Derick E. Hingle/Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Derick E. Hingle/Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports


PFF, The Athletic mock drafts have 49ers selecting different QBs

Mar 29, 2021 at 6:36 AM--


Pro Football Focus and The Athletic released new mock drafts on Monday morning. Both have the San Francisco 49ers selecting quarterbacks at their new draft slot—No. 3 overall. They just disagreed on which quarterback it would be.

With Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson likely to go one and two, respectively, that leaves San Francisco with a choice between Justin Fields, Trey Lance, and Mac Jones. Head coach Kyle Shanahan likely feels good about at least a couple of those options, if not all three.

Austin Gayle of Pro Football Focus has the 49ers selecting Fields at No. 3, ignoring the rumors suggesting that Lance is the favorite at that spot or even Jones being the dark-horse pick.

"The concerns with Fields' processing and his tendency to hold the ball too long in the pocket are valid," wrote Gayle, "but the prospect of his development in those areas coupled with his proven athletic ability and accuracy should be too good for San Francisco to pass on. Fields is PFF's No. 3 overall player and No. 3 quarterback prospect in the 2021 class. He's also the only quarterback in this class with two years of 90.0-plus PFF grades (2019-20)."

Fields (6-3, 228) appeared in eight games with the Buckeyes last season, completing 70.2 percent of his passes for 2,100 yards with 22 touchdowns and six interceptions while adding five rushing touchdowns, per Sports Reference. That followed up a 2019 campaign that saw the quarterback throw 41 touchdowns and run for 10 more while throwing just three interceptions.

Gayle has San Francisco selecting linebacker Jabril Cox out of LSU in the second round.

Meanwhile, at the Athletic, Matt Barrows has San Francisco going with the player who is turning out to be the favorite at No. 3—Lance. While some point to Jones being more of a Shanahan-type quarterback, a la Kirk Cousins, Barrows notes that Lance also fits the mold. Except, he adds some good mobility to his skill set.

"Some might say drafting a quarterback with 17 starts at pick No. 3 is too great of a risk," wrote Barrows. "While that's far from ideal, Lance operated the most pro-like offense of any of the top passers in the draft, which should make Kyle Shanahan's projection a little easier. It's also worth noting that Mac Jones, whom some see as the readiest to step into the Shanahan offense, also had 17 starts in college. If Lance's lack of experience is problematic, the 49ers could ease him into the NFL with a few plays a game like the 49ers did with Colin Kaepernick early in 2012 or the Saints have done more recently with Taysom Hill."

Lance (6-4, 226) appeared in just one game in 2020, throwing for 149 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception while adding 143 rushing yards and two more scores on the ground in a 39-28 victory over Central Arkansas. He completed 66.9 percent of his passes for 2,786 yards with 28 touchdowns and no interceptions through 16 games as a sophomore in 2019.

Barrows' mock draft goes seven rounds deep, and the beat writer has the 49ers going defense with the next two selections of cornerback Eric Stokes of Georgia and defensive end Jordan Smith of UAB.

Click here to read about the rest of Barrows' picks.





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