Just when you thought NFL Mock Drafts may already be starting to get stale, Friday happened.
The San Francisco 49ers completed a massive trade that allowed them to move up nine slots, from pick No. 12 to No. 3. While the 49ers will likely get their franchise quarterback with that selection, the Dolphins will move forward with last year's first-round pick Tua Tagovailoa at quarterback.
As the Dolphins look to surround Tagovailoa with explosive weapons, they'll have the No. 6 pick in this year's draft. Less than an hour after moving down to pick No. 12, the Dolphins used some of the bounty of picks they possess to move up six slots and swap first-round picks with the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Eagles will now likely miss out on a chance to potentially select former LSU wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase or Florida tight end Kyle Pitts, but they still have a pretty lucrative selection at No. 12. Additionally, a team that's in a complete rebuild got to slide up in the fourth round and add another first-round pick in 2022, as Howie Roseman and company stock up on picks to rebuild the team's roster.
So how will the 49ers, Dolphins and Eagles utilize their new picks? All that and more is examined in our latest 2021 NFL Mock Draft:
49ers Use Recently-Acquired No. 3 Pick To Find Franchise Quarterback
1. Jacksonville Jaguars - Trevor Lawrence: Quarterback, Clemson
2. New York Jets - Zach Wilson: Quarterback, BYU
3. San Francisco 49ers - Trey Lance: Quarterback, North Dakota State
4. Atlanta Falcons - Justin Fields: Quarterback, Ohio State
5. Cincinnati Bengals - Penei Sewell: Offensive Tackle, Oregon
North Dakota State's Trey Lance has some elite physical tools, but is thin on actual playing experience. That said, his 2019 season was special, as he threw 28 touchdowns to zero interceptions, while racking up 1,100 yards and 14 touchdowns on the ground. As we wrote Friday, the 49ers may open the 2021 season with Jimmy Garoppolo under center - though that will likely require some sort of restructuring of his contract - but the long-term plan will be for him to pass the torch to whoever they pick at No. 3. While Kyle Shanahan's good friend Chris Simms thinks the team may take former Alabama quarterback Mac Jones, it's more likely to be Lance or Ohio State's Justin Fields.
Dolphins Still Land Star Pass Catcher
6. Miami Dolphins - Kyle Pitts: Tight End, Florida
7. Carolina Panthers (trade up with Detroit Lions) - Mac Jones: Quarterback, Alabama
8. Detroit Lions (trade down with Carolina Panthers) - Ja'Marr Chase: Wide Receiver, LSU
9. Denver Broncos - Micah Parsons: Linebacker, Penn State
10. Dallas Cowboys - Patrick Surtain II: Cornerback, Alabama
If the Dolphins are truly sold on last year's No. 5 overall pick Tua Tagovailoa as the long-term answer at quarterback, then moving down and obtaining even more draft capital will prove to be a stroke of genius by general manager Chris Grier. Not only will the Dolphins land a star pass catcher, they'll have their pick of the top four options because of an early run on quarterbacks. Adding Will Fuller V to DeVante Parker shouldn't preclude the Dolphins from taking a wide receiver if that's who they think is the best player on the board, but the narrative of Pitts staying in the state of Florida and starring for the Dolphins would write itself. He and Mike Gesicki could form a pretty dominant one-two punch at the position.
