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Miami Deals No. 3 Pick to San Francisco

Big draft news! Miami is trading the No. 3 overall pick to San Francisco for the No. 12 pick, a 2021 third-round compensatory pick, and first-round picks in both 2022 and 2023. Is the next step for San Francisco to choose a new young quarterback and deal Jimmy Garoppolo? Is Handsome Jimmy G. headed back to the Patriots? The plot thickens!

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144 comments, Last at 30 Mar 2021, 11:57pm

1 And then the Dolphins turn…

And then the Dolphins turn around and trade #12 and one of their multiple 2022 first round picks to the Eagles to get back up to #6.

Miami's done a hell of a job with the Laremy Tunsil trade.  They've turned him into the #26 pick in 2020, the #6 and #103 picks in 2021, and a first-round pick in 2023.

3 This kind of reminds me of…

This kind of reminds me of the Serge Ibaka trade for the Thunder. That trade became Paul George, which then became a million first round picks from the Clippers. All for Serge Freakin Ibaka.

Oof, the price they paid for Tunsil looks so horrible now in retrospect. 

6 Smart move by Philly, too,…

Smart move by Philly, too, and I wouldn't be surprised if they're not done trading down. Grabbing a high overall pick this year isn't super-helpful just because they're not likely to be able to build around someone until 2023 at the earliest. Sucks because the QB class is supposedly great this year, but you play the hand you're dealt.

2 Two thoughts:   This is an…

Two thoughts:


This is an underplayed reason why first round picks are more valuable than people think. Its not just the potential draft pick you are acquiring, but the possibility of trading that asset down(or up) and getting something more meaningful. If you are out first rounders, you lose that vehicle to manuver.


For the 49ers....the worst case (and likely scenario), you are going to be giving up three first rounders for the chance to draft the third best QB in the draft. Is this because Jimmy G is too injury prone or not good enough? Either way, I hate this move for them.

I also hate the move Miami just made with the Eagles. Moving up 6 spots for 2 first rounders? I mean, they clearly must have some player targeted that they want but this is bad draft thinking imo. 

9 There is just no way this is…

There is just no way this is a good move for the 49ers. Horrible overpay. Feels like a clear case of Shanahan over-rating his player evaluation and development abilities. Garropolo isn't that bad anyway. 

For Miami, they have so many draft resources next year and beyond that it perhaps makes sense to spend some of them now, even if it doesn't compute from a strict value standpoint. There's the discount rate for future years draft capital (not nearly enough to make the 49ers trade defensible mind you), and there are also diminishing returns on draft picks in any given year; there are only so many roster spots available, and signing multiple first round picks is perhaps setting yourself up for future headaches as their rookie contracts expire simultaneously. Still feels like clutching at straws a little.

20 I am Not Sure

Steve Young made the point—which seems reasonable to me—that this enables them to trade Jimmy G. which  would free up a lot of cap space for the next few years While the QB is on his rookie deal.

26 Yeah I guess the issue there…

In reply to by Raiderfan

Yeah I guess the issue there is, if the 49ers are willing to go to these lengths to find his replacement, who is going to want to trade for him? 

22 Yeah, tremendous value for…

Yeah, tremendous value for Miami trading down with SF (a very risky move for the 49ers with a roster ready to win now) then overpaying to move back up.

There is merit to the diminishing returns argument in the abstract. At some point trading down for more picks stops being a good move because you can only evaluate so many players properly over a three-year window, which is or used to be the standard. No idea if they are close to that or not, however. Even so they wind up picking up an extra 1st to move down three spots, which sounds really good.

Also, this year's draft seems more uncertain than usual due to the chaotic college season, so future assets appear more valuable than usual.

All in all I just can't recognize Miami anymore. Who are these people and what are they getting out of doing a good job. Doesn't make sense. They might start winning if they keep it up.

23 Here's the thing. I…

Here's the thing. I understand the diminishing returns argument, but I don't think it captures first rounders very well.

The thing thats unique about first rounders is that they give you the best chance at getting a superstar. And you have the ability to draft at multiple spots so you can mitigate the diminishing returns issue to a large extent.

Most of all, I believe there was a rigorous study on this that showed its a decidedly suboptimal play to trade up for a player when forking over draft assets. I just think another first rounder to move up 6 spots is a huge premium.

28 As I mentioned, I was really…

As I mentioned, I was really just clutching at straws with that argument. Sooner or later, you have to use your draft capital to acquire players, rather than continuing to trade down/hoard. But I agree in this context (where it doesn't appear to give them access to a top rated QB) it seems hard to justify for Miami.

Above all, over-estimating your ability to evaluate talent in the draft seems to me to be the fatal error. 

30 Maybe if we were talking…

Maybe if we were talking about a team with 5-10 first rounders you'd be better off trading some for higher picks, but at the two or three level, I believe you're right.


32 It's interesting to…

It's interesting to speculate what would be the optimal amount of draft capital to spend in any given year? At what point is an additional nth round pick effectively worthless because there are too many bodies and not enough roster spots for which to compete?


34 Draft value declines quite…

Draft value declines quite rapidly during the early parts of the draft before flattening to a soft decline. Note, that result could be heavily biased because of survivorship...higher round picks are going to get a lot more opportunities to succeed then low round picks will. But regardless that's the world we live in.

That implies therefore that there's very little difference in draft value between third round picks and sixth round picks. If that's the case, then the optimal strategy would imply trying to acquire lots of picks at both tails of the draft distribution, lots of first rounders and lots of six rounders and avoiding the middle.

I should add that in the NBA you see the same kind of draft behavior. Maybe that's also plagued by survivorship, but I think it more likely that the skill distribution really is massively skewed. I would be curious if this is true in other professions as well, medicine or law. 

37 I dont think there's a limit.

It all depends on your roster. For rebuilding teams, that don't have a lot of talent on the roster, more cant hurt. Only do the truly complete teams not need any and even then, there's always a future position that can be filled even if it doesn't look necessary at the moment (cough dont draft a RB at 32 like KC did, TB cough). 

Ok actually, more than 53 would be the actual limit. Lol.

46 I agree with this.  Even if…

I agree with this.  Even if you’re one of the top teams, one or more of your good to great players will either decline or start getting too expensive.  Always good to have a succession plan.  It would be much more palatable to have the successors sitting on the bench if they’re not 1st rounders.

76 Dallas did a good demonstration last year

Picking Ceedee (without trading up!) even though they had Cooper and Gallup. Now they have leverage against Gallup when he's up. And at worst they're letting him walk, getting a comp pick but still having stellar starters that they should be able to manage if they continue to draft well...like that. 

70 It's only an overpay if you don't get the QB you want.

Assuming Shanahan is OK with Fields or Lance, the picks will have been worth it because Jimmy G is not moving the needle in the NFC West.

Arizona and L.A. got better in the off-season while Seattle and San Fran haven't done much at all.

I like this move as long as Shanahan can get the QB he covets and trades away Jimmy G for a decent return.  I don't like the move if the Niners sit on Jimmy G for a year while coddling the rookie QB.  

The arms race in the NFC West wills this kind of move and completely understand why they did it.  

What is Seattle doing?  Their defense, which was already poor, is going to regress again.  Their offense will have the same problems protecting Wilson is has for years.  If Carroll thinks he's going to be able to rely on running the ball and playing defense, he's going to be in for a rude awakening.


90 You have a point.

L.A. is top-heavy in terms of their talent and they've lost some depth.  That said, they still have an upgrade at QB, the best defensive tackle in football and a top 3 CB.  The problem is they lost some depth in the secondary and we don't know what their offense will look like with Stafford.

They'll still be in the mix and I put them above Seattle in the division.

I'm assuming the Niners will be last again.

39 For the 49ers....the worst…

For the 49ers....the worst case (and likely scenario), you are going to be giving up three first rounders for the chance to draft the third best QB in the draft.

Not third best, but third off the board.

