When the 49ers aggressively traded up with the Dolphins to amass the No. 3 general pick in the 2021 NFL Draft final week, it was to take a high quarterback prospect. After some preliminary hypothesis on whether or not that was true, common supervisor John Lynch and offensive-minded coach Kyle Shanahan all but confirmed that on Monday.
San Francisco for now has no plans to commerce incumbent starter Jimmy Garoppolo, however the workforce has each intention of changing him with a youthful, higher-ceiling QB quickly. As they need to, Lynch and Shanahan did not tip their arms on which top-five first rounder they’re focusing on to succeed Garoppolo on April 29.
That QB will not be Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence. Urban Meyer and the Jaguars are locked into him at No. 1.
That QB additionally in all probability will not be BYU’s Zach Wilson. That is except Shanahan bought inside information from his former defensive coordinator Robert Saleh and former passing recreation coordinator Mike LaFleur, now the head coach and offensive coordinator of the No. 2-picking Jets, figuring out they will move on the place. It’s nonetheless an excellent wager Wilson’s upside is just too excessive to disregard for New York vs. sticking with Sam Darnold.
That whittles it right down to the trio of Alabama’s Mac Jones, North Dakota State’s Trey Lance and Ohio State’s Justin Fields as the 49ers’ alternative. The stylish feeling from many inside the NFL is the alternative will be Jones, however simply as many assume Lance or Fields will land in San Francisco.
49ERS MOCK DRAFT: Who will San Francisco take at No. 3 overall?
The 49ers have preferred Jones for some time. Shanahan has taken private curiosity in his pre-draft exercises. He suits the profile of QBs he is preferred in his QB-friendly system in the previous, Kirk Cousins in Washington and 2016 NFL MVP Matt Ryan in Atlanta. Jones is a sophisticated, poised pocket passer, able to hanging and distributing the ball with confidence to various weapons.
There’s little query Jones, who will be 23 in September, can begin instantly for San Francisco, permitting it to save lots of large cap cash on Garoppolo through a later commerce or launch. He would not present a operating component, however he is athletic sufficient to purchase time and execute Shanahan’s passing recreation.
The 49ers have a powerful offensive line, dynamic weapons (George Kitte, Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk) and the steadiness of an efficient operating recreation in place to win large once more now with Jones. Jones has the championship-winning pedigree from Alabama, very like the one Garoppolo carried with him from the Patriots, which paid off in a Super Bowl 54 run.
Jones does have a excessive ground as a QB who takes full benefit of his assist system. But the large query round Jones is whether or not there are bodily limitations to make him the final “dependent” QB, needing every little thing nicely in place round him. The 49ers is likely to be OK with that, as a result of that was the case for Shanahan with Cousins and Ryan, and there is belief Lynch will not let the line and ability positions turn into weak.
Jones could not have the particular potential for which a workforce often trades up, however he is likely to be price to the 49ers as a result of they know they will get the most out of him.
Lance additionally guided his school workforce to a nationwide championship. But he turns solely 21 in May and began just one season for North Dakota State. That stated, he is bought a jaw-dropping arm and athleticism to match That mixture can flip him right into a scorching twin menace in the NFL with some refinement in a fantastic offensive system.
If the 49ers are usually not speeding to maneuver Garoppolo and plan use him as a nicely above-average bridge for 2021, then Lance would get a season to develop and soak up every little thing underneath Shanahan earlier than organising for a possible Patrick Mahomes-like Year 2 explosion. Or, the 49ers could merely wish to see what Lance can do being let free in a system that will assist him study nicely on the fly.
That’s what makes studying the 49ers so powerful. Their offense is geared to any passer who’s correct and fast in his capability to get the ball to their playmakers. Lance provides the further dimension of with the ability to take off and run when issues aren’t there downfield and in addition giving defenses one thing extra to consider towards an already prolific speeding assault.
Shanahan has had the conventional passers earlier than and may even see an opportunity to welcome a unique fashion of prized pupil to broaden his playbook. Also, it is no secret the No. 4-picking Falcons have been enamored with Lance, and it will make sense that Lynch pushed to No. 3 figuring out that was the solely approach to make sure getting him. If the Falcons can take into consideration changing Ryan with Lance, then logic would say the 49ers capturing for Lance over Garoppolo is the same improve mentality.
In the debate of Jones vs. Lance, Fields falls someplace in the center. He’s bought the big-program polish and College Football Playoff success of Jones. He’s bought the arm and athleticism upside of Lance. Therefore, he would possibly provide the 49ers the better of each worlds in making an attempt to interchange Garoppolo.
Shanahan and Lynch would possibly see the candy spot between ground and ceiling with Fields. He sees the area nicely and strikes round nicely to assume he additionally might thrive in the 49ers’ offense. While at Ohio State, Fields labored with lots of pro-tailored zone operating and quick-pass ideas.
Fields turned 22 in March, proper between the ages of Jones and Lance. As two-year prolific starter, he might swimsuit the 49ers being plugged into the llineup straight away or they may select to be somewhat extra affected person with him.
With all three QBs for the 49er, there are all execs, and principally no cons concerned with their large decision, because of Shanahan’s offense. When they are saying they are not positive which QB they wish to take at No. 3, everybody ought to fully consider them, for now. There are myriad elements to contemplate, together with which QB would mesh personality-wise with Shanahan and provide the greatest younger management qualities for a a veteran workforce.
The 49ers did win an NFC championship with Garoppolo, however there was a sense they’ve left loads on the desk in regards to their offensive potential. Garoppolo’s sturdiness points are also regarding.
Whoever San Francisco chooses to take at No. 3, it was a definitive transfer to verify it will get the rookie QB it needs vs. hoping one would fall to No. 12. That’s an excellent downside to have.