After Moving Down, Eagles Land Reigning Heisman Trophy Winner
11. New York Giants - Jaylen Waddle: Wide Receiver, Alabama
12. Philadelphia Eagles - DeVonta Smith: Wide Receiver, Alabama
13. Los Angeles Chargers - Rashawn Slater: Offensive Tackle, Northwestern
14. Minnesota Vikings - Gregory Rousseau: Edge Rusher, Miami
15. New England Patriots - Caleb Farley: Cornerback, Virginia Tech
Considering the Eagles lack core players under the age of 30, there was quite a bit of frustration in Philadelphia that the team gave up a pick that would have allowed them to potentially land a stalwart. That said, the team is probably a few years away from contending and now has a chance to have three first-round picks in 2022. On top of all of that, we anticipate as many as five quarterbacks being taken in the top 10 picks. Ja'Marr Chase and Kyle Pitts are likely to be selected before the Eagles go on the clock, but it's very possible that one of the two exciting Alabama wideouts - Jaylen Waddle and DeVonta Smith - is still there for the taking at pick No. 12. In this mock, Waddle lands with the division-rival New York Giants, setting up the Eagles to take Smith, who is coming off of one of the most dominant collegiate seasons in recent memory.
Washington Football Team, Bears Miss Out on Quarterbacks
16. Arizona Cardinals - Jaycee Horn: Cornerback, South Carolina
17. Las Vegas Raiders - Christian Darrisaw: Offensive Tackle, Virginia Tech
18. Miami Dolphins - Kwity Paye: Edge Rusher, Michigan
19. Washington Football Team - Alijah Vera-Tucker: Offensive Guard, USC
20. Chicago Bears - Kadarius Toney: Wide Receiver, Florida
With five quarterbacks likely to be taken in the top 10 picks, you get the sense that at least one more prospect will have to emerge as a potential first-round pick. But short of falling in love with someone like Texas A&M's Kellen Mond, neither the Washington Football Team or Chicago Bears will find their long-term solution at quarterback in the first round of this year's draft. For Washington, that's probably alright. Ron Rivera and company snuck into the postseason in 2020, and can ride things out with Ryan Fitzpatrick and Taylor Heinicke for a season as they continue to build a deep roster. Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy won't have the same luxury in 2021, as they may legitimately head into a make-or-break year with Andy Dalton as their unopposed starter.
Browns Trade Up, Land Edge Rusher
21. Indianapolis Colts - Rashod Bateman: Wide Receiver, Minnesota
22. Tennessee Titans - Jalen Mayfield: Offensive Tackle, Michigan
23. Cleveland Browns (trade up with New York Jets) - Jaelan Phillips: Edge Rusher, Miami
24. Pittsburgh Steelers - Liam Eichenberg: Offensive Tackle, Notre Dame
25. Jacksonville Jaguars - Dyami Brown: Wide Receiver, North Carolina
With the Jacksonville Jaguars and conference-rival Pittsburgh Steelers both teams that could potentially take an edge rusher, the Browns move up in this mock, acquiring the No. 23 pick from the New York Jets. They missed out on adding J.J. Watt in free agency, but while citing some injury concerns, NFL Media's Daniel Jeremiah believes Miami's Jaelan Phillips "has as much talent as any pass rusher in this draft class." As the Browns look to build off a season that saw them reach the AFC Divisional Round, Phillips and former first-round pick Takk McKinley could probably have quite a bit of success coming off the edge across from All-Pro Myles Garrett.
Jets, Bills Land Potential Star Running Backs
26. New York Jets (trade down with Cleveland Browns): Travis Etienne: Running Back, Clemson
27. Baltimore Ravens - Trevon Moehrig: Safety, TCU
28. New Orleans Saints - Azeez Ojulari: Edge Rusher, Georgia
29. Green Bay Packers - Zaven Collins: Linebacker, Tulsa
30. Buffalo Bills - Najee Harris: Running Back, Alabama
31. Kansas City Chiefs - Teven Jenkins: Offensive Tackle, Oklahoma State
32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Joe Tyron: Edge Rusher, Washington
Neither the Jets or Bills have had a ton of success finding a three-down back in recent years, but that could very well change in the final few picks of the first round in this year's draft. After trading down three picks, we have the Jets selecting Travis Etienne, who rushed for nearly 5,000 yards during his four seasons at Clemson. Four picks later, the Bills land Alabama's Najee Harris, who could be the piece that puts an already loaded Bills offense over the top.