It’s lastly the week of the 2022 NFL Draft, so The Athletic’s draft specialists are answering key questions only a few days earlier than Round 1 begins.
Dane Brugler, Nick Baumgardner, Nate Tice and Diante Lee talk about the potential draft impression of Deebo Samuel’s commerce request, candidates to maneuver up within the first spherical and extra.
Which group ought to commerce a 2022 first-round choose (and perhaps extra) for Deebo Samuel?
Brugler: The Jets have been concerned in discussions for seemingly each receiver who has been moved this offseason, so it stands to purpose they might be highly interested in trading for Samuel. The Jets have the draft picks to make a commerce occur, however what’s the suitable compensation for a participant who will even require a top-of-the-market contract? Samuel is 2 years youthful than Tyreek Hill, and the Jets had been able to half with three Day 2 picks (Nos. 35, 38 and 69) to get Hill. Would choose No. 10 need to be a part of a commerce bundle? It doesn’t harm Samuel is already accustomed to head coach Robert Saleh and Mike LaFleur’s offense. But I might nonetheless be shocked if the 49ers traded Samuel.
Tice: How concerning the Eagles? I don’t endorse buying and selling premium picks for receivers and there must be some cap stuff to type out, however they’ve curiosity within the place. Samuel desires much less carries, however his versatility can come in useful with how the Eagles prefer to run their offense with Jalen Hurts at QB. He’d give Hurts one other playmaker to pair with the extra finesse-based DeVonta Smith.
Lee: Let’s throw a curveball in right here. Detroit has a pair of picks between 30-35 that might be attractive for a 49ers franchise lacking a first-rounder in 2022, and Samuel is usually a pure high-volume receiver for Jared Goff. The Lions are two years away from being two years away, however shortening the rebuild would require buying and selling up in drafts or buying premiere veterans. I’d somewhat swing on a recognized commodity.
Baumgardner: It’s virtually actually the Jets. Beyond that, frankly, I’m undecided I’ve a solution. The Chiefs have two firsts, and as Dane stated, Deebo is 2 years youthful than Hill. How about it? Let’s get loopy.
Diante’s level about Detroit is tremendous fascinating to me, even when I’m skeptical of whether or not that franchise needs to be taking over a excessive greenback quantity at receiver when there are simply so many wants all over the place else, particularly defensively. The Lions are usually not on the stage of their rebuild the place a push for a man like Samuel would make a lot sense. They’re going to be caught in impartial for at the least one other 12 months. But to the purpose: This is a man who might shorten your construct, entice different expertise and develop with you. Samuel is hardly an outdated man.
If the 49ers do transfer Samuel earlier than the draft and purchase a 2022 first-round choose, which WR ought to they aim?
Brugler: With his run-after-catch expertise, Arkansas’ Treylon Burks could be a number of enjoyable in that offense, though he would require time as he develops on the NFL degree. Western Michigan’s Skyy Moore would additionally make sense as a result of he’s so good within the quick recreation along with his toughness and reflexes, additionally exhibiting the pace to be a real YAC risk.
Tice: It relies upon the place that choose is, however Garrett Wilson’s dynamic means with the ball in his palms would mix completely with how the 49ers have constructed their passing recreation. I even in contrast the Ohio State receiver to Brandon Aiyuk, which paints an image of his match. USC’s Drake London will get his yards after catch in a completely completely different approach, however his dimension and ability set would give the 49ers offense a completely completely different sort of inside and out of doors ball-winning weapon to go together with George Kittle’s and Aiyuk’s yard after catch means.
Lee: Kyle Shanahan hasn’t ever wanted a bonafide star on the perimeter to generate environment friendly passing assaults, however this offense can use a ball-winner to alleviate some strain from Trey Lance as he prepares to take over at quarterback. If San Francisco had been to get a top-20 choose again, the apparent title could be London. If a group selecting towards the again of the primary spherical made the commerce, I might like to see the 49ers take a swing on Georgia’s George Pickens, who is likely to be probably the most gifted receiver within the class when he’s wholesome.
