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Cole Beasley’s knee was the difference between pick No. 2 and pick No. 3

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If a quarterback ends up leading to a team trading for the No. 1 overall pick, that touchdown will be the difference-maker.

The San Francisco 49ers needed a couple things to go right this past Sunday so that they could secure a weaker strength of schedule than the New York Jets. If both teams lost, the 49ers would need two wins from a group that included the Falcons over Bucs, Browns over Ravens, Broncos over Chargers, and Cowboys over Giants. Things went the 49ers way in the AM schedule, with the Falcons and Cowboys both winning their games. Both wins were big because the Ravens and Chargers won the afternoon slate of games.

Things worked out for the 49ers, but we can thank Cole Beasley’s knee. The Cowboys trailed the Giants 35-28 late in the fourth quarter of a game that had no meaning to the Cowboys playoff position. Dak Prescott was still in the game, which made absolutely no sense. Dallas faced a 4th and 15 at the Giants 32 when Prescott found Beasley in the back of the end zone. Beasley just barely got one knee down before going out of bounds. The Cowboys successfully went for two and won the game 36-35. Here’s what it swung.

There are enough questions about this class that the difference between No. 2 and No. 3 may end up being nothing. But if the Arizona Cardinals decide to sell off the No. 1 overall pick to a quarterback-needy team, that No. 2 pick suddenly looks all the more valuable.

Right now, Nick Bosa is viewed by many as the best option at the top. The 49ers might decide Josh Allen is a better option, but regardless, if a quarterback ends up going No. 1 overall, the world is the 49ers oyster at No. 2. In that case, we’ll be thanking our lucky stars for Cole Beasley’s knee.