The San Francisco 49ers have just over two weeks before they will select their quarterback of the future. General manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan will be at Ohio State QB Justin Fields’ second pro day on Wednesday. The duo will then check out North Dakota State’s Trey Lance in person on Monday.
We have heard from many pundits about which player they think the Niners should take with the third overall selection at the 2021 NFL Draft. Alabama’s Mac Jones is the popular pick in most mock drafts, but one former NFL player went with another option.
Three-time Pro-Bowl selection and current NFL Network Maurice Jones-Drew released his latest mock draft and explained why he thinks San Francisco should go with Fields.
Fields is a perfect quarterback for Kyle Shanahan’s system. With blazing speed and a big-time arm — which will be on display Wednesday in a second pro day workout — Fields is a guy who’ll move the pocket and make this offense much more explosive than it is with Jimmy G.
Fields ran a 4.44 40-yard dash at Ohio State’s first pro day, which 49ers assistant general manager Adam Peters was in attendance for. The 22-year-old was sensational for the Buckeyes last season, completing 70.2 percent of his passes for 2,100 yards, 22 touchdowns and six interceptions. Pro Football Focus says Fields is the most accurate QB of any of the prospects available in this year’s draft class.
Justin Fields is tops in the class on all passes thrown five-plus yards downfield over the past two seasons with a 61.6% on-target rate, narrowly edging out Alabama’s Mac Jones. That’s not quite at the 66.1% we saw from Joe Burrow last year, but it far outpaces most of the other top quarterbacks in the class. No one besides Jones (61.5%) in the class is within five percentage points.
The 49ers traded their 2021 first-rounder, first-and-third-round selections in 2022 and a first-round pick in 2023 to the Miami Dolphins in order to move up the draft board. NFL Draft pundits like Mel Kiper Jr. and Daniel Jeremiah have San Francisco taking Jones, but former Niner Torrey Smith shared why he doesn’t think the team will pick the Alabama product.
I promised to never be the former player that is a hater but I swear I have a hard time understanding the 49ers would trade all of that for Mac Jones. I like Mac and I think he will be a solid player but as a prospect I don’t see the value in “mortgaging the future” for him.— Torrey Smith (@TorreySmithWR) April 13, 2021
The opinions and hot takes are coming in by the dozens. But we won’t get our final answer until April 29.