Thursday, April 15, 2021

49ers trade up to acquire No. 3 pick from Dolphins


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SANTA CLARA, California: The San Francisco 49ers have made a big move to grab their quarterback of the future by trading up with Miami to acquire the No. 3 pick in next month’s draft.

In this Nov. 1, 2020 (November 2 in Manila) file photo, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo passes against the Seattle Seahawks during the first half of an NFL football game in Seattle.

The Niners announced on Friday (Saturday in Manila) they are trading their No. 12 pick along with first-round picks in 2022 and 2023 and their compensatory third-rounder in 2022 to get the third overall pick.

ESPN first reported the deal.

The Dolphins then immediately traded the 12th pick, the 123rd pick and their own 2022 first-rounder to Philadelphia for the No. 6 and No. 156 picks in the draft, the Eagles announced.

The trade by the Niners puts them in position to draft a quarterback with Zach Wilson, Justin Fields and Trey Lance all possibilities. Jacksonville is expected to take Trevor Lawrence first and the New York Jets also could take a quarterback at No. 2.


Drafting a quarterback would likely lead to the end of Jimmy Garoppolo’s tenure in San Francisco either in a trade this season or after a year if the Niners opt to keep a veteran to help ease the transition for a rookie QB.

San Francisco acquired Garoppolo midway through the 2017 season from New England for a second-round pick and gave him a $137.5 million, five-year contract the next offseason.

Garoppolo helped the Niners reach the Super Bowl in the 2019 season, but he missed 23 starts the other two seasons because of injuries. That contributed to San Francisco’s desire to find a more dependable option at quarterback in coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense.

The Niners have rarely taken a quarterback high in the draft, passing up on both Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson in 2017 in the first season under coach Kyle Shanahan.

San Francisco has used a first-round pick on a QB only three times in the common draft era that started in 1967, taking Steve Spurrier third that year, Jim Druckenmiller with the 26th pick in 1997 and Alex Smith first overall in 2005.

For the Dolphins, the trade signals they’re not in the market for another potential franchise quarterback, and will stake their future on Tua Tagovailoa. He was the No. 5 overall pick last year and went 6-3 as a rookie starter.

Instead, Miami is taking a long-term approach toward addressing its many needs after going 10-6 last year, but missing the playoffs for the fourth season in a row. The Dolphins have stockpiled draft picks since beginning a rebuilding project when Brian Flores was hired as coach two years ago. The Dolphins have two first-round picks and two second-round picks this year, an extra third-rounder in 2022 and two first-rounders in 2023.



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