The San Francisco 49ers made a major splash one month before the 2021 NFL Draft.
In a blockbuster trade, the Niners acquired this year’s No. 3 overall pick from the Miami Dolphins on Friday in exchange for the 12th overall selection, a 2022 third-round pick and first-round picks in 2022 and 2023, according to a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
San Francisco’s vault up the draft board puts Kyle Shanahan’s club squarely in position to draft one of this year’s top four quarterback prospects. If Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence and BYU’s Zach Wilson go first and second overall, the 49ers would have their pick of Ohio State’s Justin Fields or North Dakota State’s Trey Lance.
The move also puts Jimmy Garoppolo’s status with the team further in doubt. The veteran quarterback has been involved in trade rumors throughout the offseason, with his former team, the New England Patriots, mentioned as a prime suitor even after re-signing Cam Newton.
Schefter reported the 49ers have “no plans to trade” Garoppolo. They could draft a quarterback and hold on to the 29-year-old as a bridge starter — especially if they have their eyes on Lance, who might not be ready to start as a rookie after playing just one season in the lower-level FCS — but flipping or releasing Garoppolo would free up $23.6 million in salary cap space while leaving behind just $2.8 million in dead money.
As for San Francisco’s trade partner, Miami subsequently used part of its return to trade back into the top 10. The Dolphins sent pick No. 12, a 2021 fourth-rounder and the 2022 fourth-rounder they acquired from the Niners to the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for the sixth overall selection and a 2021 fifth.
The Eagles announced the trade:
So, in essence, Miami moved from No. 3 to No. 6 and from No. 123 to No. 156 this year in exchange for a 2022 third-round pick and a first-rounder in 2023.