• Shane Palma

Four Major Trades That Could Shake Up The Entire NFL Draft

(Photo Credit: Tim Heitman)

“I can’t guarantee that anybody in the world will be alive Sunday.”

Wise words from 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan.

While this statement from a recent press conference surely did not provide any clarity on San Francisco’s quarterback situation, it did further emphasize the chaotic nature of the upcoming NFL Draft where nothing is guaranteed.

After trading up to the No. 3 pick, it appears the 49ers are set on selecting either North Dakota State QB Trey Lance or Alabama QB Mac Jones. This whole situation has stunned the NFL Draft community, as Ohio State QB Justin Fields has seemingly become the fifth best option.

Could this all be smoke and mirrors? Of course.

But if this holds true, the falling stock of Fields would send the entire NFL Draft into a complete tailspin.

Let’s take a look at some potential outlandish trades for Thursday that would send shockwaves throughout the league.

For the basis of this article, we will assume the first five picks of the NFL Draft go as following:

  • Jaguars - Trevor Lawrence

  • Jets - Zach Wilson

  • 49ers - Mac Jones

  • Falcons - Trey Lance

  • Bengals - Ja’Marr Chase

1) Panthers add another weapon for Sam Darnold

Carolina receives:

-- 2021 first-round pick (No. 6)

-- 2021 third-round pick (No. 81)

Miami receives:

-- 2021 first-round pick (No. 8)

-- 2021 second-round pick (No. 39)

Why it happens:

With arguably the best talent still available, the Panthers trade up with the Miami Dolphins and select TE Kyle Pitts out of Florida.

This trade is mutually beneficial to each of the parties involved. The Panthers provide yet another weapon for their new quarterback project Sam Darnold, while the Dolphins continue to stockpile draft capital and only move down two spots.

With Detroit intent on taking Alabama WR Jaylen Waddle, Miami is able to secure the player they wanted this entire time: OT Penei Sewell.

Fantasy impact:

The fantasy value of the Carolina pass catchers depends solely on the progression of Sam Darnold. If Darnold can prove to be even a mediocre starter, Kyle Pitts could flourish in his first season alongside DJ Moore and Robby Anderson.

As for the Dolphins, taking Sewell would give the offensive line a significant boost as the team looks to protect their franchise QB Tua Tagovailoa. RB Myles Gaskin would also see a minor uptick in value.

2) Baltimore secures a bonafide WR1

Baltimore receives:

-- 2021 first-round pick (No. 6)

Miami receives:

-- 2021 first-round pick (No. 27)

-- 2022 first-round pick

-- 2022 second-round pick

Why it happens:

How much would it truly take for the Baltimore Ravens to move into the top 10?

Once again, this trade involves the Miami Dolphins mainly because they seem like the only team willing to move from the front-end of the draft all the way to the back of the line.

If the Ravens are somehow able to pull this one off, Jaylen Waddle is the pick. By leapfrogging the Detroit Lions, Baltimore makes up for their free agency flop and gifts QB Lamar Jackson with a legitimate number one target.

Although the Dolphins would be giving up a great spot to land a top-tier skill position player, the team is able to snag OT Christian Darrisaw at No. 18 and WR Terrace Marshall Jr. at No. 26.

Fantasy impact:

Jaylen Waddle is suddenly the most fantasy relevant receiver out of this class, even more so than Ja’Marr Chase. While Justin Jefferson set a high standard for this position last year, Waddle would still be a 7th or 8th round pick with obvious risk but sky-high upside.

Marshall Jr. would not have as big of an impact on day one, as Devante Parker, Mike Gesicki, and Will Fuller would all be higher in the pecking order for targets. Tagovailoa would see a bump in value.

3) Patriots find their next starting quarterback

New England receives:

-- 2021 first-round pick (No. 11)

New York receives:

-- 2021 first-round pick (No. 15)

-- 2021 third-round pick (No. 76)

-- 2022 second-round pick

Why it happens:

An unexplainable free fall finally comes to an end when the New England Patriots step up and select QB Justin Fields.

One year removed from the “Tom Brady Era of Greatness,” the Patriots struggled to find their footing behind the lackluster play of former MVP Cam Newton. While the team re-signed Newton to a one-year deal, that certainly does not rule them out of selecting his (very) soon-to-be heir apparent.

The Giants are able to take advantage of a desperate team and receive a decent haul in return. With their first selection now coming at No. 15, New York decides to go defense and select CB Jaycee Horn.

Fantasy impact:

Justin Fields would need to be named starter in order to have any relevance in fantasy drafts. That is unless the Patriots’ team doctor accidentally punctures a hole in Cam Newton’s lung, forcing their hand and giving the start Fields. I wonder where we’ve heard that story before?

4) Eagles start fresh with pick No. 4

Philadelphia receives:

-- 2021 first-round pick (No. 4)

Atlanta receives:

-- 2021 first-round pick (No. 12)

-- QB Jalen Hurts

Why it happens:

This would easily be the biggest shocker of the night, and possibly one of the biggest draft day trades of all time.

After taking over for Carson Wentz during the final four games of the 2020 season, Jalen Hurts showed huge flashes of potential. However, that might not have been enough for Philadelphia management.

With Wentz now in Indianapolis, Hurts became the presumed building block at the quarterback position for the Eagles, yet recent news has led people to believe that they still might be in the market for a new starter.

After the 49ers select Mac Jones at No. 3, the Eagles jump the line and select Justin Fields at No. 4 in a trade with the Falcons.

Contemplating whether or not Matt Ryan should be their starter, Atlanta trades for Jalen Hurts and moves back eight spots. Hurts would be the backup at the beginning of the season, but could push for the starter role at some point down the line.

The Falcons choose to improve their defense and select LB Micah Parsons at No. 12.

Fantasy impact:

Fields is tossed into a system that has a meddling offensive line and average weapons. He would be a late round dart throw as a QB2 with rushing upside.

The Falcons put fantasy owners into a bigger predicament as they haven’t left much faith in Ryan long-term. He becomes a weekly QB streamer while Hurts sits on your waiver wire until given the starting nod.

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