I’ll be taking a couple of days off. I’ll be back on Tuesday. Please, pretend to like each other for a few days.
Brian Baldinger: Cue the commissioner: ”With the third pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the San Francisco 49ers select Mac Jones, quarterback, Alabama.” No. 3 overall might be far higher up the board than Jones thought he’d be a few months ago, but Patrick Mahomes never thought he would be the 10th overall pick in 2017 either. If you look at Shanahan’s history — going back to working with Matt Schaub in Houston, Kirk Cousins in Washington, and Matt Ryan in Atlanta — his quarterbacks are all physically comparable to Jones. Heck, you can throw in Brian Hoyer in Cleveland for a year, as well. Jones doesn’t need to be Superman for San Francisco; he just needs to be a smart, tough, efficient thrower. And in my opinion, no one in college football was better than Jones in 2020.
Joe Thomas: You don’t give up the No. 12 overall selection, a third-round pick and first-round picks in 2022 and ‘23 to draft a non-QB. You just don’t. I would be downright shocked if the 49ers went that route. Ohio State signal-caller Justin Fields would give this offense a high ceiling as an extremely accurate passer and great athlete, two qualities that fit perfectly into Kyle Shanahan’s system.
The 49ers just need someone they can finally develop and keep around to be that cornerstone. They already have one player on each level of the defense who is a cornerstone with Fred Warner and Nick Bosa. Now is the time to get one in the secondary by drafting a cornerback so the 49ers can continue maintaining the culture of the defense and the overall team.
Drafting a cornerback such as Flordia State’s Asante Samuel Jr. should he fall to the 49ers at No. 43 is the ideal scenario for the 49ers, but by no means should they force it. Just take the best player available. Drafting by needs isn’t always the best course of action, and picking in the second round should just be about taking who is best.
“First of all, only the Bears in that draft loved Trubisky,” Cowherd said on “The Herd.” “They were the only team, loved Trubisky. Only the 49ers love Mac Jones, you don’t hear another team interested. Trubisky was a one-year college starter, that’s it, always a problem. You can’t win the job as a sophomore if you’re an NFL quarterback, a junior? Mac Jones similarly is a one-year starter, couldn’t beat out Tua. You seen Tua in Miami, look like the face of the league?
“Number three, Chicago already had a good draft pick, they were at three, they gave away all sorts of picks to move up to two, they didn’t have to, nobody else was in Trubisky, their intel was bad. The 49ers already had a great pick, 12, did you really have to give up all those picks to get to three? Mac Jones wasn’t going three, I’m not sure Mac Jones is going before 12.
It was then when Eisen struck a preposterous, and quite gross, bet with the listener: If the 49ers take anyone but a quarterback at the No. 3 overall spot, he’d eat the listener’s dirty sweatshirt live on air.
Now that is some confidence in one’s opinion right there. Eisen reasons that San Francisco is likely to be on the look out for some support at quarterback beside Jimmy Garoppolo, who did not have a good 2020 season and was injured off and on throughout the year.
“It is not Kyle Pitts coming. It is not Jamar Chase coming,” Eisen said. “It is somebody who throws a football — for a living — not named Trevor Lawrence and presumedly Zach Wilson. That’s who’s coming.”
If the 49ers aren’t one of those clubs, they should be.
Miller was a second-round pick out of Memphis by the Bears in the 2018 draft. He posted a strong rookie campaign with 33 receptions for 423 yards and seven touchdowns. In Year 2 he jumped to 52 catches for 656 yards and two scores. His third season was productive as well with 49 receptions, 485 yards and two touchdowns.
San Francisco need a third receiver after Kendrick Bourne’s departure, and an established veteran slot receiver like Miller would be a perfect replacement. If the 49ers were already going to use a draft pick on a receiver, finding a player who’s already been productive in the NFL makes a lot of sense.