49ers NFL Draft: Would you do this trade for Zach Wilson?
By Peter Panacy
The 49ers likely won’t be able to grab BYU quarterback Zach Wilson at No. 12 overall in the NFL Draft, but this trade proposal sure seems enticing enough.
Not too long ago, the thought of the San Francisco 49ers landing BYU quarterback Zach Wilson with their top pick in the 2021 NFL Draft was a near reality.
But Wilson shot up draft boards from being a mid-round pick going somewhere in the teens to likely the No. 2 player selected in this year’s draft behind Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence. And with the Niners eventually securing the No. 12 overall selection in the draft, there’s almost no way a player of Wilson’s caliber ends up falling to San Francisco.
If that’s the route the 49ers want to take, of course.
The draft is full of so many moving parts, it’s nearly impossible to gauge what might happen even in the early stages of Round 1. But what is a near-guarantee is it’ll likely take the Niners a lucrative trade-up to have any shot at landing Wilson.
Luckily enough, the folks over at Pro Football Focus suggested a mock first-round trade where San Francisco moves up to No. 5 overall in a deal with the Cincinnati Bengals to grab Wilson:
In doing so, the 49ers gave up their first- and second-round picks along with a 2022 Round 2 pick.
Would you do it? Absolutely yes.
The problem, though, is it won’t necessarily be that easy for the Niners to execute that kind of a move while getting Wilson. Here’s why.
Obstacles to 49ers grabbing Zach Wilson at No. 5 overall
Let’s assume a few things here. First, the top-drafting Jacksonville Jaguars land Lawrence, which is almost a given. Second, the Bengals realize they can address one of their top needs, the offensive line, with a player like Oregon’s Penei Sewell, who could still fall down the ranks and possibly be there at No. 12. If not, this year’s draft is laden with high-quality offensive linemen anyway.
After that, it’s hard to gauge.
The No. 2-drafting New York Jets could be in the market for a quarterback, too, replacing their starter, Sam Darnold. If Wilson is the pick, well, that’s that.
The Miami Dolphins, selecting at No. 3 overall, could also look to replace quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who flamed out late in 2020 after being Miami’s first-round pick a year ago. And the No. 4-drafting Atlanta Falcons may be looking for a long-term replacement for their veteran quarterback, Matt Ryan.
And this doesn’t even include the possibility of other quarterback-needy teams moving up into the top five to land a player of Wilson’s caliber.
So it’s a pretty safe assumption to realize San Francisco would probably love the idea of getting Wilson at No. 5 if he were to fall that far. But the likelihood of that happening seems awfully slim, especially if one assumes Wilson is the No. 2 overall quarterback in this year’s draft class.
If this kind of situation presented itself, though, the 49ers brass would trip over itself trying to get the trade package in for a would-be acquisition of Wilson at No. 5 overall.
Just don’t bank on it happening, though.
The 2021 NFL Draft kicks off on Thursday, April 29.