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Three things to watch for during the first round of the NFL Draft

Even if the 49ers don’t have a selection in the first round, these three teams matter when they are on the clock.

Everything you need to know in about five minutes

You might not think a lot is happening for the 49ers during the first round of the draft tonight, but you’d be wrong. Despite John Lynch’s insistence that the first round was going to be “boring,” it’s actually going to be anything but for the Faithful. In today’s 49ers in Five podcast, I took a look at three inflection points for the Niners.

The Panthers at #6

What happens here will determine whether the last trade partner for Jimmy Garoppolo remains available. Carolina GM Scott Fitterer said he’d be “comfortable” taking multiple quarterbacks in this spot, but if you’re picking in the top ten of a draft, you can’t just be “comfortable” with your pick. You should be over the moon at number six with the guy you select. With so many other talented non-quarterbacks available, the Panthers may be over the moon about a guy that doesn’t throw the ball for a living.

Remember, if the Panthers don’t go QB at six, they aren’t getting the top guys without working some magic because they don’t pick again until Round 4.

The Jets at pick #10

They’ve been the heavy favorite to land Deebo Samuel for a while, and it’s easy to see why. They play in the opposite conference, their coaching staff is obviously familiar with Samuel, and they have a stockpile of picks to get the deal done. Smart people like Mike Florio and Mike Tannenbaum think a deal for Deebo won’t be consummated until Gang Green is on the clock, so if you’re like me and you’re hoping the 49ers keep number 19, the first hurdle you have to get past is ten.

The Eagles at pick #15 and #18

While the Jets are considered the favorite, there’s another team in green you should be worried about trading for Deebo - Philly. Howie Roseman loves making draft trades and has never been afraid to take big swings in the past. The Eagles clearly have a need at receiver, and it’s no secret that they’re looking to upgrade at that position.

With two first-round picks this year, an extra first-round pick next year, and an extra second-round pick in 2024, Philadelphia simply can’t be counted out when it comes to trading for Deebo Samuel.

Once the Eagles are off the clock, you might be able to exhale.

Admittedly, there are other teams with multiple first-round picks, but I don’t consider them as big contenders for Deebo Samuel as those above. The 49ers don’t really want to deal him at all, especially to an NFC contender like Green Bay or someone they could play in the Super Bowl (again) like the Chiefs.

The Giants have picks five and seven, but I don’t see new GM Joe Schoen giving those up when his own roster has so many holes to fill. The Saints are an option, but they seem more intent on moving up in the draft for a QB rather than trading multiple picks for a wide receiver.

The first round of the NFL Draft is always one of the most fun nights of the year, and it will be again in 2022. Even without a first-round pick, the ramifications of what happens will still affect the 49ers for years to come. How can you not watch at this point?