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Who stands in the way of the 49ers drafting the quarterback of the future?

Niner Nate and SI’s Leo Luna discuss in today’s podcast

Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images

Oh, what a difference a year makes. Going into their bye week last year, the 49ers were 3-0 and smack dab in the middle of an eight game win streak that would help make them the NFC’s number one seed on their way to a Super Bowl run. One trip around the NFL sun later and we’re two games under .500 and staring down the barrel of a third losing season in four years.

As that unfolds, more and more eyes will turn to the future, which means more and more eyes will be looking to the NFL Draft to cure what ails this team. So, since this is the bye week, Niner Nate and Leo Luna decided to take a way-too-early look at the 2021 draft order in this week’s podcast to see who you should be rooting for if you want San Francisco picking early.

As things stand right now, here’s the 2021 NFL Draft order:

  1. Jets (0-9)
  2. Jaguars (1-8)
  3. Football Team (2-7)
  4. Chargers (2-7)
  5. Cowboys (2-7)
  6. Dolphins (acquired from 2-7 Texans)
  7. Bengals (2-6-1)
  8. Giants (3-7)
  9. Panthers (4-7)
  10. Falcons (3-6)
  11. Broncos (3-6)
  12. 49ers (4-6)

At best there’s probably three teams ahead of the 49ers that could take a quarterback, and at worst there’s at least seven - not accounting for anyone out of the top 12 swinging a monster deal and leap-frogging everyone.

Let’s say for the sake of argument, the 49ers end up at number twelve, where they are now. What would it take to trade up to get, say, a Justin Fields or Trey Lance? As a reference point, the Chiefs traded two first round picks and a 3rd rounder to move up 17 spots to draft Patrick Mahomes in 2017. That said, Mahomes wasn’t nearly the prospect that Fields or Lance will be come April, so the asking price could be significantly steeper next year.

There are a million different things that could happen between now and when the Jets go on the clock in 2021, but it’s always fun to peer into the crystal ball and try to predict the future. Especially on the bye week of a 4-6 season.

To hear Nate and Leo’s full thoughts, check out the latest episode of the podcast on this page, or wherever you get your podcasts. Also feel free to hit the shiny new “following” button on the embedded player so you don’t miss any of the great shows we produce every day.