Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Albert Breer explains how early trade to No. 3 impacts 49ers’ QB evaluations at pro days

Apr 12, 2021 at 3:28 PM--

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch were in attendance for Mac Jones' pro day on March 30. It was their first time watching one of their quarterback draft options in-person following the team's trade from No. 12 to the No. 3 spot.

By executing the trade over a month before the start of the draft, Shanahan and Lynch don't have to work in secrecy. It was a point the Niners head coach made during a March 29 press conference.

"When you're sitting at 12 and stuff, I don't want to go to a bunch of quarterback pro days and things like that," Shanahan said. "Now that you move up to three, you don't have to hide as much."

Now, Shanahan and Lynch can watch whomever they choose and not have to worry about tipping their hand to other teams.

Trevor Lawrence is a near-lock to be the first player selected on April 29, going to the Jacksonville Jaguars. The New York Jets will likely commit to Zach Wilson as the face of the franchise for the foreseeable future. That leaves San Francisco with its choice of Jones, Justin Fields, or Trey Lance.

On Wednesday, the Niners' decision-makers will watch Fields throw. Next week, they will watch Lance work out. Those two pro days will be different than the one conducted for Jones. Unlike the one in Tuscaloosa, these impending throwing sessions will be conducted by NFL coaches. The 49ers will likely be heavily involved in determining what each prospect shows off. That could give the two quarterbacks the edge they need to convince San Francisco to draft one of them over Jones.

"For both Justin Fields and Trey Lance, those second pro days are not going to be run by the throwing coaches," Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer recently shared with Colin Cowherd. "So, John Beck is not running Justin Fields' pro day, and Quincy Avery isn't running Trey Lance's pro day. Both of those guys have agreed to let the NFL coaches on hand run those pro days.

"So, the Niners are literally going to be able to go to Columbus and go to Fargo and tell those guys what to do. 'Here's what we need to see.' So, I think this is really giving the Niners a chance to take a look at two guys who I think most scouts would argue have more upside than Mac Jones, in Trey Lance and Justin Fields, and get a really thorough evaluation. And it's all because they were able to do that deal early."

Both workouts will be closed to the media, making them as close to a private workout as you can get given the current restrictions in place due to COVID.

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