It's rare that QB value ends up aligning perfectly with draft order.  It's not so rare that the draft consensus identifies a top tier that have a good chance to be good QBs.  The 49ers have just bought themselves one of those lottery tickets.  It's looking like there are only 4 of them in this draft, and that they're likely to be drafted 1-2-3-4. 

41 Sure that's true. Maybe…

Sure that's true. Maybe their probabilities are all the same. We will never know but I would expect that the third QB off the board is typically assigned a lower probability.

In any case, I don't think I can remember a team doing this when they have a perfectly viable starter. The Chiefs I guess are the next closest example, but that was for two firsts, not three.

52 The third QB off the board…

The third QB off the board in 2018 turned into a superstar last year. The first made the playoffs, the second and fourth look like busts, and the fifth already has and MVP. Buying into that lottery would seem to make sense for SF. Miami already bought their ticket last year.

What this really underlines to me is how dysfunctional Houston is, since they may well now have no QB and no draft assets.

53 I knew this counter argument…

I knew this counter argument would come up. So the lesson should be avoid the first quarterback and second quarterback and always go for the 5th?

I'm glad you acknowledge that this is a lottery and not some rule to follow. The are two questions worth asking: 

what is the probability that this quarterback turns into somebody who's better than Jimmy garoppolo. Heck, he needs to be solidly better than Jimmy G for this to make any sense. If he turns into Matthew Stafford, it will not have been worth it. Like I said the bare minimum threshold right now is a Russell Wilson or deshaun Watson. Just what is the probability of a quarterback turning into that level of player? I'd say it's a 50% chance that the quarterback is a bust and no better than 20% that that quarterback turns into a player as good as the one you're hoping for. And 20% is being charitable to be frank. At any one point in time there are probably five to six quarterbacks belonging in that tier 2 to tier 1 range. 


The second question is whether the probabilities are all the same for these QBs. That basically means you're arguing that pre-draft grades and scouting effectively doesn't matter. That as long as these quarterbacks have a first round ish grade, then it's all the same. Trevor Lawrence has the same probabilities for success as Mac Jones or Trey Lance.


Finally, by your own stated examples, the 49ers should have been staying pat than to do this move. they were picking at 12 and it's likely that one of these quarterbacks with the first round-ish grade was going to fall to them. 

54 Doesn't have to be solidly…

Doesn't have to be solidly better. Draft picks aren't *that* valuable. If he turns out to be exactly the same, he's likely saved the 49ers $100M over his rookie deal. Wentz would've been worth it if the Eagles had traded him rather than extending (or even just let him go). And even then, the extension cost is a gamble on the *next* years: Wentz was still very good value for his first contract.

The upside of a draft pick is it gives you a shot at a player *totally unavailable* in free agency (barring a once-in-a-decade thing). But the *expectation* of a draft pick is only a solid starter.

58 What Pat said about $$$, but…

What Pat said about $$$, but also: 

So the lesson should be avoid the first quarterback and second quarterback and always go for the 5th?

I'd say the lesson is to get yourself one of those top-tier prospects and then try to turn them into a top-tier QB.  It's practically the only way to get one. 

That basically means you're arguing that pre-draft grades and scouting effectively doesn't matter.

They do matter; they're how you classify top-tier prospects.  They don't operate with a high degree of precision, however. 

I'd say unlikely one of the top prospects drops to 12.  There you're into the second tier of QBs like Jones & Mond & Trask. 

4 Has to be for a qb

This has to be for a qb. It's a lot of capital to get the third best qb, though 

This will entirely be judged on outcome. If it works out, no one will remember what it cost. If it doesn't, no one will forget 

5 That's correct, but we…

That's correct, but we really shouldn't view it that way. I don't care how well John Lynch thinks he can scout Qbs, I have no faith he has some inside scoop that others are missing.

Bottom line, is it ever worth trading 3 first rounders for a qb prospect? I guess if its Trevor Lawrence then sure - but basically at this price, whoever they pick at a minimum will need to be Deshawn Watson level or have an Eli Manning career to justify this price. 

19 To be clear they're paying a…

To be clear they're paying a premium of 2 first rounders - you always need a first round pick to pick a first round QB.

Which is... a little high. I mean, it's not huge - paying a premium of 1 first rounder would be brain-dead obvious for a QB. First round picks are successful around 50% of the time, so if you succeed you're doing fine, and if you fail, it doesn't matter since failing on a first round QB typically screws you so hard that all your picks will be high the next few years anyway. Plus you can always try to pull an Arizona and ditch him quickly to some unsuspecting sap of a team for a 2nd round pick anyway.

It's not that huge a risk for San Francisco, though, because they're already relatively talent-heavy and that talent's gonna get relatively expensive quickly. So they don't really have a few years to wait with their own picks.

21 I have two major…

I have two major disagreements.

First, are first round picks successful 50 percent of the time? And how are we defining "successful"? Jimmy G is a successful QB, but clearly not successful enough. The bar appears to be a level above Jimmy G, which is the Wilson and Watson territory. How likely is it that a first rounder becomes that quality of a QB versus Carson Wentz, Jared Goff, Kirk Cousins, etc. Also, they aren't acquiring the first overall pick, nor even the second. How likely is it that the third QB selected becomes Wilson or Watson? 

Second- the 49ers are talent rich, but they are acquiring a rookie qb. That's usually not a recipe to win a title in year 1. This trade extends to two seasons from now. How talent rich will they remain then? Talented rosters have a very short lifespan


24 First, are first round picks…

First, are first round picks successful 50 percent of the time? And how are we defining "successful"? Jimmy G is a successful QB, but clearly not successful enough.

Garoppolo wasn't a first-round pick, though. He was a very late 2nd round pick.

25 The bar doesn't have to be…

The bar doesn't have to be higher than Garoppolo: Garoppolo on a rookie contract is totally worth it. That's freaking over $100M total, which is vastly more valuable than two first-round picks.

With regard to the 49ers, what I meant was they've got a bunch of talent but the bill's coming due: Bosa's on his rookie contract until next year, Kittle's is cheap this year and then spikes next year, Ford's voids after 2022, McGlinchey's is done this year. Keeping Garoppolo on his current contract will really reduce their flexibility. However, a QB on a rookie contract gives them huge room for the next few years.

So like I said, yeah, it's a risk, but it's not a terrible risk from the 49ers point of view. In some sense it's all upside: sticking with Garoppolo means the team runs into a ton of trouble for the next few years, which is the same situation they're in if they screw up the QB pick.

56 Jimmy G on a rookie contract…

Jimmy G on a rookie contract is worth 3 first rounders is what you are saying then? But even this analogy is flawed because Jimmy G has more certainty while the draft pick is uncertain in both directions. I would also argue the probability distribution is not a standard normal but probably skewed right, which implies that that player has a higher chance of being a bust than becoming tier 3 and above. 

I guess the other choice instead of this one are paying Jimmy G 30 something million ( I'm on the fence on) or trading this years plus next year's for Mack Jones, or drafting some development player later on. I'm not sure there is a clean answer here, but the the move they made carries the most upside and the most downside. I just think it's more weighted towards the downside and that's why I don't like it.




57 Hell yes he is. First…

Hell yes he is. First rounders average to about a half a starter. Garoppolo's market value is easily 30M, and at 3rd overall, the contract will average ~7.5M/yr. Math says that's a net of ~90M. Garoppolo himself is starter-level, so you only need to be able to add half a starter with the cash savings and you're balanced out. Easy.

Yes, you're sacrificing the upside of getting possibly 3 elite talents cheap, but the chance of that is negligible.

Even Trubisky wouldn't have been a net loss for the Bears if they had just stick with him rather than sink cash into Foles. Just bank the savings and trade the picks to be able to move up in the QBs later years.

68 I think a few things are…

I think a few things are being missed. Jimmy G today provides certainty in addition to his 30 million dollar price tag. If he was asking for 40, well that's a different conversation. You can maybe still build a championship team around him. And Shanny is a good coach. 

