The NFL Draft is over a month away, but a pair of trades on Friday afternoon shook up the draft order and sent social media into a frenzy.
First, the 49ers swung a blockbuster deal with the Dolphins to move up from 12 to 3 for two future first-rounders and a 2021 third. Then, as the dust was still settling from that trade, the Dolphins moved back up from 12 to 6 by sending the Eagles a 2022 first-rounder and swapping a fourth for a fifth this year.
This league never disappoints. It's going to be a fun five weeks until draft weekend.
Brief takeaways for all three teams involved
- The 49ers are in position to land a franchise quarterback, which will presumably be Justin Fields, Trey Lance, or Mac Jones, with Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson likely to go 1 and 2.
- The Dolphins are killing it. They pick up a 2023 first and a 2021 third to move down three spots, where they can still get a stud pass-catcher or offensive lineman. They have an absurd number of premium picks over the next three drafts and might be building something special.
- The Eagles move down to 12 and are building for the future with an extra first next year. They should still be able to get a great receiver or corner this year.
What it means for the Vikings
More importantly, let's think about what these moves mean for the Vikings.
For starters, this finally eliminates the idea that the 49ers would be interested in trading for Kirk Cousins. I never really bought into that idea as a realistic one, but it's off the table for good now. John Lynch and SF are drafting their next franchise quarterback at No. 3.
Here's the more important takeaway: the arms race for quarterbacks has begun, and it almost guarantees that five of them will be taken before the Vikings pick at No. 14.
It seems very likely that quarterbacks will go 1-2-3-4 for the first time in the history of the draft. The top three are basically guaranteed. At 4, I could see the Falcons taking a QB to be Matt Ryan's eventual replacement. If not, and this might be more likely, they could trade down with a QB-needy team like the Broncos. The Panthers could also be in play, but I'm not sure the Falcons would want to help a team in their division land a franchise QB.
After four QBs are taken, I'm not sure the fifth one — whether that's Jones or Lance or Fields — gets past the Lions/Panthers/Broncos at 7, 8, and 9. That's a serious run on quarterbacks that will result in some top players at other positions starting to slip down the board.
Here's a mock draft I did after the two big trades of the day.
In this situation, the Vikings would have a bunch of options at 14, including a freakishly athletic linebacker (Parsons), the top guard in the draft (Alijah Vera-Tucker), a stud cornerback with injury concerns (Caleb Farley), and their choice of any edge rusher they'd like (Kwity Paye, Jaelan Phillips, Azeez Ojulari, Gregory Rousseau).
They'll also have the tempting choice of trading back, which I think remains a very strong possibility.
Either way, an early run on quarterbacks is good news for teams like the Vikings.
Five more weeks, folks.
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