We have a trade! Friday saw a couple of blockbuster trades go down and the trade between the Miami Dolphins and the San Francisco 49ers is what started it all. The Miami Dolphins traded their third overall pick to the San Francisco 49ers for their 12th overall pick, a 2022 first-round pick, a 2022 third-round pick, and a 2023 first-round pick. The Dolphins then went ahead and moved back up the board by trading their newly acquired 12th overall pick and one of their 2022 first-round picks to the Philadelphia Eagles for the sixth overall pick. The two teams also swapped mid-round picks as a part of the trade.
While all three teams involved in today’s trades made great moves for their franchises, it is the 49ers who are the biggest story, as they are now in prime position to secure a quarterback of the future.
The 49ers quarterback situation has been one to monitor since the season ended back in January. The team had been linked to Matthew Stafford, but ultimately opted not to offer a significant package for him. There were also rumors that the team was interested in Sam Darnold, but there has been no evidence of significant trade talks. Then, of course, there is the Deshaun Watson situation in which we know they are a team on his list, but with his recent off-the-field issues, trading for him is impossible right now.
All this being said, it was clear that the 49ers were in the quarterback market, and while they publicly expressed their loyalty to Jimmy Garoppolo, the team wanted to get better at the position—and now after this trade, they can easily improve over Garoppolo.
Here is a seven-round mock draft for the 49ers after Friday's blockbuster trade.
Round 1 (No. 3 overall): Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
So, after the team made this move up to the third overall pick, the question becomes which quarterbacks will the 49ers have available to choose from. In this mock, Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson went Nos. 1 and 2, and that’s the most realistic outcome on draft day. So, it comes down to Justin Fields versus Trey Lance, and to me, the answer is Fields.
Fields has all the necessary physical attributes to succeed very early on in his NFL career and the thing about Fields is that he is still just scratching the surface on his potential. Fields is an accurate thrower of the football with outstanding arm strength. He has an outstanding ability to deliver throws from the pocket when pressure is coming on him or defenders hanging on his back. Fields’ playmaking ability is exactly what Kyle Shanahan is looking for and what Garoppolo lacks. Fields’ projection in this system would be seamless and would make him the betting favorite for Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Round 2 (No. 43 overall): Landon Dickerson, IOL, Alabama
Now that the 49ers have their quarterback of the future, their first order of business should be to continue to build this offensive line. The team re-signed Trent Williams in free agency, which locks in a blindside protector for the next few seasons, but their interior offensive line could use some work. Alabama’s Landon Dickerson would be a sure-fire first-round pick if not for the torn ACL he suffered in the College Football Semi-Final. Dickerson has played all five positions along the offensive line but projects best inside at center or guard.
Round 3 (No. 102 overall): Trill Williams, CB, Syracuse
The team moved on from cornerbacks Richard Sherman and Ahkello Witherspoon, so adding more depth at the corner position should be a priority. Trill Williams is a fascinating prospect with very good physical tools. He is a long, athletic, physical corner who has an excellent skill set to match up on the outside. There is some development needed here from a route recognition and zone coverage perspective, but his upside is off the charts.
Round 4 (No. 117 overall): D’Ante Smith, OT, East Carolina
Adding more offensive linemen will be a need for the 49ers. Even though they have a pair of starting tackles in Trent Williams and Mike McGlinchey, I still think they would be wise in adding another young tackle. Because the 49ers won’t need this rookie to start, I believe D’Ante Smith is a perfect player for San Francisco to target. Smith is a toolsy player with very good athletic ability and length. There is some work to be done in terms of technique, balance, and adding more weight to his frame, but this is a player with high upside if he continues to develop. He would have the luxury of sitting for a few seasons and could blossom into a starting left tackle.
Round 5 (No. 155 overall): Elerson Smith, EDGE, Northern Iowa
One of the 49ers' strengths is their edge defenders, as the team has Arik Armstead, Dee Ford, and a healthy Nick Bosa all returning. That being said, it’s never a bad idea to add more young pass rushers to your roster and the 49ers get a very talented player here in the fifth round. Elerson Smith didn’t play this season as his school canceled their football season due to COVID-19, but he put on a show at the Senior Bowl. Smith's, length, athleticism, and power all popped during practices and games, and there is definitely something to work with here. Again, this is a guy who may not come in day one ready to roll, but come year two, he could be a really exciting player.
Round 5 (No. 172 overall): Jermar Jefferson, RB, Oregon State
Shanahan is known for turning late-round running backs into stars, and if Jermar Jefferson were to land in his offense, I would draft him in every fantasy league I am in. Jefferson is an explosive, one-cut runner with outstanding vision and toughness. He is perfect for Shanahan’s zone running scheme and would thrive as a role player behind Raheem Mostert. The team is in need of a new running back as they lost back up Tevin Coleman to the New York Jets in free agency.
Round 5 (No. 180 overall): Anthony Schwartz, WR, Auburn
While the 49ers invested in their receiving corps the past two drafts with Deebo Samuel and Brandon Ayuik, there is still room for more weapons in this offense and playmakers for Fields. Anthony Schwartz is one of the fastest and most explosive receivers in this year’s class and is a true field stretcher. While Samuel wins in the short and intermediate areas of the football field, Schwartz’s game-breaking speed will just make life easier for Samuel as he will clear the safeties out from the shallow area of the field as they carry him vertically. Schwartz would be an excellent addition to this offense and would excel in three-receiver sets alongside Samuel and Aiyuk.
Round 6 (No. 194 overall): Paris Ford, S, Pittsburgh
The 49ers can’t rely on Jaquiski Tartt to stay healthy, as he has only played in 28 games over the last four seasons. Adding a safety should be a priority in this draft and although they waited until the sixth round to do it, they land a really good one. Paris Ford is a physical, playmaking safety who was ultra-productive in college. He will fall because he ran a slow 40 time, but the tape does show a good football player who at worst will be an excellent special teamer for the team early on in his career.
Round 7 (No. 230 overall) Jaelon Darden, WR, North Texas
Jaelon Dardon in this offense? Sign me up. Dardon is one of the most electrifying players in this class, possessing outstanding short-area quickness and suddenness to make defenders miss. He has very good hands and route-running ability and can create separation with ease. I love him developing with the 49ers while also serving as insurance if and when Samuel gets injured.