People are really treating first rounders like they are so bust prone that their value appears marginal. But people don't sufficiently consider the downside risks. If the doomsday scenario happens - your elite talent gets old/declines and now you have some weird roster situation, having no first rounders puts you in absolute jail. 


I can envision many scenarios where the 49ers turn into a version of the Texans, capped out, bad and without any first rounders to spare. In that sense, saying its a risk doesn't quite capture that severe downside. I think as a franchise, setting yourself up to have a prolonged faceplant is the kind of scenario you need to avoid at all costs. This move ONLY works if the QB becomes at least a tier 3(no guarantee) and the left over talent remains good(also not a guarantee) and they are able to mine proper replacements later down(even more of a long shot).

I keep coming back to this point. With paying Dak or paying for a draft upgrade, there is a cost where the championship equity just isn't worth it. I mean, was 4 first rounders a fair trade? What about 3 first rounders + 3 seconds. What about 2 first rounders + Nick Bosa? 


71 The premise is wrong.

Could you build a SB winning team around Jimmy G?   Sure.  They already went to the SB.   He's not an elite QB though and that's what you want if you have SB aspirations.

He couldn't make a 20 yard throw to win a SB, which is something he'll always be tied to.  

I would have agreed with your flawed premise IF he had actually won the SB, but given how stacked that Niner team was it's an indictment of his lack of talent that he couldn't make a couple more plays to seal a game.

They had a lead well in to the fourth quarter.  Yes, much of this is on Shanahan for not running the ball similar to his prior collapse in SB 51.  

If you aren't keeping up in the NFC West you're losing ground...

74 So you're basically in…

So you're basically in agreement that if he had won the super bowl, your entire argument is wrong.

To which I would ask if the niners defense had played as well as the bucks defense did, your opinion would change even if Jimmy G had played exactly the same?


91 We're parsing here, Slot Hooker.

We can only judge circumstances as they occur in real time.  Back then, I didn't know what Jimmy G was or what his ceiling was.  Now that we've seen at least a couple seasons from him, there's a consensus of what he is and could be.  I don't think you build around him for a SB run.  He hasn't proved he can make the routine throws that even a game manager makes consistently.  

Yes, the Niners defense was depleted and tired out in the fourth quarter.  Despite that, all Jimmy G needed was to make one throw for a win.  It might have hurt the Niners long-term because it would have given him more leash, but at least they get that SB which they should have won.

Narratives change easily.

Mahomes has only played well for 1 quarter in 2 SB's.  One quarter.  He could easily be 0-2 and none of this "baby goat" talk even comes to fruition.  As it stands he's .500 in SB's with a loss to Brady.  

Off-topic:  I see Mahomes' career playing out similar to RW in that he had success early but hasn't been able to get back to the SB.  I don't think Andy Reid is that great as a coach and I don't think they can maintain their roster enough to beat Cleveland, Baltimore, Tennessee and other AFC teams who are gunning for them.  Heavy regression this year.


79 That 49ers team was missing…

That 49ers team was missing practically their entire 2nd-strong D-line.  It's why the defense feel apart in the 4th... The first string got tired.

You put way too much emphasis on that one throw, man.  

92 Toad the Wet Sprocket!

You're right and the D-Line was tired by the 4th quarter.

I'm not putting any more emphasis on that throw than John Lynch or any other GM would when dissecting the game.  It's literally a huge tell in determining whether your QB is worth of building around or not.  It was about 15-20 yards heading to the end zone.

That throw changed how Jimmy G is viewed.  Re-watch some of the interviews post-game and by others around the NFL.  Also, that was when Shanahan knew that Jimmy G was not a long-term answer.

114 Unfortunately, not just…

Unfortunately, not just Division.

For some peculiar reason, people are endlessly hung up on Jimmy G's deficiencies. Its so bad that now we're casually tossing around Jimmy G is mediocre/gets you nowhere/gotta dump him and I guess pretending that he fell ass backwards into a SB and that his productivity is all a mirage. Strange no one was saying this about Russel Wilson after he threw a terrible int that literally lost the game(something i'm bringing up purely for devil's advocacy).  


Again, if you believe Jimmy G is some also ran player, then that means there are probably only 5 QBs who you can be absolutely certain are worth paying and that makes this draft trade an even lower odds play than it appears. 



116 The certainty's fine, but…

The certainty's fine, but for the 49ers, that's a certainty of slow decline. Keep in mind: nothing says they actually have to trade or cut Garoppolo right now. They're under the cap. He's under contract. If someone gives them a first-rounder for Garoppolo, hey look, that draft pick only cost you one extra now!

Suppose the trade market just goes away completely. Whatever. The 49ers can hang on to Garoppolo for one year, see how the draft pick works, and then continue to try to trade him later. That's expensive, sure - $23M this year would be stinkin' nice - but hey, they might even be able to trade him pretty darn late! Yes, it'd hurt to keep Garoppolo this year, but you're right, it does add certainty.

The bigger problem with sticking with Garoppolo, for the 49ers, is future years - when they have to figure out Bosa and Ford and y'know, sign 30+ players with ~$30M in cap space (ish). Now that $25M looks more enticing.

Like I said, it's a risk - but if you assume they can't get anyone except at 3, it's a risk with not much downside. If you really wanted to argue for something you should be arguing for them just picking someone where they were beforeThat's where their risk is coming in, not in moving on from Garoppolo. Moving on from an average QB at market value isn't much of a risk anymore, not with the huge money savings.

"there is a cost where the championship equity just isn't worth it. I mean, was 4 first rounders a fair trade?"

If the 49ers had an extra 1st rounder in the next 2 years, maybe? But giving up 2022/2023/2024 would've been a mistake, because that's the full length of the nominal rookie contract.

But really, you're talking about weird situations. The 49ers gave up about market value for a (near) full-round first-round jump, so they're not exactly overpaying. If someone would demand the next 3 years' first round picks for that, something really weird would be going on. The advantage of jumping up to get a QB is you're paying for an average pick, not for the value of the QB there. Pick market value is actually relatively stable, implying that it's a pretty efficient market.

117 Is Jimmy G average? DVOA and…

Is Jimmy G average? DVOA and DYAR numbers for him when healthy suggests hes absolutely not the median QB in the league. Depending on your preferences, you can argue he's among the better tier 3 Qbs in the league. That's not some journeyman QB that you can easily do better than.

And haven't we seen rigorous analysis on the merits of trading up for a player? It almost never pans out from an expected value perspective. Again, I can understand doing it for the top 2 QBs. But the third best? And lets say it is Mac Jones, was it so obvious he was going to be gone by the time they picked 12? Why not wait and then jump to pick 7 and maybe it only costs you this years first plus next years?

That's why this feels like an overpay. To justify it, you need to assume that pick 3 carries higher than average probabilities for a typical 3rd qb taken off the board AND assume Jimmy G just isn't going to good enough with this roster the next two years. 

119 I don’t understand the hand…

I don’t understand the hand wringing over this deal. Jimmy G just hasn’t been able to stay healthy. Shannahan and Lynch just admitted that his lack of availability was a big issue. A player who can’t stay on the field just doesn’t have much value, regardless of what he does on it. If the 49ers had faith that he could play 14+ games per year, they probably don’t make this deal. 

120 The hand wringing is about…

The hand wringing is about the price. Everyone making these arguments is stating the benefits without even hinting at whether it justifies the cost. This rookie is going to be cost controlled, he might be great, Jimmy G sucks so what were they really losing etc etc. 

it's like people believe that the 49ers with Jimmy G are headed toward persistent mediocrity and then total collapse, so why not fork over every valuable draft asset in the name of hoping that the third quarterback taken ends up a star.

I personally think they would have be been better off not giving up so much of their future. 

