Through a 49ers source that Garoppolo is still the “kid” from San Francisco this year. It wouldn’t be out of the question to see the 49ers use their former franchise quarterback as a bridge quarterback, but with some teams still desperate for veteran updates, they would miss out on a precious opportunity to mitigate some of the problems. capital loss project they just suffered. I think we’re all looking at his former team here, as the Patriots have Cam Newton on the roster doing less than some quality backups. Garoppolo has maintained a good relationship with his first coach and former offensive coordinator, neither of whom seemed fully interested in trading him in the first place.
Of course, San Francisco reiterating its confidence in Garoppolo could now just be a theater. The 49ers know there is still a carousel of veterans spinning and they would like to get something as good, if not better, than their original investment in the second-round pick for Jimmy G in 2017.
4. Sam Darnold is gone
Why didn’t the 49ers trade to No. 2 to get the best quarterback other than Trevor Lawrence? Probably because the Jets said no. And if the Jets said no, they probably did it because they would have as the best quarterback who is not Trevor Lawrence. General manager Joe Douglas has done a good job of being transparent this offseason, noting that he would weigh all options before making a decision on Darnold, the former No. 3 pick from a previous regime. Douglas is not indebted to the old USC product and has the flexibility to build the list as he sees fit.
While the Jets could theoretically still dish out the second pick and are waiting for a better deal (better than three first-round picks), they appear to be leaning in the direction of selecting their next quarterback at second.
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5. It’s time for Terry Fontenot to shine
There are believed to be four good to great quarterbacks in this draft, which means the new Falcons general manager is sitting in an interesting spot. The draft essentially starts with him, as we mentioned earlier, and if the Falcons don’t want a quarterback (Ryan is 36, with more than $ 40 million in dead money through the 2023 season), they could get a healthy return for No. 4 choose too. Atlanta is a high-end franchise that needs to add components before being considered a championship contender again. Finding those pieces becomes easier with more lottery tickets. Here are some potential business partners …
6. Either the Panthers, Patriots, Bears or Broncos are screwed
All of these teams want to improve at QB, except possibly the Bears, who have already promised that job to Andy Dalton. The Panthers were in the mix for Matt Stafford. The Broncos are highly unlikely to enter Vic Fangio’s third season betting on Drew Lock. One of these teams, or more likely, the majority of these teams, they are in trouble. Unless the Jets are hoping for a bigger bailout for the second pick, or are comfortable with Darnold as the quarterback of the future, the No. 4 is really the only place left to land a quality quarterback in this draft. The price tag for that pick just increased exponentially as well. Recruiting a quarterback has myriad benefits for a struggling franchise, but San Francisco’s unexpected and targeted aggression strangled the market and made that ability very difficult. Could Darnold be an option for one of these teams? Would Atlanta trade the No. 4 pick for a division rival, which seems highly unlikely? Could Denver be the leader in the clubhouse to jump in, given they’re already at the No. 9 pick?
7. Well, we understand that the Eagles lose that game to the Giants now.
I gave the Eagles a deck after their clear tank job at the end of the season. Why would a team risk alienating its top veterans and losing a game just to move up three spots in an NFL deep draft class? This is why. It’s hard to imagine Howie Roseman was playing 3D chess and knew about this deal all along, but the Eagles essentially scored an additional first-round pick by losing that game and losing three spots. But there is more …
8. Jalen Hurts and Roseman are big winners here.
By dropping out of the top 10, the Eagles have almost guaranteed they won’t select a replacement QB in 2021, meaning Jalen Hurts will get this next season to prove his worth as a full-time starter under new head coach Nick Sirianni. Hurts should expect two things: One, that he plays well enough to earn the job again in 2022. Two, that Carson Wentz is successful in Indianapolis. Remember, if Wentz plays more than 75% of the plays in Indianapolis, the conditional second-round pick for which he was dealt becomes a first-round pick. That would give Roseman three first-round picks (the original Eagles, the Dolphins and the Colts). Roseman wins either way, as this loot would theoretically be enough to jump to No. 1 if they’re not sitting there already.
Also: Roseman isn’t done yet. Zach Ertz could be on the move, and while he won’t command a first-round pick in return, the trade won’t be insignificant. Keep an eye out for the Bills and Colts there.
9. The Niners used their extra service capital
One last interesting note is that the 49ers have already capitalized on the NFL’s new program that establishes compensatory draft picks from teams if a coaching staff or executive who is from an underserved group is hired as a general manager or head coach. . With the move of Robert Saleh to the Jets, San Francisco gained additional business capital to play in 2021, which they used heavily.
It’s encouraging for the league if this tangible incentive actually motivates more teams to hire and develop more diverse talent on their staff.