December 4, 2021

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San Francisco 49ers acquire No. 3 pick in 2021 NFL…

4 min read
San Francisco 49ers acquire No. 3 pick in 2021 NFL...


The Miami Dolphins have upended the NFL draft order for 2021, sending the No. 3 pick to the San Francisco 49ers for the No. 12 pick, which the Dolphins then traded to the Philadelphia Eagles.

As a result, the Dolphins finished Friday’s moves with the No. 6 pick in this year’s draft and multiple future first-round picks as part of their haul. Miami also has the No. 18 pick in this year’s draft.

The Dolphins first sent shock waves across the NFL landscape by trading the No. 3 pick to the 49ers in exchange for the No. 12 pick this year, a first- and third-round pick in 2022 and a first-round pick in 2023.

Miami then continued its dealing just a short time later, sending that No. 12 pick, No. 123 and their 2022 first-round pick to the Eagles in exchange for the No. 6 and No. 156 picks in this year’s draft, it was announced.

These blockbuster moves affirm the Dolphins’ insistence this offseason that they are building around quarterback Tua Tagovailoa in 2021, while increasing their flexibility and ability to add elite talent via the draft in future years.

The move also places the 49ers squarely in the mix to draft a top quarterback, but sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that San Francisco is holding on to Jimmy Garoppolo and has no plans to trade him.

“Jimmy is here to stay,” a source with the 49ers told Schefter. “He’s our guy this year.”

The 49ers had been attempting to move into the top five for several weeks now, sources told Schefter. They discussed the Nos. 3-5 picks with the Dolphins, Falcons and Bengals — ultimately deciding to go with No. 3 because they were satisfied with the options that will be there after picks by the Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Jets, sources said.

According to ESPN Stats & Information research, it is the third time the No. 3 pick has been traded over the past five drafts. And the last four times a team has traded to move up to No. 3, it was to select a quarterback.

After a busy free-agent period in which the 49ers were able to keep many of their key free agents, they found themselves with the flexibility to be bold and go find a long-term solution at quarterback.

For the Niners, that’s what this move is about after Garoppolo missed 23 of a possible 48 regular-season starts because of knee and ankle injuries over the past three seasons. Although he isn’t expected to be traded right now, Friday’s move could spur other teams to begin pursuing Garoppolo, who does have a no-trade clause in his contract.

Those offers could come, but the 49ers are OK with the idea of entering 2021 with Garoppolo as the starter and the potential of drafting Ohio State’s Justin Fields, BYU’s Zach Wilson, North Dakota State’s Trey Lance or Alabama’s Mac Jones as the backup. Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence is expected to be selected No. 1 overall by the Jaguars.

That would set up a scenario similar to what the Kansas City Chiefs had in 2017, when Alex Smith was the veteran starter before Patrick Mahomes took over the next year. Kansas City dealt Smith to the Washington Football Team for cornerback Kendall Fuller and a third-round pick after the 2017 season.

The 49ers originally acquired Garoppolo from the New England Patriots for a second-round pick in October 2017. Since then, the 49ers have gone 24-9 in games started by Garoppolo and 5-23 in games under coach Kyle Shanahan without Garoppolo starting.

The Dolphins, meanwhile, have prioritized adding offensive playmakers, and landing the No. 6 pick allows them to still likely have one of the elite playmakers in a class that includes LSU’s Ja’Marr Chase, Alabama’s DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle, and Florida’s Kyle Pitts.

Miami has a huge haul from the August 2019 blockbuster trade of offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil to the Houston Texans. In that trade, the Dolphins received the No. 3 pick that resulted in Friday’s two trades, a 2022 third-round pick and a 2023 first-round pick. They also received No. 36 in this year’s draft, plus picks last season that were used to select cornerback Noah Igbinoghene and guard Solomon Kindley in the first and fourth rounds, respectively.

Including last year’s draft, the Dolphins are now on track to have a run of eight first-round picks over a four-year period. Miami also has two picks in each of the first three rounds of this year’s draft — the first team since the 2000 49ers to achieve that.

The Eagles, meanwhile, could now have as many as three first-round picks in next year’s draft, depending on how much quarterback Carson Wentz plays for the Indianapolis Colts this season.

Philadelphia received a conditional second-round pick from the Colts when they traded Wentz to Indianapolis that becomes a first-rounder if Wentz plays 75% of the offensive snaps, or if he plays 70% of the snaps and Indy makes the playoffs.

The third-round pick heading from the 49ers to the Dolphins in 2022 is a compensatory pick for coach Robert Saleh’s hiring by the Jets.

ESPN’s Cameron Wolfe, Nick Wagoner and Tim McManus contributed to this report.

https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/31141794/san-francisco-49ers-move-nfl-draft-acquire-no-3-pick-miami-dolphins-sources-say