122 The cost is the very real…

The cost is the very real possibility of having to trot out a sub-replacement or replacement level backup whenever Jimmy G gets injured and has to miss time.  The 49ers are built to win now.  This isn't some rebuilding job.  Despite all of their injuries on defense last year,  I would argue that they still would've made the playoffs last year if Jimmy G was able to start and finish 12 games in the regular season.  Until Jimmy G demonstrates that he can reliably stay on the field (a very unlikely possibility), taking a high ceiling QB prospect is very prudent, especially given Jimmy G's team friendly contract and the rookie wage scale. 

I don't think that we'd be having this conversation if SF could just sit at 12 and take the QB they want there or if trading for Watson was a possibility.  But that's not the world we live in.  Instead, we live in one in which QBs may go #1-4, Carolina and Denver are likely in the market for a new QB, and trading for Watson is a literal impossibility.  Sometimes the real world destroys best laid plans and, in response, you have to put on your big boy pants and make some decisions.


123 "The cost is the very real…

"The cost is the very real possibility of having to trot out a sub-replacement or replacement level backup whenever Jimmy G gets injured and has to miss time.  The 49ers are built to win now.  This isn't some rebuilding job.  Despite all of their injuries on defense last year,  I would argue that they still would've made the playoffs last year if Jimmy G was able to start and finish 12 games in the regular season.  Until Jimmy G demonstrates that he can reliably stay on the field (a very unlikely possibility), taking a high ceiling QB prospect is very prudent, especially given Jimmy G's team friendly contract and the rookie wage scale. "

I don't see how throwing a rookie qb on this roster makes them a sb contender. Sure, he could turn out to be a special rookie, but thats a low odds play. If the goal is to have some insurance policy in case Jimmy G misses time, why not go for some placeholder veteran for that role? Fitzmagic, Tyrod Taylor, Andy Dalton, etc would probably fit that mold. This is a move you make for the long term future, not some short term decision. 

124 The goal is to replace Jimmy…

The goal is to replace Jimmy G. They have shown no indication that Jimmy G is in their plans for 2022 and beyond. In order to fit in the upcoming extensions for key players, they would prefer to have a QB on a long-term deal under a cost-controlled contract. 

The 49ers are definitely a contender in the NFC if they get 16 games worth of top 10-15 QB play.   Bringing in Fitzmagic, Taylor, Dalton, etc. is a poor decision for a few reasons. Firstly, they probably won't be top 10-15 QBs at this stage in their careers.  Secondly, given their ages, you'll need to be on the lookout for a long-term QB solution even after bringing them in.  Thirdly, I don't think that insurance is the right term since they'd be backing up a guy who's played more than 10 games in a season once.  Whoever is backing up Jimmy G is likely to play.  Hence you might as well try to find the best guy you can find. 


141 I know. Since there is a…

I know. Since there is a high probability that Jimmy G won't play 17 games in 2021, I was stating that a combo of Jimmy G + Fitzmagic/Taylor/Dalton doesn't get you top 10-15 QB play over the course of a full season.  Because of Jimmy G's issues with staying healthy, the 49ers have to go into the season knowing that the backup QB is likely to play.  Since the 49ers aren't committed to Jimmy G in 2022, trotting out that combo does not obviate the need to find a long-term QB solution. Sorry if I was unclear.

142 The above statement is true,…

The above statement is true, but its a statement that's true irrespective of cost. Whether the 49ers traded two third round picks or 10 years worth of first round picks, the above statement holds. And yet, we know stating the benefits irrespective of cost is pointless. 

Does anyone want throw out a cost that IS too prohibitive and not worth it? 

143 Sure, I'll bite.  The price…

Sure, I'll bite.  The price that SF paid is not worth it if the first round picks end up being in the top 1/2 of the first round.  I think that the actual deal works out if both picks are in the mid 20s or below, given how expected productivity declines for 1st round picks later in the round.  In exchange for giving up decent draft capital, SF gets a cost controlled QB that they can build a competitive team around for 4-5 years before he becomes prohibitively expensive.  Obviously, the key is drafting the right player who is good enough to ensure that the picks are crappy :).

I really think that people need to focus on the draft as a player acquisition vehicle over a resource hoarding exercise. Trading picks to obtain the right player is not a bad decision.  Trades just increase your downside risk if you end up selecting the wrong one.  Taking these kinds of risk can unlock a lot of value if you act strategically (i.e. the opposite of how Houston approached roster construction under BOB).  For example. a number of people were up in arms after the Steelers traded a 1st rounder for Fitzpatrick even though it was set up to be a smart piece of business unless the Steelers finished as one of the 5 worst teams in the league (hint: they didn't)  - 2nd year player who proved that he could play as a rookie, little additional money left on his rookie deal since Miami already paid his signing bonus, fit a position of need, good fit between scheme and skill set.  I view the SF deal similarly.  Shannahan is going to get a QB that fits his scheme who won't be making a lot of money relative to veteran QBs and he only had to give up 2 low end 1st round picks (lottery tickets) to do it.             

125 "I can understand doing it…

"I can understand doing it for the top 2 QBs. But the third best?"

I don't understand this cardinal logic. The decision to make the trade should be based on the expected value of the player you will select, not based on how many other players at the same position have already been drafted. If John Elway, Peyton Manning, and Andrew Luck were all somehow in the same draft class, would you not trade up to #3 just because two other quarterbacks will have already been selected?

127 That is one way of looking…

That is one way of looking at it. Another way is to look at the 2011 draft, where positional need trumped value. In that instance, the cardinality matters. Can Newton begets Blaine Gabbert begets Jake Locker begets Christian Ponder.

129 He's played 25 games in 48…

He's played 25 games in 48 attempts! You can't use his "when healthy" numbers without acknowledging that he's healthy ~50% of the time.

"And haven't we seen rigorous analysis on the merits of trading up for a player? It almost never pans out from an expected value perspective."

Not sure what studies you've seen, but the ones I've seen generally show that trading up gets the team who trades up more expected output than you'd expect from that spot. There's an economics paper from a few years ago asking why there aren't *more* trades up, for instance. If you're talking about stuff like Massey/Thaler and comparing the relative value at each spot, those analyses generally ignore finite roster sizes and market unavailability of top talent - they're really limited. They also ignore the fact that, on average, teams at the top of the draft are, well, bad for systemic reasons. You don't get to draft in the top half for a decade by luck.

In other words, trades up generally work out overall, but the question of whether or not the trade market for draft picks is fair isn't easy to answer from an economics point of view because the market overall is restricted. However, given that the market is *relatively stable* over time it's safe to say that it's likely fair.

138 I was referring to the…

I was referring to the Massey Thaler papers. Btw, they looked at trades not just in the first round and found the same results held up so it's not as if its just these bad systemic teams. 


140 So the main problem with the…

So the main problem with the Massey/Thaler papers (and similar) is that they effectively treat "total excess dollars" as the thing teams are trying to optimize. As in, if I get $5M performance value out of a linebacker who's making $1M, that's better than getting $9M performance value out of a linebacker who's making $6M. (Where "performance value" is the dollar amount that player would command on the market based on his performance).

Except the thing that teams are *actually* optimizing for is total performance value. If all the starters on your team are generating $6M performance value minimum, adding one who adds $5M performance value makes the team worse. Doesn't matter that he's cheap. And even in Massey & Thaler's paper, they found that the pick with the *highest overall total performance value* is... #1 overall. And it's a completely monotonic function - value just drops straight off.

What was making Massey & Thaler's results Not Crazy was the psychotic salaries that top picks were getting - in the late 2000s you were actually paying a significant premium for top picks. As in, the actual cost was higher than the market cost. But with the rookie cap, all picks have significant excess value, and so it doesn't make sense to care. You just want to maximize the total value.

That mistake just keeps getting made, for the most part - except for one study I found by Band back in 2017. That's the first one I found that attempts to correct for finite roster sizes by matching to the existing distribution of cap resources and properly weighting starter/backups. And guess what? It moves the peak in "excess draft value" all the way up to pick #19, the middle of the first round.

That study still didn't correct for the nonexistent market for high picks, which almost certainly will boost the top parts to push the peak to the top.

