The NFL was shook up yesterday with surprising trades between the Philadelphia Eagles, the San Francisco 49ers and the Miami Dolphins. All three programs created chess moves to improve their team now, while also setting themselves up for the future.
The Miami Dolphins continued to prove that they are one of the more savvy negotiators in the league, by moving back three spots, but still acquiring valuable draft capital. Ultimately, they moved from the third selection to the sixth, but added an addition first rounder in 2022, 2023 and a third round draft pick.
Not bad AT ALL for a program that won 10 games last year. If the team from South Beach can hit on their drafts over the next few years, and Tua Tagovailoa develops into something special, Miami can be a serious contender for years to come. Who would have ever thought?
San Francisco 49ers
Moving on to the other trade partners, the 49ers and Eagles “showed their hand” on how they view themselves compared to the rest of the league.
The 49ers are clearly pushing in the chips and aiming for another title run. They view their 6-10 record in 2020 as an aberration and feel like their roster is more reflective of 2019, when they were 13-3 and in the Super Bowl. Now they hope with good health, and a quarterback with upside, they should be right in the mix in the NFC West, whom many think is the best division in football.
So the 49ers want to do their part and join in on the fun. My take is 49ers Head Coach Kyle Shanahan is extremely confident in his abilities and believes his scheme can uplift any quarterback — he just needs someone of a certain caliber.
Jimmy Garoppolo has proven to be unreliable and injury prone throughout his career. Shanahan has seen enough. I feel like he would be content on whomever falls to him in the draft at three, whether it is Zach Wilson, Justin Fields or Trey Lance. And if they keep Garoppolo, it would only be as a passing of the torch to the new QB as an insurance policy. Most likely Lance who needs the most seasoning.
In terms of the Eagles, many things were exposed in their trade (and missed trade attempt). The Eagles are obviously not happy with their roster and feel like they are in rebuild mode. In an appearance from Ian Rapoport on the NFL Network it was shared that the Eagles made an effort to move up into the top three of the draft to try and acquire Wilson. However, when they learned that realistically this wouldn’t be achieved, they decided to hit “reset”.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 26, 2021
This fallout provides a lot to digest. For one, it’s clear that Philadelphia is not 100% sold on Jalen Hurts. Two, it shows that the Eagles are now in a wait-and-see approach to determine their future.
Gang Green has solidified two first round picks in the 2022 draft — their own and the one they acquired yesterday. They will also likely add an additional first to the mix if Carson Wentz plays 75% of the Indianapolis Colts’ snaps next season.
Meaning, going into next year, the Eagles would have three first round selections in 2022. With this, they could have the firepower to either A) trade up for a QB they desire or B) build around hurts and solidify their roster.
Regardless, I think the Eagles are in good shape for next season and have the potential to bounce back quickly. But only if the team meshes with their new coach Nick Sirianni.
But in all, it seems like the Eagles view 2021 as a trial run.
How Does this Affect Washington?
To keep it short and sweet, it is unlikely Washington is in the mix for a rookie quarterback this season. April’s draft will likely have a quarterback chosen in the first three selections. And as we say yesterday, Wilson solidified his case for a top-three selection yesterday with this throw:
"That's the throw of the Pro Day season right now."
Zach Wilson showing off 🤫
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 26, 2021
With Trevor Lawrence, Wilson and Fields going in the top-three, only one of the remaining “big four” QBs will remain. Making the Atlanta Falcons’ selection at number four one of the most desirable picks in years.
It will be intriguing to see who will make a move to trade up for that pick, with several teams, including the Denver Broncos, Carolina Panthers, and the Washington Football Team most interested in an upgrade at quarterback.
I think the Panthers are “the biggest losers” in terms of yesterday’s trade because not only are they not likely to get a QB at no.8, but they will likely be boxed out in trades also. I find it very unlikely for the Falcons to trade their 4th selection within the NFC South, meaning pick number four is up for grabs — just not for them.
Realistically, I see the Broncos as the most likely team to make a move to four, and the Cincinnati Bengals staying put and embracing Ja’Marr Chase at pick number 5. Bengals QB Joe Burrow would be ecstatic to have his number one target back.
So where does that leave Washington? On the outside looking in realistically. They are most likely to stand pat at pick 19 and see who falls to them. And honestly, they will have ample choices that will improve their team.
As we stand now, the team needs to improve the LT position, improve at LB, FS, and even add some WR depth. With the way the draft is unfolding, they should be looking at a prime selection.
Realistic options at these positions would be Notre Dame’s Jerermiah Owusu-Koramoah (LB), Virginia Tech’s Christian Darrisaw (LT) or Purdue’s Rondale Moore, all standouts at their position and could make an immediate impact for the team moving forward.
Expect a prudent and patient approach for Washington this April. I’d expect them to stay at 19, and possibly trade back for more selections.
In terms of Quarterback? It’s going to be a “magical” season with Ryan Fitzpatrick as we wait out for a QB in 2022.
Check out the Latest from Full Press Coverage Washington:
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- Fabian Moreau Signs with Falcons
- Washington Football Starts Strong in Free Agency