Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

PFF prefers Justin Fields but still predicts Mac Jones to 49ers in mock draft

Apr 9, 2021 at 9:53 AM--

Add yet another mock draft to the pile of those that have the San Francisco 49ers selecting former Alabama quarterback Mac Jones with the No. 3 overall pick over Justin Fields of Ohio State and Trey Lance of North Dakota State. Andrew Erickson of Pro Football Focus has head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch following the narrative created by Chris Simms, Adam Schefter, Daniel Jeremiah, and other national analysts.

That doesn't mean Erickson sees Jones as the better prospect. The projection is just based on what is being heard around the league — not that anyone can say with any certainty what the 49ers plan to do.

"Although I personally don't agree with the selection — Justin Fields would be the better option — Jones still projects to fit well in the Shanahan offense," wrote the Pro Football Focus analyst. "He's extremely accurate, a great decision-maker and moves well within the pocket."

Pro Football Focus touts Fields' accuracy in college, which just edged that of Jones. Both were extraordinary when compared to the average in college football.

Although, Jones' adjusted completion percentage of 84.2 ranked first in the nation. His Pro Football Focus passing grade of 94.8 ranked second. By comparison, Fields earned an adjusted completion percentage of 80.8 and a passing grade of 92.4, both of which are still considered elite.

Jones isn't the most popular choice in the eyes of fans. While the Crimson Tide product is seen as the most pro-ready quarterback right now, the fanbase is leaning toward the more athletic prospects with higher ceilings in Fields and Lance.

It's hard to imagine that San Francisco gave up so much draft capital to move up to select Jones, who some don't even view as worthy of a first-round pick, much less a top-three one.

"I understand the tension around Jones as the No. 3 pick," Erickson added, "especially considering what the 49ers paid to move up. But few would be questioning the decision if the team honed in on Justin Fields or Trey Lance at No. 3. Quarterback is the move here; we just have to wait and see which one the 49ers have in their sights."

Fields will take part in his second pro-day workout. Shanahan and Lynch are expected to be in attendance. We'll see if the narrative from the national media changes after that.

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