131 Not only can they hang on to…

Not only can they hang on to him for a year, but if he performs like he did in his last healthy year, 2019, and manages to stay healthy, he'll be worth a whole lot more in trade than a measly first-rounder.  The 49ers and Garoppolo both have a lot a stake in his healthy performance next year. 

107 Weird question. Now that SF…

Weird question. Now that SF is in striking distance, would it be better for Lawrence to force his way to SF?  I have to think that working with Shanahan and playing in the Bay Area media market for a well-run team is a better short- and long-term move versus taking a chance on the JAX experiment or betting on NYJ to finally get its act together.

7 I'd guess someone at SF is…

I'd guess someone at SF is fairly sure who is being picked 1 & 2, so they don't think they are getting the third best QB, but instead getting the one they wanted all along.

Still seems really a good deal for Miami though. Went down only a net 3 places and still have an extra 1st in the future and more picks this year. Wondering who Miami want at 6 that won't be there at 12 (or it they think they might be able to flip the 6th pick to someone who wants the 4th QB in the draft...).

10 pick 2

What I don't get from SF side is why do this trade on March 26?  How confident are you that "your guy" will be there at 3.  That is, how confident are you that you know the NYJ pick - and will they change their mind by draft day.  You then traded up to 3 for your second choice.  

From Miami side, I thought they were just loading up on more picks so they could afford Watson; but with Philly trade I guess they are not doing that.

11 It makes sense if they rate…

In reply to by jds

It makes sense if they rate two QBs after Lawrence about equal (or perhaps, have 2 they like more than Lawrence, who seems guaranteed to go #1); they really would be getting "their guy."

(This is not in any way an endorsement of that line of thought, just suggesting a plausible process.)

It certainly seems to suggest that Atlanta is seriously targeting a QB. I was a bit skeptical of that, but I don't see why you'd target pick 3 over pick 6 (knowing MIA and CIN won't take a QB) unless you knew that were true.

I had another wacky thought: maybe SF is going to try to move up to #2 or even #1. Knowing the Jets (and Jags) need a complete rebuild, they could package #3, Jimmy G (or the haul they get for trading him), and the rest of their draft picks over the next few years for the guy they think will put them over the top. Probably not, Lynch doesn't seem that nuts, but maybe they're getting antsy for that ring.

From Miami's side, seems likely they figure at least one of Sewell, Chase, or De'Vonta Smith will be there at 6. Seems reasonable - and to my eyes, this draft looks pretty top-heavy, i.e., I'd much rather have pick 6 than 12, moreso than most years.

12 For the 49ers to move up to…

For the 49ers to move up to 2, they would need the Jets to be indifferent to whoever is after Lawrence + it would take the rest of their picks + a choice of Bosa/Kittle.

That would effectively turn the 49ers into the Texans but with uncertainty around how good their QB is. 

15 Oh I'm not saying it's a…

Oh I'm not saying it's a good idea at all. I'm just kind of shocked by this trade, which suggests they're really going in on a new rookie QB to put them over the top. And hey, in for a penny, in for a pound...

I was actually going to suggest trading Kittle. He's great obviously, but he's always hurt, and they just committed a bunch of money to Juszczyk. Even if he's not a part of another move up, he could probably bring back a lot of the draft capital they just spent.

14 It might also help that the…

It might also help that the Jets coaching staff is Saleh/LaFleur, so their draft board probably looks very similar to Shanahan's.  Perhaps the 49ers feel more confident moving to #3 because they're fairly sure with what the Jets are doing at #2.

8 The 2022 first round, NFC…

The 2022 first round, NFC West edition:

San Francisco 49ers: No pick (this trade)
Seattle Seahawks: No pick (Jamal Adams trade)
Los Angeles Rams: No pick (Matthew Stafford trade)

I guess whoever writes those chapters in next year's almanac will get to focus on Arizona quite a bit in March and April.

13 This Trade, Eagles Perspective

For the Eagles, picking up an extra first rounder, and an extra fourth rounder, to move down six spots sounds like a good deal. As a matter of fact, they have a chance to even have three first-round picks next year (if the second rounder acquired from the Wentz trade turns into a first)

However, this may turn out to be a quality vs. quantity trade, and you can debate which is what the Eagles are more in need of. From a fan's perspective, I was hoping for either Pitts, Chase, Smith, or Parsons from the sixth pick. If the Eagles don't come away with a blue-chipper with the twelfth pick, then this trade could possibly turn out to be a flop for them. They're in need of some type of blue-chip, game changing talent.

18 Philly can always bundle…

Philly can always bundle those next year to move up. Future picks are way more valuable to Philly than recent ones because they've got very little roster flexibility in the short term. If I'm Philly's GM, I'd be trying to trade down farther than 12. A pick at 12 is gonna cost like $3M/yr (a pick at 6 would've cost 'em $5M/yr) versus $2M/yr down at the bottom.

16 Trading up is always risky.

The only time it can be safely accepted is when it's for a QB. And in this class there are a lot of them and SF put themselves in position for one. Could get Watson or they could get Darnold. Could get Mahomes or could get Trubisky And in an ideal world teams would give up that for Watson and Mahomes in a heartbeat. It's understandable. Trade for Miamis side though, is a pure W. Great process.

Idk about the trade up for Miami though. Obviously not for a QB but that's what makes it even more dangerous. Dont think their roster is THAT close to being finished as a top contender. I guess looking at now, it they have some interesting prospects already and do have a ton of picks this year (9 as of right now, 10 before the trade up). Probably shouldve flipped some picks into next year though instead of trading up this year. Good trade for the Eagles though. Imagine if they didnt tank at the end of the season now...hmmm...maybe not so bad after all.

Also doubt Jimmy G back to NE. Gotta think this move signals he isn't it. If you couldnt already from the film. And they just signed Cam back. Having two QBs in the 20s seems pretty pointless. 

98 People said the same thing last year

And yet they did nothing else. And adding Jimmy when they have a similar level and aged QB would be mind numbingly dumb process and use of resources. Signing Cam should at least stop them from signing another meaningless "bridge" QB, which is what Jimmy is at this point. 

100 You're kidding, right?  Cam…

You're kidding, right?  Cam Newton had 31 DYAR and -17.7% DYAR last year.  Jimmy G hasn't played that badly in the worst year of his life.  Garoppolo is a top 10-15 QB.  Those don't grow on trees. 

The best QB play of Jimmy's life, 2017, was when he was playing for the 49ers but hadn't had anytime to learn Kyle Shanahan's playbook.  In other words, it was when he was playing more loosely, shooting more from the hip, creating outside the play.  It isn't hard to see how someone--particularly someone who knew Garoppolo well--could think they could take him and recreate THAT Jimmy G instead of the constrained game manager he became with the 49ers. 

In 2017, Garoppolo would have finished #1 in DVOA with just 22 more attempts.  Even in just five games as a starter, he finished 13th in DYAR that year. 

110 You're the only that's got to feel that strongly

As if current Jimmy or Cam are what teams should strive for. As if Shanahan isn't lauded for helping guys like Jimmy. 

Geez, we're really out here discussing the difference between two middle tier QBs as if they'll change anything for a franchise. Quite boring talking about "bridge" QBs tbh. One the 49ers are obviously done with despite not growing "on trees" but hey, I guess. 

17 I hope this means

Miami must have 3 players graded about equal in this draft or else they're still passing up a chance to grab a franchise player at 3 for more future considerations. It also means, Miami isn't concerned about position with that top pick. Best available seems to be their choice.

27 For SF: They see Garoppolo…

For SF: They see Garoppolo as a below average starter and want to get a good QB. They like 3 QBs in this draft (or they know who is going 1-2 and like a QB who will be left). 1 good QB helps a team more than 3 good non-QBs, so positional value can make this a win for the team even if the standard draft value chart doesn't like it.

