The first day of the 2021 NFL Draft has arrived and that means we are getting the last of the offseason’s mock drafts. We’ve seen more mock drafts considering trades than ever before this offseason due to the five quarterbacks that will draw attention in the top half of the first day. However, in his final mock draft ESPN’s Todd McShay went an odd route. He had only one trade, and it was the Bills moving up from No. 30 to the Titans spot at No. 22.
I suppose McShay is going back to his older tradition of limiting trades, which I suppose could give a Bills move more credence. McShay mentioned them as a strong trade-up candidate to try and land Clemson running back Travis Etienne in his pre-draft “buzz” piece. Make of that what you will.
The big move in McShay’s mock is having the 49ers draft North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance. San Francisco has been regularly linked to Alabama quarterback Mac Jones, so much so that six of the top seven odds at DraftKings Sportsbook for “exact outcome of 3, 4, 5” include Jones at No. 3.
McShay talks about Lance being able to sit behind Jimmy Garoppolo “for a year or two” before taking over. The 49ers have reportedly been trying to move Garoppolo, but it remains to be seen if a deal gets done. I don’t know about “or two” years of Lance sitting given the draft capital given up, but the 49ers could very well follow the Chiefs model with Patrick Mahomes and give it a year — especially given the team’s chances of competing for a Super Bowl this year.
McShay has the Broncos selecting Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields at No. 9 and the Patriots landing Jones at No. 15. He states clearly that he does not think the Teddy Bridgewater trade forecloses a potential Broncos QB at No. 9. Considering the deal only involved a sixth round pick, that makes a lot of sense.
But the biggest question after who the 49ers will pick at No. 3 is just how many trades we see on the first day. There’s bound to be at least a couple, and odds seem decent at least one involves a top ten pick. When you’ve got five quarterbacks being considered in the first half of the draft, you’re bound to get some serious movement atop the draft board.