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2021 NFL mock draft roundup: A wild trade proposal involving the 49ers

Pro Football Focus suggests a trade that involves trading the 12th pick for a young QB.

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Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

After finishing the 2020 NFL regular season with a 6-10 record, the San Francisco 49ers are slated to pick 12th in the 2021 NFL Draft.

The Niners weren’t supposed to be in this position, but injuries to several key players resulted in a down year for the franchise.

The attention now shifts to a big offseason for a team that still has some pieces in place to make a Super Bowl run.

San Francisco has 27 players who can become unrestricted free agents in the offseason, with nine of them coming from the secondary. The 49ers also have holes on the offensive line’s interior and could add some pieces on the defensive line as well.

The major media outlets have released their latest 2021 NFL mock drafts and have the Niners going in various directions.

Anthony Treash of Pro Football Focus came up with an interesting trade scenario in his latest mock involving the Miami Dolphins, who selected Ohio State QB Justin Fields at No. 3.

Treash suggests San Francisco trades the 12th pick to Miami in exchange for Tua Tagovailoa.

TRADE! San Francisco sends the 12th overall pick (and others) to Miami for quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.

The Niners, in this scenario, find themselves in the out-of-luck category here, with the top five quarterbacks snatched off the board in the top 10. However, they take themselves out of that category by making a phone call to Miami and acquiring Tagovailoa.

The proposed trade makes little to no sense from a 49ers’ perspective. General manager John Lynch recently said that the team doesn’t have any plans to select a QB in the first round as of now, but that could change between today and April.

Trading for Tagovailoa instead of sticking with Jimmy Garoppolo would be a step back for a team with some high-end talent already in place. Tagovailoa went 6-3 as a starter for the Dolphins during his rookie campaign, completing 64.1% of his passes for 1,814 yards, 11 touchdowns and five interceptions.

The 22-year-old struggled to push the ball downfield. His 9.8 yards per completion ranks 31st out of 35 eligible quarterbacks, and he finished 29th in yards per attempt.

Tagovailoa might develop into an upper-echelon quarterback as he ages, but right now, trading for him doesn’t seem like a realistic option for the Niners.

Here are who the rest of the major media outlets have San Francisco selecting with the 12th pick:

ESPN has the 49ers taking Virginia Tech CB Caleb Farley

The 49ers’ pass defense was a strength this season, ranking fourth in yards allowed per game (207.9). But here’s the list of pending unrestricted free agents at cornerback: Richard Sherman, Jason Verrett, Ahkello Witherspoon, K’Waun Williams and Dontae Johnson. Injuries hurt San Francisco all over this season, but there isn’t a bigger question mark on the team going forward than at corner. Enter Farley, a 2020 opt-out with terrific ball skills. He had four interceptions for the Hokies in 2019.

Could the Niners make a change at QB? Of course, especially if Justin Fields were actually to fall this far. (He is dropping in this mock mainly because there aren’t any trades.) Jimmy Garoppolo is only under contract for two more seasons, has very little guaranteed money still owed to him and has battled injuries during his time with the 49ers.” - Todd McShay

FOX Sports has the 49ers taking Alabama CB Patrick Surtain

“2020 season stats: 35 total tackles, 1 fumble recovery, 1 INT, 1 TD

Kyle Shanahan has proven time and time again he can take skill position players in any round and fit them into his creative schemes. But the secondary has been exposed in 2020. Eight 49ers CBs under contract are set to hit free agency in 2021, including Richard Sherman.” - Jason McIntyre

CBS Sports has the 49ers taking Northwestern OL Rashawn Slater

“Regardless of who’s at quarterback for San Francisco next season, he’ll need better blocking, Slater can play guard or would be an awesome eventual replacement for Trent Williams at left tackle.” - Chris Trapasso

NBC Sports has the 49ers taking South Carolina CB Jaycee Horn

“With the top four QBs off the board, the 49ers elect to address their changing secondary. With Jason Verrett, Richard Sherman, K’Waun Williams and Ahkello Witherspoon all slated to be unrestricted free agents, the 49ers have to find a long-term answer at corner.

Horn is a physical, aggressive corner with a long frame and good hand technique. If the 49ers don’t move up to draft a QB (unlikely), this is a great pick.” - Josh Schrock

It’s not surprising to see a corner selected in most of the mocks listed above, given the uncertainty the Niners are facing at the position. It looks like NFL teams may have to conduct interviews and individual workouts virtually once again, given we are still dealing with the pandemic.

We are still more than three months away from the 2021 NFL Draft, so a lot will change between now and then.

Do you think San Francisco will take a cornerback with No. 12 if Lynch and co. don’t move up or down? Which of the three corners selected above do you think would be the best with the 49ers?


Which CB is the best with the 49ers?

This poll is closed

  • 23%
    Caleb Farley
    (904 votes)
  • 63%
    Patrick Surtain
    (2466 votes)
  • 13%
    Jaycee Horn
    (541 votes)
3911 votes total Vote Now