For PHI: They add a (probably early) 2022 1st in exchange for moving down a few spots. They can get a good player at 12 (someone like Parsons, Slater, or Waddle) and another next year. Straightforwardly good value. This probably means they don't love the QBs who might've been available at 6 (Lance?) and are content to stick with Hurts this year; they'll have ammo to go after a QB next year if that doesn't go well.

For MIA: They most likely decided to stick with Tua and not take an early QB this year, which put them in prime position to trade down. They probably love 3 of the non-QBs this year (such as Sewell, Chase, and Pitts) and aren't too picky about which one they get, and moving down to 6 still essentially guarantees that they'll land one of them. Giving away their 2022 1st instead of SF's is a risk - if Tua bombs, then they could lose value on this set of trades & go into the 2022 draft with a need at QB and a late pick. Presumably Miami loves the top few non-QBs a lot more than the next tier of players, so they didn't want to trade down too far. I'd guess that Miami is the reason why the trade is happening now rather than closer to the draft - this deal let them stay in the top 6, and it's a three-way trade and therefore at higher risk of falling apart, so they wanted to pull the trigger now while both other teams were willing.

To me this seems win-win-win for the 3 teams relative to staying put (with MIA & PHI drafting non-QBs), but worse for Miami than some of their other options (such as just picking at 12).

29 There's another scenario for…

There's another scenario for Miami which seems less likely but more fun.

Let's say that they see Tua, Fields, and Lance as roughly equally good prospects at QB, at this point. Getting two shots at a high-end QB, by drafting one of the rookies when they already have Tua, is tempting, but it's something of a luxury given that they already have one. There's a reasonable chance that one of them will still be there at 6, so they trade down figuring that they can settle for a blue chip prospect at another position if the 4th QB goes ahead of them. If the QB is there at 6, then they basically get a free 2023 1st in exchange for losing first-choice rights over a pair of QBs that they see as similar (Fields & Lance). If the QBs are gone at 6, there'd only be 1 non-QB off the board so (at worst) they'd get their second choice out of Sewell, Chase, Pitts, etc.

31 Thats one way of looking at…

Thats one way of looking at it, although you can argue a good qb is worth 4 non qb positions, so why not fork over an additional first rounder plus Bosa.


The missing piece here is you aren't getting a certainty. You are getting a lottery ticket with some odds. Is that lottery ticket worth sacrificing this much draft capital? 

And man Jimmy Gs value has swung so wildly in one year. He was in the Superbowl a year ago and very much in the 49ers long term plans. What a difference a year makes.

36 You aren't getting certainty…

You aren't getting certainty with any of the picks. So maybe it's 1 QB who has a 50% chance of being good vs. 3 non-QBs who each have a 50% chance of being good. The comparison comes out pretty similar to 1 good QB vs. 3 good non-QBs (you're just in worse shape across the board).

40 For SF: They see Garoppolo…

For SF: They see Garoppolo as a below average starter and want to get a good QB.

Pretty sure they think he's a lot better than "below average."  His advanced stats and his simple stats both support that he's a QB in the 10-15 range.  He hasn't been terribly healthy, though, and he might be the #4 QB in the division these days (behind Wilson, Stafford, and Murray.) 

43 Top 16 means putting him…

Top 16 means putting him ahead of at least 2 of these guys: Ryan, Cousins, Stafford, Mayfield, Carr, Burrow (unless you're you're unusually low on someone else.) And also ahead of all of Goff, Fitzpatrick, Tua, Hurts, Winston, Ben, Lawrence, etc. (unless you put him ahead of more of the earlier list).

59 Well, he didn't play much in…

Well, he didn't play much in 2020, so DYAR isn't much use, but by DVOA he would have been 13th if he'd had 60 more attempts.  That puts him ahead of Ryan, Stafford, Mayfield, and Burrow.  Also ahead of Goff, Fitzpatrick, Tagovailoa, Hurts, Roethlisberger. 

In 2019 he was 11th in both DYAR and DVOA, ahead of about half the guys you list, so...yeah. 

47 Jimmy G might be the fourth…

Jimmy G might be the fourth best QB in the division, but he also might be the second best.

Stafford and Murray were the same guy last year, and right around average. 14th and 15th in DYAR. 16th and 17th in DVOA. 15th and 16th in QBR. Jimmy didn't qualify for the tables, but his DVOA is comfortably better, and his QBR is a chunk worse. 

For next year, if they all played, I wouldn't be surprised on them finishing in any order. You can obviously have a preference in the longer term for the younger Murray, but for one year, they look pretty similar.

Also, although I think most people would agree Wilson is significantly better than any of them, his stats last year aren't significantly better - 11th, 13th and 9th. Better, but not insurmountable 


61 Stafford and Murray both…

Stafford and Murray both have more upside, though.  Stafford is finally going to get to be on an honestly good team with a great OC.  Murray is young & cheap & learning.  Garoppolo's upside is...he might be healthy this year?  Maybe?  He still has a shockingly few number of starts--like, about as many as Baker Mayfield--so he might also still be learning the position, but it's nothing as clear to see as with the other two guys. 

67 Some of the sample sizes in…

Some of the sample sizes in partial years are small, but FWIW, DVOA since 2017:

Garroppolo: 39.1%, -12.5%, 10.8%, 9.3%

Stafford:      14.9%, -0.8%, 28.8%, 7.7%

This is with the caveat that you pointed out about Garrappolo having much better coaching in a much better situation.

86 "Stafford and Murray both…

"Stafford and Murray both have more upside, though"

Sure, but they need to realise that upside in order to pass Jimmy G in the ordinal ranking. Jimmy stays healthy  (by no means a given) and Stafford & Murray repeat last year's numbers, and Jimmy is back to second.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it's definitely going to happen, just that I think, and the numbers agree, that they're all at about the same level 

73 Are you this naive, David?

Murray is neck and neck with Wilson for best QB in the division and might be better if you consider his running.  

Stafford is what he is, which is a quality QB but not elite.  He's an upgrade from Goff, but that's a backhanded compliment.  He's the third best QB in the division.

Jimmy G is definitely the worst QB in the division and if you factor in his injury history, he's even worse than he appears.  

Anyone who watched these QB's last year in actual games would NEVER try to qualify Jimmy G as better than Kyler Murray or Matthew Stafford.


85 Not naive, just not you

Actually, having watched all of them a while bunch, I rate Murray a LOT lower, which was why I checked the numbers (which include his rushing value). I know you disagree, but you're a Cardinals fan, which may be coloring your perception a touch. 

Personally, from watching Murray a whole lot, I'm unconvinced. I think he's pretty inconsistent and doesn't keep the offense on track. This is mitigated by his ability to pull a rabbit out of the hat with spectacular rushing plays three or four times a game  - which has value, but is a hard way to make a living.

As a fan of football, I'll be happy if Murray can take it up a notch, but right now, I don't see it, and nor do the numbers.

88 Agree

Of course Murray has the potential to improve as a passer, but there is a significant concern over his long term health whilst he remains so reliant on his rushing. He's electrifying for sure, but he doesn't have the stature to absorb hit after hit. He was badly worn down by the end of last season with various ailments, so much so that he couldn't remain on the field in a crucial week 17 game, when the Cardinals lost to John Wolford.

Even though he has remained almost perfectly healthy so far, I have similar concerns over Lamar Jackson. It would certainly make me uneasy committing big money to these types of guys. 

89 Unnecessary concern

In reply to by BJR

Murrays top comparable is Russ and he's yet to miss one start (including playoffs). In fact Murray never missed a college or HS game either due to injury either. He also took the most sacks his rookie year. Maybe wont be as lucky now but he, Russ, Lamar, etc know how to protect themselves since they've been doing it forever.

Meanwhile big trees like Andrew Luck are the ones retiring early because of health. Daniel Jones has yet to play more than 14 games in a season. Lamar is tied with Baker (Kyler has a similar stature to him actually too) for most games played from the 2018 class. More than big boys Allen and Darnold (and the rest). 

