Trading Up the Draft Ladder, What Do the San Francisco 49ers Have in Store for 2021?

Published 03/27/2021, 7:45 AM EDT
September 13, 2020; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan watches before the game against the Arizona Cardinals at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports


The San Francisco 49ers issued a massive signal of intent by trading up the 2021 NFL Draft ladder. The 49ers acquired the 3rd overall pick in the 2021 Draft from the Miami Dolphins in exchange for the 12th overall pick in the upcoming draft along with several other picks. 

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The franchise reportedly also parted ways with their 2022 and 2023 1st-round picks and a compensatory 3rd-round pick for 2022. Heavy capital to move up 9 spots in the upcoming draft. 

But what exactly is their plan? What could’ve prompted the franchise to part ways with so much draft capital to trade up the ladder? The answer, we believe, is the urge to nab a new quarterback.

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San Francisco 49ers going all in for a QB  

This year’s draft class is undoubtedly quarterback heavy. With elite talents such as Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields, Zach Wilson, Trey Lance and Mac Jones in the fray, a lot of franchises will be looking to address their quarterback woes in this window. 

While Lawrence is almost certainly going to be picked by the Jacksonville Jaguars with the 1st overall pick, the uncertainty of the draft really begins to unravel from the 2nd overall pick. 

The New York Jets, who are the current holders of this pick, have quarterback woes of their own. QB Sam Darnold hasn’t exactly lived up to the lofty expectations that many had from him for his time in the Big Apple. 

So there’s a good possibility that the team might go for a QB as well. Now the two players jostling for that #2 spot are BYU’s Zach Wilson and Ohio’s Justin Fields. 

If the Jets end up picking one, then the San Francisco 49ers will have to go for the other or look at Lance and Jones. But drafting a QB also puts the future of current QB1 Jimmy Garoppolo in doubt.

According to reports, earlier in the offseason, the franchise rejected trade deals involving the QB, maintaining that Garoppolo is their mainstay quarterback. But drafting a quarterback that high in the draft would clearly go against that statement.  

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49ers in search of that missing piece

The 49ers willingness to part ways with so much draft capital is indicative of one thing. The side firmly believes that the player they draft with this 3rd pick will be the final piece in the puzzle for a team that will be touted to make a run for the Super Bowl.

Giving away two future 1st-round picks, the San Francisco 49ers clearly believe they have the rest of the tools they need to make that final push. And it’s not wrong of Head Coach Kyle Shanahan and the organization to feel so. 

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – NOVEMBER 01: Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers looks on before their game against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on November 01, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

The side has a great defense, which was unfortunately ravaged by injuries last season. They have an elite O-Line headed by offensive tackle Trent Williams. The franchise even has one of the league’s tight-ends in George Kittle. 

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This same side led by the same Head Coach made the Super Bowl a little over 2 years ago. The only question that remains in the eyes of many is the consistency of their quarterback. Something that we believe the 49ers are looking to address with their aggressive draft moves. 

If the San Francisco 49ers do go for a QB, who do you think would the best fit for the franchise’s West Coast offense?

ALSO READ- Former New England Patriots Teammate Calls Jimmy Garoppolo a ‘Winner’

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Shivayan Roy

555 articles

Shivayan Roy is currently an NFL writer at EssentiallySports. After completing his Masters Diploma in Journalism from the Asian College of Journalism, Roy functioned as a reporter for Goal.com and extensively covered the FIFA U-17 World Cup.

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