I love the confidence and courage that the three teams involved in Fridays first big trade showed in order to pull the trigger this early. Taking a swing of this proportion at improving your team is never easy. These moves, in my opinion, are more about repositioning and reading the top 10 spots in the draft than about acquiring one particular player. Actually, I like the moves for all 3 teams and in this order.
San Francisco - This move assures them that they can now get a quarterback. Miami was always going to trade the pick, in my mind. Multiple reasons for the 49’ers to make this deal but a key one, for me, would have been- so nobody else could do it first. Their mindset had to be, if Miami is talking and willing to make the move with us, they will surely make the move with someone else. Thus, this gives SF protection against that happening. They have staked out their turf and nobody else can claim it now at 3. At 12, there was no assurance that this would happen, it was a crap shoot. This gives John Lynch some relief but he has to still be anxious as to who will be there at 3. There were too many unknowns and rumors out there to sit tight. It also tells me that they are more than “ok” with their third option at the position. Can’t just LIKE, gotta LOVE the guy to move up that far. It also tells me, if the information is true, that having current QB Jimmy Garoppolo in the fold for another year and losing him to free agency after the 2021 season (and a possible compensatory pick) is worth more to the 49’ers than any trade value offered up until now. I also think that if Zack Wilson is gone by 3 that the 49’ers will be ok, red-shirting the new guy. I think Justin Fields and Trey Lance have upside but neither are ready for prime time and could use a red-shirt year. I have Fields rated ahead of Lance, slightly. Jimmy G helps that situation regardless of who they pick. But if Zach Wilson should somehow be there. He’s playing and Jimmy G has played his last game with the 49’ers.
Miami- I do not think Miami was ever considering drafting a QB. I don’t think they will ore had an intent to change course on the tanking for Tua experience this quickly, despite what some in the media say. He is their guy and despite the inconsistent evidence of the 2020 season he will continue to be their guy moving forward. The only option that takes them off this line of thinking is a Deshaun Watson deal, which I think is fantasy-land and have thought to be an attempt to create content by most. This move with the 49’ers, combined with the second trade with Philly tells me Miami feels the draft lays out with great value, that works for THEM at the top and not so much once you get outside the top 10. I’ve been in their shoes and understand it completely. By landing at 6, in what looks like a QB top heavy draft, they will likely get a player (non QB) at 6, who they would have taken at 3. So, they have gained additional capital and not given up a thing. I have heard some criticism of this deal but it makes sense to me.
Philly- This is straight confirmation that the Eagles are in rebuilding mode and prefer quantity over quality. Philadelphia needs help everywhere and their mindset is quantity over quality. They were not going to take a QB either, in fact they already have a QB project on their hands and have to build an NFL roster around him in order to give him a chance to develop. I think Philly bailed at the first chance they could. Howie Roseman, their GM, likes to make deals and this was an easy one for him to make because analytics and the value chart back it up as being a good move. I have made many deals in my past where I didn’t even look at a value chart but the Eagles are numbers driven. To me, improvement will come for the Eagles only if they can evaluate and nothing else matters. He now has to turn these picks into players over the next season or two, without any excuses. This deal makes sense to me from the Eagles point of view.
The other winners as a result of these two deals are-
Tua Tagovailoa- By trading down from 3, the Dolphins have made it known to all that he is their guy, going forward. There was a seed of doubt that the media had been sowing to the contrary but this move anoints him (again) without having to publicly say so.
Justin Fields- This is a bit of a projection on my part. Its been reported that 49’er brass have decided to attend the Mac Jones pro day (#2 at Alabama) instead of Justin Fields day at Ohio St. My take on this after studying both on tape is that they have way more questions about Jones physically, than Fields. Mainly “arm strength”. I think Fields physical skills are very evident on tape, I found that I had more questions about these same physical traits as I watched the Mac Jones tape. The best way for an evaluator to see arm velocity is to see it in person. I’m guessing that’s what John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan want to check in person.
Additional angles or assumptions take us back into the mode of conjecture so reading much else into these moves can take you down a rabbit hole. The true valuing of these deals won’t come until we attach names with picks and not only that, we need to see them perform on Sundays. This early repositioning should give these three teams fan’s excitement that their leadership is aggressive and willing to do whatever it takes and has a clear plan of execution, going forward. I love it.