Be careful labeling Lamar and Kyler as risks and the rest not. Separating them into two very distinct groups that also happen to have other similarities. 

109 OTOH, RGIII might be another…

OTOH, RGIII might be another comparison you could use. Both Lamar and Kyler's main asset is their speed/athleticism as rushers. I believe that is a precarious position to be in at QB, especially when looking at a long term investment.

Both are young and as yet have the potential to develop into consistently good passers. That's what you need to be aiming for (as Russell Wilson has, and Josh Allen did last season). 

Your final point is not worth responding to. 

112 Oh no

You put RG3 in the same bucket. Maybe that's why you wont respond to the point because you continue, despite no other evidence outside of 1 comparison (that's still active), with unnecessary caution to certain QBs. Despite Lamar having a higher career passer rating, Y/A, NY/A, AY/A, ANY/A, comp%, etc than Josh Allen, the more consistently good passer? But you aren't worried about Allens running? Oooooh. 

Either way don't skip out on this evidence (you'll see Josh Allen is in Lamars group yet we're not lumping him in there).  

93 Value.

The value Murray brings both throwing and running in terms of overall offensive production puts him above Stafford, Jimmy G and pretty much where Russell Wilson is.  

He is so much better than Wilson was in Year 2, it's not even funny.  He will have a better career overall.

You're looking strictly at his throwing numbers, which are good but not elite.  His designed runs are something only Lamar Jackson can replicate.  That's the added value.  You aren't getting that from anyone else in the division, even RW.

Wilson doesn't run nearly as much as Murray, and he's not nearly as fast.



102 Well?  Back it up, man. …

In reply to by DIVISION

Well?  Back it up, man.  What are Murray's 2nd-year numbers compared to Wilson's?  You're on a stats site.  It ain't hard to look up. 

111 Crickets

Little d says that a lot and has yet to provide any kind of facts to back it up. I'm not expecting any to be forthcoming either because he'd rather shoot his mouth off and twist every conversation back to his personal biases than discuss the topic at hand. 

113 I'll do it

Wilson year 2: 770 DYAR passing + 134 DYAR rushing (plus postseason, can't be bothered to look that up)

Murray year 2: 590 DYAR passing + 186 DYAR rushing.

118 Soooo

In reply to by BJR

That's a big not even close for Little d's comparison. Thanks for pulling the numbers. I wouldn't worry about not looking up the playoff numbers. Murray hasn't been there and Wilson won a Super Bowl in his second year.

134 Yes, I was staring to pull…

In reply to by BJR

Yes, I was staring to pull these numbers for DIVISION, and then thought, wait a minute.  It's his point.  Why doesn't he do the three minutes work?  *grumble rumble*

55 Garoppolo's also fairly…

Garoppolo's also fairly expensive, and going to get rapidly more expensive. I mean, maintaining a playoff team with a $30M QB is doable, if the QB's adding value. But taking the risk to gain the huge cap space from a rookie QB is probably worth it. The relative value likely easily could net you an additional starter, which is the functional cost of 2 first round picks.

They just have to not screw it up Haskins-style.

60 How does it go?  Cheap,…

How does it go?  Cheap, amazing, reliable...pick two of those (if you're a veteran). 

Garoppolo at the moment doesn't hit any of them.  Expensive, pretty good, and unreliable isn't anyone's dream. 

94 Explain to me...

...how Jimmy G is "pretty good".  What metric are you using?  He's played only two full seasons combined in a 5 or 6 year career.  He might have been good in stretches, but not consistently.  

His best option would be to go back to NE and prosper in Belichick's system.  No idea why Shanahan thought he was ideal for his system. 

103 DYAR, DVOA...you know, the…

In reply to by DIVISION

DYAR, DVOA...you know, the stats this site is famous for.  Yes, when he's playing, he's been consistently good.

What stats are YOU using?

Shanahan thought he was ideal for his system because the guy killed it in 2017 and they had to decide right away:  franchise tag, or contract?  Also because he took the team to a Super Bowl in 2019.  Also because he works with the guy every day. 

108 Toad Pet.

Well, Shanahan was dead wrong.

That's what they're re-drafting to make up for that mistake.

Jimmy G is not a good QB.

One good year does not a good QB make.

Hopefully they can get some value when they trade him.

135 He is in fact a good QB. …

In reply to by DIVISION

He is in fact a good QB.  What's your evidence for saying he isn't?  Please provide.  Please.  Still waiting. 

What he's not is a *healthy* QB.  That's Shanahan's frustration.  He's lost two good years because Garoppolo got hurt.  That's what he doesn't want happening again.

35 Like father like son

How'd that work out for you, dad?

6th overall, 39th overall, year + 1 1st, y+2 1st = #2 overall

12th overall, 102nd overall, y+1 1st, y+2 1st = #3 overall


42 It worked out great: RGIII…

It worked out great: RGIII had one of the best rookie seasons of all time, and appeared poised to be the face of the franchise for a decade. The fact that Mike ruined him by playing him injured (like what happened to Brian Griese?)  has nothing to do with the value of the draft pick.

50 RGIII was good as a rookie;…

RGIII was good as a rookie; he wasn't even the best rookie QB in that season.  It is possible that w/o his injury and Shanny making him play thru it, RGIII would have been able to continue at his rookie pace or better in subsequent seasons.  But my opinion is that if he hadn't gotten hurt then, he would have soon there after, he has proven to be injury-prone.  He also showed little pocket awareness and once his athleticism was degraded became a sack magnet:  sack rate over 13% in his 3rd season.

Cousins did very well in this offense in limited duty as a 2012 rookie, with actually a slightly better ANY/A than RGIII.  The WFT probably would have been better off with Cousins plus the draft capital spent on RGIII than they were with RGIII minus all those picks.

51 "The WFT probably would have…

"The WFT probably would have been better off with Cousins plus the draft capital spent on RGIII than they were with RGIII minus all those picks."

That  is a bit of 20/20 hindsight.  Going into 2012 with a 4th round rookie starter (or whatever non-Peyton Manning free agent was available) would be have been hard to stomach for most coaching staffs.

84 Fair point. Counter-point:…

Fair point.

Counter-point: They could have signed a FA agent QB, looked at him in camp vs. their draft pick, and decided to play the rookie.  Instead, Seattle signed Matt Flynn, drafted Wilson, and road Wilson to a victory over WFT.  Instead, Shanahan piled a lot of draft capital into Griffin and took Josh LeRibeus at #71 overall, 4 picks before Wilson.  I have no idea if Shanahan had any interest in Wilson or how the draft might have gone if WFT hadn't taken Griffin at #2.

But it's always been a question for me:  if Shanahan thought RGIII was going to be so great, why use his now limited draft capital on ANOTHER QB in the same draft?  And if he did have reservations about RGIII, why spend so much on him?

87 Your argument seems to hinge on

Washington knowing Kirk was gonna be there at 102 which is crazy clairvoyance. That's on top of knowing that a mid round QB is gonna be successful.

I think it's simply they liked the value and thought he'd go sooner so they thought why not take another guy, that hadn't played yet, just in case and I guess it relatively worked. And yet despite picking Kirk, RG3 still won OROTY, leading the league in INT% and Y/A and making the pro bowl. 

44 Guess the Jets aren't…

Guess the Jets aren't trading down, and are definitely taking one of the quarterbacks.  In other news, Zach Wilson killed it at his pro day.  Granted that pro days are massively overrated, but the Niners may have traded up for Fields, and according to Klassen that's a good idea.

45 https://www.sfchronicle.com…


I’ve seen in more than a few places that the Niners are high on Mac Jones.  It’s probably BS or a smokescreen, because all demonstrable evidence suggests that there’s no way Shanahan is that stupid.  If it’s not BS, I would fall out of my chair laughing if it does happen.  

The younger Shanahan (with his father) was involved in one of the most fun offenses in recent memory with a rookie RG3 (even if it was short-lived).  Fields is a much more polished passer and nearly as good an athlete, so the 49ers would be a must-watch for me if they do take Fields.  

