Deebo and Jimmy G trades among six NFL draft bold predictions originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
The 2022 NFL Draft has arrived and no one has any idea what’s going to happen.
There are at least three prospects with a chance to be taken at No. 1, and there’s always the possibility the Jacksonville Jaguars could opt to trade the pick. The 49ers, meanwhile, don’t have a first-round pick, but do have a sticky situation on their hands in the form of Deebo Samuel’s trade request.
Sprinkle in Jimmy Garoppolo still being on the roster, and the 49ers could be the ultimate NFL draft wild-card.
The NFL will own the sports world starting Thursday and anything is possible.
Here NostraSchrockus’ six bold predictions that almost certainly won’t, but maybe will happen at the 2022 NFL Draft:
Jets make a splash, but not the one you think
Many see the Jets as one of the likely landing spots for Deebo Samuel should the 49ers opt to give into the wide receiver’s trade request.
The Jets, who owns the Nos. 4 and 10 pick in the first round, ponder making a blockbuster deal for Samuel but instead fall in love with one of the draft’s top prospects and decide they can’t let him slip away. The Jets the No. 4 pick and a 2023 first-round pick to the Jacksonville Jaguars to move up to No. 1 overall.
The Jets sprint to the podium and select Derek Stingley Jr., an elite corner who can lock down one side of the field for Robert Saleh.
Jacksonville goes on the clock at No. 4 and selects Georgia defensive lineman Trayvon Walker, the player they were targeting all along.
Patriots get their “Josh Allen answer”
The Patriots did little in free agency while the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins got better.
Bill Belichick is no stranger to draft trades, but the Patriots’ modus operandi normally is to trade down. But Belichick knows he has to find a way to make life hard on Josh Allen in order to have a change to win the AFC East. So, Belichick makes a big swing and calls the Atlanta Falcons, agreeing to trade the No. 21 and No. 85 pick in the 2021 draft, along with a 2023 second and fourth for the No. 8 overall selection.
The Falcons are starting a full rebuild, so they gobble up the draft capital without a second thought. The Patriots select Kayvon Thibodeaux, a potential generational pass-rusher who can anchor their defensive line for the next decade and get after the likes of Allen, Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert and Joe Burrow.
Steelers can’t risk getting beat to the punch
It is no secret that the Pittsburgh Steelers and head coach Mike Tomlin are in need of a long-term answer at quarterback, and that they love Liberty quarterback Malik Willis.
The Steelers watch the first nine picks go by and Willis is still sitting there. Wary of the Washington Commanders at No. 11, the Steelers call the Jets and offer them the No. 20 pick and a 2023 first and third for No. 10. The Jets, having just surrendered their own 2023 first to the Jags, agree to the deal and slide back.
Pittsburgh reaches for Willis but gets its guy. Washington follows by picking Desmond Ridder at No. 11. Kenny Pickett is the third and final quarterback taken in the first round, going at No. 32 to the Detroit Lions.
The Jets end up drafting Chris Olave at No. 20.
Chargers get Herbo a torpedo
The Chargers had one of the best offseasons in the NFL. They traded for Khalil Mack and bolstered their interior defensive line with Sebastian Joseph-Day.
A lot of mocks have the Chargers taking Georgia defensive wrecking ball Jordan Davis at No. 17. New head coach Brandon Staley gives it some thought but instead goes a different direction. Knowing they need to be able to keep pace in the loaded AFC West, the Chargers swap firsts with the Houston Texans and move up to No. 13 to select Alabama burner, Jameson Williams.
With Jameson Williams, Mike Williams and Keenan Allen, Justin Herbert and the Bolts have the arsenal needed to win the best division in football.
John Lynch made it clear Monday that he doesn’t plan to trade Deebo Samuel. In a perfect world, the 49ers and their star receiver would squash their differences and come to an agreement on a lucrative contract extension.
But the 49ers get an offer they can’t turn down from the Philadelphia Eagles. Philly sends the No. 15 and No. 83 picks, along with a 2023 first-round pick from the New Orleans Saints and a 2023 fifth-round pick.
RELATED: Six WRs for 49ers to target if they trade Deebo
The 49ers go a bit off the board by drafting Georgia linebacker Nakobe Dean. The pairing of Dean and Fred Warner gives the 49ers to instinctive missiles at linebacker who can do it all.
The Carolina Panthers have been seen as the last likely landing spot for Jimmy Garoppolo for the better part of a month. Matt Rhule and the Panthers are in need of a quarterback. No matter what Ben McAdoo says, Sam Darnold isn’t the answer.
The Panthers think about going QB at No. 6, but instead, draft North Carolina State tackle Ickey Ekwonu.
Still in need of an anti-Darnold option, the Panthers finally get the 49ers’ price for Garoppolo down and send a 2023 fourth-round pick to San Francisco for the 30-year-old quarterback.
The 49ers round out their draft haul with Baylor safety Jalen Pitre at No. 61 and package two third-round picks to move up and select Alabama wide receiver John Metchie at No. 66.
With the Samuel and Garoppolo dramas over, the 49ers can finally move into the Trey Lance era unimpeded.
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