SF 49ers should trade Nick Mullens before the deadline

Nick Mullens #4 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Nick Mullens #4 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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Trevor Lawrence, Clemson Tigers, SF 49ers
Trevor Lawrence #16 of the Clemson Tigers (Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images) /

Implications of the 2021 NFL Draft on SF 49ers

The SF 49ers, despite their tough schedule and compounding injuries, will not struggle enough to garner a top draft pick to select a high-profile quarterback like Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence or Ohio State’s Justin Fields, barring a momentous drop or a trade.

That’s not the biggest way the draft will affect the 49ers.

Though I’m sure the SF 49ers could try to make a major trade, like the Kansas City Chiefs did to pick Patrick Mahomes back in 2017, more likely they’d draft a quarterback on day two or three if they chose to do so. What will be an issue is the quarterbacks floating the market around this time.

San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers /

San Francisco 49ers

The current draft order, and this is obviously subject to change, puts the Jets in line for the first overall pick, the Giants for the second overall pick, the Jacksonville Jaguars third, Miami by way of the Houston Texans fourth, the Atlanta Falcons fifth, Dallas Cowboys sixth, Washington seventh, the Patriots ninth, the Minnesota Vikings 10th, and so on.

The reason I bring these teams up is their currently precarious quarterback situations.

The Jets currently have Sam Darnold, the Giants have Daniel Jones, the Dolphins started Tua Tungavailoa because they want to see if they should start heavily scouting the QBs in this draft, the Falcons have Matt Ryan, the Cowboys have a currently injured Dak Prescott they’d likely let test the market, should they choose to draft a player, the Vikings have a Kyle Shanahan favorite, Kirk Cousins, and the Football Team has already benched Dwayne Haskins. All these players have some form of prior success or pedigree exceeding that of Mullens.

The Cardinals’ selection of Kyler Murray in 2019, when they had just taken Josh Rosen in 2018, set the precedent for moves like this, and the allure of a Fields or the biggest fish of them all, Lawrence, is hard to pass upon.

Even if all these teams don’t draft a top-round rookie, the ones that do will have a glut of quarterbacks they’d likely trade out of. Most teams would take a Darnold or a Jones over Nick Mullens.

The fact of the matter is the quarterback trade market will become extremely saturated this offseason, taking away the primary method by which the SF 49ers could recoup value. Trading Mullens now acts before the glut and maximizes value, especially after a performance against Seattle that will turn heads, even if it was fools’ gold.

If the SF 49ers don’t trade him now, he’ll likely never give much of any payoff.

Next. SF 49ers: Rethinking top 2021 NFL Draft needs halfway through season. dark

Will the SF 49ers move on? Probably not. Continuity and cheapness at the backup position might be enticing enough to the cash-strapped Niners. But if they want to maximize a fruitful investment in a UDFA, trading Mullens now is the move.