The Los Angeles Rams made a bold move on Thursday, trading a haul of picks to climb from No. 15 to No. 1 in the 2016 NFL Draft. They are expected to draft a quarterback with that pick, and it could mean both Jared Goff and Carson Wentz are gone in the first two picks.
The San Francisco 49ers are impacted given that they are picking No. 7, but how they are impacted is up for debate. ESPN's John Clayton looked at winners and losers from the trade, and he decided the 49ers and Colin Kaepernick are among the losers.
If Wentz and Goff go in the first two picks, the option of drafting a quarterback ends, unless they reach to take Lynch at No. 7. That's unlikely. Whether it's uncomfortable or not, Kaepernick looks like he's staying in San Francisco now that the second QB in the draft likely won't fall to the seventh pick. If he really wants out, the 49ers now aren't in a position to accommodate a trade, unless they can somehow get a second-round choice. They need to keep Kaepernick and Blaine Gabbert, which should please new coach Chip Kelly.
He also pointed to the Denver Broncos as a winner of the trade:
Although this trade pretty well ends the Colin Kaepernick trade option, it could allow Paxton Lynch to become more of an option for Denver. Had the Rams stayed at the No. 15 pick, they might have taken Lynch there. It's possible he could drop to No. 31 or be close enough to acquire in a trade. The trade also could put Nick Foles on John Elway's radar if the Rams end up cutting him.
Paxton Lynch appears to be the new mystery figure in the first round. There was some thought he would slip down to the end of the first round. More recently, some mock drafts were moving him up, with Doug Farrar going so far as to mock the 49ers taking Lynch over Wentz. Lynch will be an interesting figure to consider on day one of the draft.
However, Clayton's article presumes the 49ers were very specifically looking QB in the first round. I remain convinced they were not looking QB in the first round. I could very well have been wrong on that, but I'll stick by it. Of course, if they then draft Lynch at No. 7, I think plenty of heads will be left spinning.
Clayton is convinced this is the end of the Kaepernick-Broncos discussions. Clayton has plenty of sources, so I won't say he's clearly wrong. But it reads a little off to me.