Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Jeremiah says signs point toward Trey Lance for 49ers, doesn’t dismiss Mac Jones

Mar 26, 2021 at 12:34 PM--

Everyone is discussing Friday's massive trade between the San Francisco 49ers and Miami Dolphins, moving the former from the No. 12 overall pick to No. 3 while surrendering future first-rounders. That puts the team in a prime spot to select one of the top quarterback prospects in next month's draft.

It won't be Trevor Lawrence of Clemson, who is expected to be selected No. 1 overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Zach Wilson of BYU could be headed to the New York Jets at No. 2. Assuming that's how things play out, NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah had some thoughts on what general manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan might do at No. 3.

"That's what we expect, and that's Lawrence and Wilson—they're off the board," said Jeremiah on NFL Network's Path to the Draft. "Then at three, to me, I think the signs point more toward Trey Lance, just from a skillset standpoint. When they came out and said (Jimmy) Garoppolo would still be a part of their plans, that, to me, meant they don't have to rush this guy onto the field. Trey Lance has already had his pro day. They could be kind of at the finish line of that evaluation, so that's why I point there.

"But you can't rule out Justin Fields, even though my caution would be his pro day is next week. If you were going to do it for Justin Fields, you would just wait until you got to see him there."

While Lawrence, Wilson, Lance, and Fields are seen as the consensus top four quarterbacks in this draft class, NBC Sports analyst Chris Simms threw out another name as a possibility—Mac Jones of Alabama. Of course, it might cause a bit of a revolt among 49ers fans if Lynch and Shanahan traded that much draft capital to move up for Jones.

Jeremiah notes that selecting Jones at No. 3 would be too high given his evaluation of the quarterback.

"But he's already had his pro day," Jeremiah noted. "They would have already kind of completed the (evaluation) process with him to go ahead with a trade, and we can say he does fit with a lot of the things that Kyle Shanahan really values at the position.

"Where we sit, you take in all the information you can get, and when I see Chris Simms, and I know that Chris Simms and Kyle Shanahan go back to the University of Texas together, and Chris is on social media saying, 'Don't rule out Mac Jones,' I'm not ruling out Mac Jones."

Jeremiah was asked if Jones represents an upgrade over Jimmy Garoppolo and said "that's debatable" and that it is "close."

"I don't think that's a slam-dunk upgrade, in my option," Jeremiah added.

What about Lance?

"Trey Lance brings a whole new world of imagination for your offense with what he can do, and the plays he can create, and being able to use him in some of the quarterback run game as well," Jeremiah responded.

The analyst feels the 49ers can keep Garoppolo on the roster and be a contender this season. Then they can move forward with Lance once he is ready, much as the Kansas City Chiefs did with their Alex Smith and Patrick Mahomes situation.

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