This past Friday, the 2021 NFL Draft landscape changed dramatically as the San Francisco 49ers, Miami Dolphins and Philadelphia Eagles exchanged a bunch of draft picks over the course of two blockbuster trades. In the end, the 49ers came away with the third-overall pick in the upcoming NFL Draft, the Eagles got an extra first-round pick in 2022 along with the 12th-overall pick and a third-rounder this year and the Dolphins got the sixth-overall pick in this year’s draft, a third-rounder in 2021 and an extra first-round pick in 2023.
From the Dolphins’ perspective, this was a brilliant move. They ultimately traded down three spots to get an extra third-round pick and a first round pick to be used for draft capital later. Since the 49ers traded up to get a quarterback most likely, this allows the Dolphins to still get one of the top position players available with QBs likely going 1-2-3. So losing three spots is nearly meaningless considering if QBs going 1-2-3, they are still guaranteed one of the three best position players available. They still have plenty of draft capital and will look to build around QB Tua Tagovailoa, who has a lot to prove in 2021. They are targeting Alabama wide receiver Devonta Smith at number six, who Tagovailoa played with in college.
For the Eagles, gaining more draft picks for the future is crucial considering the rebuild is in full swing. Outside of QB Jalen Hurts and running back Miles Sanders, the Eagles have little youth to build around for the future. So adding more picks to bolster their roster going forward is the right move. Having multiple first-round picks is valuable in building a future core and more of those mid-round picks can turn into gems if the right player is chosen (remember that GM Howie Roseman drafted Jalen Reagor and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside over Justin Jefferson and D.K. Metcalf). If the Eagles can nail these picks, this trade will certainly pay off for them long term.
The Dolphins and Eagles are building draft capital with these two trades while the 49ers are taking a huge risk. They are essentially trading three first-round picks for the QB of their future. While reports have surfaced that the 49ers are going with Garoppolo as their QB for 2021, meaning that whoever they draft third-overall is going to develop behind Garoppolo. With Garoppolo’s injury concerns, the 49ers want a younger and cheaper QB that can lead them to long-term success.
With Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson widely considered being a lock for 1-2, the question is do the 49ers select Ohio State QB Justin Fields or North Dakota State QB Trey Lance? Whichever QB the 49ers select will work under a brilliant offensive mind in Kyle Shanahan while playing with running backs Jeff Wilson and Raheem Mostert, young and promising wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk and All-Pro tight end George Kittle.
I believe that the 49ers will go down as the winners of this trade. They need a young QB for the future that will finally lead them to their sixth Lombardi Trophy. Garoppolo is not the long-term answer and as he proved in Super Bowl 54, he cannot get it done when it matters the most. With a good defense and a vast array of playmakers and a brilliant offensive mind as the head coach, whichever QB San Francisco brings in will thrive, making the 49ers a long-term threat in the NFC.
This is a blockbuster trade that has reshaped this upcoming NFL Draft. Time will tell what team uses these picks to build their roster for future success or if a team made a terrible decision that will leave these GMs forever regretting the decision.