The 49ers’ decision to trade multiple future first-round picks to move up to No. 3 overall concluded a weekslong process, and Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets that San Francisco held trade talks with both Atlanta and Cincinnati for their respective top-five selections (Nos. 4 and 5 overall, respectively).
However, the Jets and 49ers did not discuss the No. 2 overall pick, according to Schefter. Despite the high cost, the 49ers opted to move as high as they could in this draft. Having turned to ex-49ers coaches to help ignite a rebuild, the Jets have been connected to BYU quarterback Zach Wilson with that choice. The Jets attended Wilson’s pro day Friday, and Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area notes John Lynch was present at the Provo, Utah, showcase as well. (Interestingly, Jaguars HC Urban Meyer did not, SI.com’s Albert Breer tweets.)
While GM Joe Douglas may still trade the pick and go with Sam Darnold, the reality Corey Davis said he signed up for, quarterbacks are a near-certainty to go first and second overall. With the 49ers making this move, QBs should be expected to go first, second and third for the first time since 1999 (Tim Couch, Donovan McNabb, Akili Smith).
The Jets chose Darnold third overall in 2018 but saw the once-coveted quarterback regress last season, and the team has not seen the USC product justify the previous regime’s investment. Douglas not being with the Jets when they chose Darnold figures to be important here. The 49ers trading up points to the team believing the Jets will draft Wilson second, Brian Costello of the New York Post writes, leaving Justin Fields, Trey Lance or Mac Jones — among QBs — on the board after the Jaguars and Jets make their respective picks.
Douglas keeping Darnold and trading out of that draft slot would open the door to another team trading up to No. 2 and potentially leaving Wilson on the board, should the trading-up franchise prefer one of the other QBs. However, Wilson-to-New York has become the most likely scenario after the Jags begin the draft with Trevor Lawrence.
Regardless of where Wilson goes in the draft, the Dolphins trading out of the No. 3 slot almost certainly means the rest of the non-Jags/Jets/49ers contingent will be down to two of these passers. The Falcons have been connected to quarterbacks as well. No draft has started with four straight QBs going off the board.
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