Baumgardner: If they’ll get a high 10 choose away from the Jets, Wilson could be an unfair addition to Shanahan’s offense — signed, everybody in soccer. This all, after all, is determined by the place the choose lands, however Diante’s level holds greatest: The 49ers don’t want a star exterior to get vertical by means of the air. The offense could make a number of stuff work.
London in the course of the primary spherical could be an imposing addition to an already bodily imposing offense. As would Burks or Pickens. South Alabama’s Jalen Tolbert might match, too, if the 49ers wish to wait.
If Travon Walker doesn’t get previous the Texans at No. 3, he’ll be the rawest top-three choose (non-QB division) since …
Brugler: If solely going by non-quarterbacks, then in all probability offensive lineman Greg Robinson, who went No. 2 to the Rams within the 2014 NFL Draft. He was a traits-based prospect who was drafted extra on potential somewhat than being NFL-ready. However, I don’t assume Walker is that uncooked of a challenge, and he has a a lot greater ceiling than Robinson.
Tice: If not Robinson, how concerning the No. 3 picks within the drafts in 2013 and 2015? Dion Jordan was seen as a traits-based challenge with size within the 2013 draft, and whereas Dante Fowler had some strong manufacturing in his final 12 months at Florida, he was thought of removed from a completed challenge when the Jaguars took him in 2015.
Lee: I wish to keep away from a reproduction reply, so let’s spin all of it the best way again to 2009. Remember an offensive sort out prospect by the title of Jason Smith? Converted to an offensive lineman after beginning his faculty profession at tight finish, Smith was a really late bloomer, and he joined the Rams with extra instruments than manufacturing because the No. 2 choose. He went on to start out simply 26 video games in three seasons in St. Louis.
Walker isn’t almost as uncooked as Smith, although, and I stand agency in my perception that Walker will likely be a top-tier run defender it doesn’t matter what turns into of his move dashing expertise.
Baumgardner: I like Nate’s Fowler comparability a bit right here, perhaps. A man who didn’t have a ton of manufacturing on his stat sheet, was in want of refinement and had traits that had been not possible to disregard all the identical. As others have stated, although, Walker is already soccer participant and can have an effect in opposition to the run early in his profession.
Less than per week out from the draft, which group do you assume is probably to commerce up within the first spherical?
Brugler: The Saints or Steelers. I feel the Saints would like to get their left sort out of the long run (Charles Cross?) and will transfer up 6-8 spots to get him. They would possibly be capable to maintain onto their second first-rounder and use their second-round choose to maneuver up. As for the Steelers, all indicators level to them drafting a quarterback, they usually probably received’t wish to sit and hope their high man falls to them.
Baumgardner: Another group I’d maintain an eye fixed out for could be Detroit. The Lions covet various defenders who’re more likely to go properly earlier than their second first-round selection at No. 32. It wouldn’t shock me to see Detroit discover a technique to bundle property in search of a better second first-round choose in 2022 to go together with its high choose at No. 2. Detroit might additionally commerce down, because the Lions might transfer 32 to a group curious about regardless of the QB image appears to be like like on the finish of the primary, when rookie contracts’ fifth-year choices stay in play.
Which group is probably to commerce down?
Tice: Both New York groups are sitting in doable tipping factors within the draft — picks Nos. 4 (Jets), 5 (Giants), 7 (Giants) and 10 (Jets). They might transfer again from one in every of their two top-10 picks to build up extra property for future years. I’m additionally curious if the Falcons transfer down from No. 8 to restock their barren roster.
Lee: Carolina is the franchise holding the playing cards for enormous motion within the first spherical. Grabbing top-of-the-line tackles within the class at No. 6 could be comprehensible, however this roster wants expertise nearly all over the place. If the Panthers commerce again for extra draft capital within the high 100, I anticipate a number of groups between Nos. 7-12 to then attempt to leap in entrance of one another.
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