48 But why?

Why a smokescreen?  If they were 6th or something it might make sense, but at 3, there is no one for them to smokescreen

49 Good point.  I don't really…

In reply to by Raiderfan

Good point.  I don't really know.  Maybe it's some sports journalist using the John Lynch's barber as his "inside source."

66 If they signal a clear…

If they signal a clear intent for Jones (again, I'd be stunned), then other QB-desiring teams should be throwing draft picks at Atlanta to trade up to #4 (if ATL wants to get by with Ryan for a few more seasons).

77 You dont trade up to 3

to take Mac Jones. Pick 4 and even likely 5 is where you go. There's gotta be 0% chance they take Jimmy 2.0 instead of one of the consensus top 4 QBs. It'd be career suicide picking such a low ceiling after giving up that much (well maybe not for them). 

Maybe the Bengals don't want to drop that far because they've locked in on Sewell or Chase but ATL would surely be a cheaper alternative, especially after they restructured Ryan and thus will likely pass on a QB (at 4 at least). Maybe then the rumor would make sense but not at 3 for flippin Jones. Would be terribad optics.

63 I'm praying it's Fields. …

I'm praying it's Fields.  The toughest team Zach Wilson played last year was the The Coastal Carolina Chanticleers.   Anytime your meanest opponent is named after a rooster in a Chaucer story, you know you're in trouble. Just look at the kind of pockets he was getting.  Him or Trey Lance, that's buying a pig in a poke. 

Two days ago, I couldn't have cared less about the top QBs in the draft.  Now, after half a morning of reading the internet, I'm possessed with savage opinions. 

Oh, vanity, vanity of vanties....

65 "Anytime your meanest…

"Anytime your meanest opponent is named after a rooster in a Chaucer story, you know you're in trouble"

Not as troublesome as playing an opponent from a Lewis Carroll story: https://www.stetson.edu/other/go-hatters/

"Just look at the kind of pockets he was getting."

This isn't getting enough attention.  BYU"s offensive line was delivering ass-whuppings on the regular.

69 FO alum Doug Farrar had a…

FO alum Doug Farrar had a great article about which of the QBs best fits Shanahan's system:


If nothing else, he eased my mind that they're not going to go all crazy Mac Jones at #3.

80 Wilson was a three year…

Wilson was a three year starter.  You can find his game against Washington on youtube.  It's not good tape for him, but it's not as bad as Fields against Indiana.  Wilson did move in the pocket well; he had to, because he was under constant pressure in that game.  I'm surprised people think BYU's line was that great, because they looked terrible against the Huskies the year before.  I remember Coastal Carolina getting pressure on him, as well as cheap shotting Wilson.  BYU also had a long touchdown called back due to holding. 

Claiming Wilson is the equivalent of a guy who started only one year at a dominant college contender that does play teams where no one will ever sniff the NFL is stretching it.  Excuse me, I should say champion, because ND State has lost the championship once in the last decade, I believe.

I don't get the consistent dissing of Coastal Carolina; they went 11-1, losing only in overtime in their bowl game.  Their defense ranked 16th, ahead of Alabama.  Wilson also played San Diego State, who ranked 6th, just behind Indiana, who gave Fields problems.  That's according to FEI on this site.  The highest ranked defense Lawrence faced was Notre Dame, at 24.


83 Yes, this is what I get for…

Yes, this is what I get for forming opinions in a single morning.  Most likely Wilson is going to the Jets at 2 anyway....

It's just awfully easy to make fun of a team that calls itself the Chanticleers.

105 Didn't mean to be harsh.  It…

Didn't mean to be harsh.  It's just that another post on the Wilson article lampooned Coastal Carolina as well.  It seemed like overkill and a foolish underrating of a team that was pretty good last year.  However, that poster also commented that Zach Wilson doesn't have the frame to put on much more muscle, meaning he may end destroyed physically in the NFL.  He weighs only 209, he'd need to put on at least ten pounds to survive in the NFL, especially since he's 6-3.  So that post may have some truth in it.  It would be the Jets' luck to draft the second coming of Tony Eason; as the Patriots old gm said in From Elway to Marino, "he just couldn't put on the weight he needed to survive in the league".

As New To This has discovered in another thread, I'm just not sold on any of these qbs, but it seems the top three are at least worthy first round choices.  I also like Mac Jones, but if the Niners traded up to 3 to take him, that just seems nuts.  When I write top three, I'm including Fields and not Lance.

115 There are some clues that they may take Jones

I also like Mac Jones, but if the Niners traded up to 3 to take him, that just seems nuts.

I agree that giving two firsts and a third to move up for Jones is crazy nuts, but...

I read that Lynch and Shanny are going to Jones' pro day tomorrow while the *B team* is going to Fields'.

Ninners probably could have stayed at 12 and drafted Jones or at least traded with Philly to move up to 6th for one 1st.

136 Well, the only reason they…

Well, the only reason they're going to Jones' pro day is because they got a private workout with Fields scheduled later on.

I would be screeching and stamping if they draft Mac Jones.  It's crazy that they would trade up to 3 for that guy, right?  Right?  Surely crazy.  6th would have been plenty good for a guy like that, or maybe even 12th. 

But Shanahan and Lynch have demonstrated this thing where they really, really want their guy.  They get all tense and freaky about it and overpay to get him.  Aiyuk and Pettis and Beathard and Joe Williams are examples, all probably available later than they actually went, but the coach & GM get all antsy.  Sometimes it works out--Aiyuk is pretty good.  Othertimes, it's a waste. 

I'd be pissed if Mac Jones was their pick at 3, but not surprised. 

95 DaShaun Watson.

Early easy prediction.  Watson won't play this year due to a suspension while his legal cases play out.

Addendum:  If he's criminally charged with sexual misconduct for a couple of these cases, he's probably not going to see the field in the next two years.

I'm not going to judge innocence or guilt here.  In terms of correlation, it's very difficult for me to believe that of 20+ massage "therapists" who have come forward that 100% of them are lying.  Watson is going to have a very hard time clearing his name in this.  Looks really bad.


78 For most of the offseason,…

For most of the offseason, it's seemed like the consensus is: Lawrence is a generational QB prospect & the obvious #1 pick, Wilson & Fields are high-end prospects and the sort guys who usually go with the #1 pick (but in this draft they're 2 & 3 in some order), and Lance & Jones are also 1st round caliber QB prospects but not on the same level.

With that take on the QBs in the draft, pick 3 was an obvious trade-down spot for the Dolphins and the package that SF sent is about what you'd expect it to cost. The main question was just which team it would be trading up.

Now people are talking as if the first 2 picks are settled as Lawrence & Wilson, and SF at 3 could be targeting any of Fields, Lance, or Jones. If it is Lance or Jones, that raises more questions:

Is the whole NFL down on Fields, or is some other team going to be thrilled to get him?

Could SF have just traded up to 6 and saved a 1st round pick?

Is Lance/Jones good enough to be worth this kind of move?

96 Answers.

Now people are talking as if the first 2 picks are settled as Lawrence & Wilson, and SF at 3 could be targeting any of Fields, Lance, or Jones. If it is Lance or Jones, that raises more questions:

Is the whole NFL down on Fields, or is some other team going to be thrilled to get him?

Could SF have just traded up to 6 and saved a 1st round pick?

Is Lance/Jones good enough to be worth this kind of move?


Fields has had enough poor games combined with the rep of not being able to read defenses effectively (deserved or not) and that will drop him to at least 3rd.  

He would be a great pick for Shanahan who would be able to develop him, but the Niners would not be contenders for a couple years.  He's going to understand the learning curve when you're up against players like Donald, Watt, Jones etc..

San Fran could have trade up to 6 possibly, but no guarantee of getting the QB they wanted (Fields).

Mack Jones, no.  Trey Lance has more boom or bust potential than Fields.  

I have a feeling that Trey Lance could be this year's Mahomes.