How Darnold trade to Panthers impacts 49ers, NFL draft

/ by Matt Maiocco
Presented By Big O Tires

If there was ever a thought that the New York Jets could surprise everyone and keep Sam Darnold as their quarterback of today and the future, well . . . so much for that.

The Jets traded Darnold to the Carolina Panthers on Monday, which now locks the organization into selecting a quarterback at No. 2 overall.

The Jacksonville Jaguars are expected to take Trevor Lawrence of Clemson with the No. 1 overall pick, while the Jets appear to be locked into BYU’s Zach Wilson at No. 2.

The 49ers anticipated this scenario all along. They could not move up to No. 3 to land a replacement for Jimmy Garoppolo until they were confident in three quarterbacks in this year’s draft.

Coach Kyle Shanahan knew if the 49ers wanted to guarantee themselves of getting, at worst, the third-best quarterback prospect on their draft board, they had to move up to No. 3. And that’s what they did with the March 26 trade with the Miami Dolphins.

“To move up to three, we had to feel good that there's three guys we'd be comfortable with leading our team for a long time,” Shanahan said last week. “We couldn't make that decision before there were three guys, so we had to feel that way with three.”

RELATED: Shanahan reportedly doesn't tell assistants his QB evals

Lawrence and Wilson were likely two of the quarterbacks.

The 49ers clearly have someone in mind among Alabama’s Mac Jones, North Dakota State’s Trey Lance and Ohio State’s Justin Fields.


The first round of the NFL Draft is set for Thursday, April 29.

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