The NFL Draft Is Here

Hell yes.

Jim Rome
April 29, 2021 - 9:13 am
Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields, Zach Wilson

USA Today


The NFL Draft is here.

Jacksonville is officially on the clock. Actually, they’ve been on the clock since January and you could’ve switched off the clock at that point. Everyone has known, for months, who the first pick in the draft will be. An absolute stone-cold lock. To the point that nobody even talks about Trevor Lawrence anymore.

I mean, if you were doing a create-a-player in Madden, you would create Trevor Lawrence. You would want a guy who is tall, fast, cannon for an arm, a guy who makes winning plays, and who wins. A lot.

And a guy who’s been in the spotlight for years. He has been the man in this draft class since high school. And all he’s done is live up to the hype at every point. The transition from college to the NFL, as a quarterback, and the first pick in the draft, is supposed to be hard. Now you’re the face of a franchise and you carry an entire organization on your back.

But this guy’s got plenty of reps with that. He’s been doing that for years. That might actually be the easiest part of the transition for him.

Now, just because he’s a slam dunk as the first pick in the draft and he’s exceeded the hype time and time again doesn’t mean that he’s a slam dunk All-Pro the moment he gets in the league. But again, if you were looking to create a player, this is the player you’d create.

And for as long as Trevor Lawrence has been the number one in this class, going back to high school, Justin Fields has always been 1a. It has always been Lawrence and Fields.

But something changed. And now the expectation is Lawrence and Wilson. As in Zach Wilson going to the Jets. That’s not exactly something that the Jets have put out there, but everyone has put out there for them.

And I get it. Cannon for an arm and a guy who makes “holy bleep” throws. Nobody should be compared to Patrick Mahomes, but there is definitely some Patrick Mahomes in Zach Wilson because of that arm, that mobility, and that ability to throw from crazy angles.

And then you get to the third pick, where the draft really begins. Because if Lawrence and Wilson are locks and one and two, nothing is a lock at three.

And honestly, it makes no sense. Because the 49ers traded up for the third pick.  And gave up a helluva lot to get here. And they did that so they could take whoever they want. They’re not going to be trading down or trying to get someone to trade up for that third pick, so there is no need for them to be deking people out. Or putting out crazy smoke.

And yet that’s all there is when it comes to the third pick right now. Is it Mac Jones, the guy that Niners fans don’t want? It would make sense, because by all accounts, he’s pro-ready and plays a style that Kyle Shanahan loves.

But would they really trade up to number three to take a guy who as of about six weeks ago was expected to be going in the teens?

So does that mean they traded up for Trey Lance, the guy with crazy potential and even crazier maturity? If you missed his interview yesterday, you missed a conversation with a guy whose 20 going on 50.

Everyone says that it’s not Justin Fields, but does that mean its Justin Fields? Does the fact that just about everyone has reported that Fields is out at number three mean that he’s really in? Is it a double-reverse?

And what does all of this mean for Jimmy Garoppolo. It’s pretty clear that the writing’s on the wall for him in San Francisco. And that writing says: pack your bleeping  bags.

So does he get traded before the draft? During the draft? Right after it? If you ask Kyle Shanahan whether or not Jimmy G will be on the roster on Sunday, you better be prepared for it to get dark:

All I know is that Denver just acquired Teddy Bridgewater for a sixth round pick, which was a kick to the package for the 49ers. Bridgewater’s one of the best and most loved guys in the league and his comeback is nothing short of amazing. But his time in Carolina has been running out every since they traded for Sam Darnold.

And Drew Lock’s time in Denver has been running out as well. Now the Broncos have an experienced starter to either push Lock or take his job, and they got him on a contract that’s team friendly enough that they could still take a quarterback in this draft.  

But if that’s what Bridgewater is getting, it’s hard to imagine them getting a huge haul for Garoppolo. And yes, it probably means that this all somehow ends with him going back to New England to re-unite with Bill Belichick for a bag of footballs and a ham sandwich.

But that still doesn’t explain the 49ers and all their AHB-FUSS-CATION I know its smokescreen season, but this is a smoke job for the ages.

And if you’re going to fool people a little, you might as well fool people a lot. And the greatest move of all time would be to use that third pick on Kyle Pitts. Don’t grab a quarterback, grab The Unicorn.

That would be the brassest, ballsiest pick of all time. And I would love it. That would be my favorite pick ever and the Niners would be my favorite team ever.

And yes, I know you don’t give up two first round picks for a tight end. Especially when you already have one of the best tight ends in the history of the game, but you also don’t need to be putting out as much smoke as the 49ers are. So go all in.

Take Pitts and tell the entire world, “Tell me how my ass tastes.” Line up George Kittle and Kyle Pitts in the same offense and let it rip. Do it and watch the world burn. If you believe you can win with just about any quarterback, let’s do it. Let’s make it happen.  

And yes, I know there are other teams in this draft. And other questions that need to be answered, like does Carolina still look for a quarterback? What do the Falcons do at four? What do the Dolphins do with their picks? What does Philadelphia do and when do the “Fire Howie” chants start?

There are plenty of other topics and questions in this draft, but it all starts at three. And right now, nobody seems to know exactly what the Niners will do. So I’m saying, take The Unicorn. Let the mayhem begin.