A matchup between two of this rookie class’ top players will occur tonight, when Bradley Chubb and Nick Chubb share the field in a do-or-die Broncos-Browns tilt. But Denver attempted to make the second cousins teammates on draft weekend. The Broncos attempted to trade up and select Nick Chubb, Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic writes (subscription required). Bradley Chubb alerted Nick of the possibility they could be teammates, but the Browns held onto their pick and selected the Georgia-developed running back. And Nick Chubb looks like Cleveland’s best backfield option in years.
Courtland Sutton soon went to Denver at No. 41, and that allowed the Broncos to collect a 2019 draft choice for Demaryius Thomas. While that trade (and the season-ending Achilles injury Emmanuel Sanders suffered) leaves the Broncos as thin at wideout as they’ve been in ages, Sutton does have an opportunity to make an impression in the Broncos’ final three games as their No. 1 target. Had the Nick Chubb-to-Denver scenario played out, third-round pick Royce Freeman likely would be elsewhere.
Shifting to other West-division teams’ plans:
- Although the 49ers have many needs entering the offseason, wide receiver is clearly one of them. Marquise Goodwin and Dante Pettis will be part of next year’s core, but Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area expects San Francisco to release Pierre Garcon. Two underwhelming years have included just 16 total Garcon games (and one touchdown). This would be an interesting move because the 49ers would only save $1MM in cap space by cutting Garcon after two years; they would incur more than $7MM in dead money.
- Expected to land a high draft pick again, the 49ers will not take a wideout with their first pick, Maiocco notes. But one may be available in Round 2, and Maiocco expects the draft to be the 49ers’ primary avenue to upgrade this position. Ole Miss talents D.K. Metcalf and A.J. Brown could be available. Kyle Shanahan said this offseason the 49ers were did not aggressively pursue Sammy Watkins or Allen Robinson, due to the escalating markets for those solid starters but players who don’t profile as true No. 1s.
- Jon Gruden has shown no such hesitancy regarding free agency, having signed numerous older free agents this offseason. The Raiders should be expected to go after at least one veteran wide receiver, likely to replace Jordy Nelson, Scott Bair of NBC Sports Bay Area notes. Bair expects neither Nelson nor Seth Roberts to be on the 2019 Raiders. Neither prospective release would tag the Raiders with any dead money, though both are under contract through 2019. As for whom the Raiders could target, Golden Tate, Tyrell Williams, Randall Cobb, Jamison Crowder and John Brown may be among the players on the market.