Who will the 49ers choose in the 2021 NFL draft? Mac Jones vs. Trey Lance vs. Justin Fields examines the decision
When the 49ers aggressively negotiated with the Dolphins to get the No. 3 overall spot in the 2021 NFL Draft last week, the best solution for the big quarter had to be taken. To find out if that was true, CEO John Lynch and offensive coach Kyle Shanahan everyone confirmed that on Monday.
San Francisco has no plans to trade head coach Jimmy Garoppolo for the time being, but the team has full plans to replace him with the younger QB of the ceiling soon. As they should have, Lynch and Shanahan did not put their hands up on April 29 for Garoppolo to succeed.
That QB won’t be Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence. Urban Meyer and the Jaguars are blocked at No. 1.
That QB is also unlikely to be BYU’s Zach Wilson. That is, unless Shanahan receives information from his former defensive coordinator Robert Saleh and former passing games coordinator Mike LaFleur, he is now the No. 2 Jets head coach and offensive coordinator, knowing that they will move up the position. It’s still a good bet Wilson’s rise is too big to stick with New York and Sam Darnold.
That puts the trio of Mac Jones of Alabama, Trey Lance of North Dakota State and Justin Fields of Ohio State as the 49th pick. The fashionable feeling of many in the NFL will be chosen by Jones, but many believe that Lance or Fields will land in San Francisco.
49ERS MOCK PROJECT: Who will take San Francisco in general at No. 3?
The 49-year-old liked Jones for a while. Shanahan has taken a personal interest in the pre-project training. He fits the profile of the QBs he liked in his QB-friendly system in the past, Kirk Cousins of Washington and Matt NFL MVP 2016 of Atlanta Ryana. Jones is a polished pocket runner who is able to confidently hang and distribute the ball to many weapons.
There is no doubt that Jones, who will turn 23 in September, can immediately start moving to San Francisco if he can save big capital money in Garoppolo through a trade or dismissal. It doesn’t offer items for running, but to gain enough time to do the sport and implement Shanahan’s past game.
The 49ers have a strong offensive line, dynamic weapons (George Kitte, Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk) and the balance of effective race play is in place to win again with Jones. Jones has a genealogy that won the Alabama championship, just like the one Garoppolo Patriots took with him, which he paid for in the Super Bowl 54 race.
Jones has a high floor as a QB that takes full advantage of his support system. The big question for Jones is whether there are physical limitations to becoming a “last-ditch” QB because he needs everything he needs to do well around him. The 49-year-old could be fine with that, as is the case with Shanahan’s cousins and Ryan, and there’s confidence that Lynch won’t let the line and skill positions weaken.
Jones may not have the special potential that a team normally negotiates, but it may be worth it for the 49ers because they can get the most out of him.
Lance also led his college team to a national championship. But he turned 21 in May and started his only season in North Dakota. That said, he has a wrist arm and athleticism. This combination can turn that combination into a double threat to the NFL in a great offensive system.
If the 49ers aren’t in a hurry to move Garoppolo and plan to use it as a bridge above the 2021 average, then Lance would get a season to develop and absorb everything under Shanahan before creating a potential 2nd year explosion similar to Patrick Mahomes. Or the 49th is just wanting to see what Lance can do, in a system that will help him learn to fly well.
This makes it very hard for 49ers to read. Their attack is aimed at any pass with an accurate and fast ability to bring the ball to their game-makers. Lance adds an extra dimension to being able to take off and run when things aren’t going well, and the defense can think of something more against a hard attack that’s already prosperous.
Shanahan has had traditional passers-by before and can see her theater student embrace the opportunity to embrace another esteemed style to expand her playbook. It’s also no secret that he’s in love with No. 4 Falcons Lance, and it would make sense to know that Lynch was pushing No. 3 for the only way to make sure that was the case. If the Falcons can think of replacing Ryan with Lance, then logic would tell the 49ers for Lance to shoot against Garoppolo with a similar upgrade mentality.
Jones Vs. In Lance’s discussion, Fields falls in the middle. Jones has achieved great Polish program and success in the College Football Playoff. He has turned Lance’s arm and athletics upside down. Therefore, the 49s can offer the best of both worlds in trying to replace Garoppolo.
Shanahan and Lynch can see the sweet spot between the floor and the ceiling with Fields. He sees the pitch well and moves well to think that he can also advance in the attack in the 49s. While in the state of Ohio, Fields worked with custom-made zone racing and fast-paced concepts.
Fields turned 22 in March, between Jones and Lance. Being a prolific two-year-old beginner, it suited 49 lines to immediately get in line or have a little more patience with him.
With three QBs for the 49er, all the pros are there, and most of the time they don’t have any downsides in their big decision, thanks to Shanahan’s offense. When they say which QB they want to take in No. 3, everyone should fully believe it, for now. There are a number of factors to consider, including which QB would relate to Shanahan’s personality and provide the youngest leadership traits for the veteran team.
The 49ers won the NFC championship with Garoppolo, but they had the feeling that they had left a lot on the table in terms of their offensive potential. Garoppolo’s sustainability issues are also worrisome.
Taking anyone who wants to choose San Francisco at No. 3 has been a definite move to make sure he gets the innovative QB he wants and will fall to No. 12. That’s a good problem.