With the 2021 NFL Draft on Thursday, it’s that time of year when fake accounts conjure up trades that send social media into a frenzy.
What happened Monday morning was one of the more bizarre and successful instances of a phony trade making the rounds on Twitter. A fake announcement from what looked to be the Chargers’ Twitter account said the team was packaging a third-round pick (No. 77 overall) with the 13th selection to the Giants in order to move up to No. 11.
While trades do happen before draft night, the timing of this one would have been curious considering nobody has any idea who will be available at No. 11 vs. No. 13. A trade like this from Los Angeles would usually be done with a particular player in mind.
Gettleman is known for not trading down in the draft, something he recently said was “almost becoming an urban myth.” Such a move, if it were to happen, likely wouldn’t be executed until both teams have a better idea of how things will fall on draft day.
Twitter user Max Merten then claimed he created the tweet with a photo editor and responded to the Pro Football Focus account that tweeted it out, writing, “Posted and deleted by the Chargers,” with the side-eye emoji.
PFF was not the only account to get duped. Sharp Football Analysis’ Warren Sharp was fooled and elaborated his thoughts on the fabricated transaction. All of the tweets were eventually deleted, with PFF poking fun at themselves.
When questioned why he would spend time creating a fake trade, Merten replied: “I actually use them (the graphics) for a mock draft of mine, so it looks more realistic, but I thought I could also try and bamboozle some people.”