Adam Cairns-USA TODAY Sports

Adam Cairns-USA TODAY Sports

Steve Mariucci picks Justin Fields for 49ers in NFL Network live mock draft

Apr 25, 2021 at 6:12 PM--

Making a choice for the 49ers in Sunday's NFL Network live draft didn't seem to come easy for Steve Mariucci, but when the time came for him to put on the GM hat for his former team, he made the decision many fans hope to see come to fruition when the real draft gets underway Thursday night.

Mariucci was a natural fit to make the call at pick three in the NFL Network's draft, which featured 32 different personalities making selections for the 32 NFL teams. Mariucci, who was the head coach in San Francisco from 1997 to 2002 and is now an analyst for the NFL Network, says his choice would be Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields instead of Alabama quarterback Mac Jones and North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance.

"I'm going to take Justin Fields," Mariucci said. "He's got a heck of a body of work. He's the offensive player of the year in the Big Ten, two times. He's athletic, he's strong, he can throw. He's a heck of a runner too, and I really like this kid a lot."

Mariucci seems to like Jones and Lance as well. But in the end, Fields wound up being his favorite of the bunch.

"There's an argument to be made for the other guys, too," Mariucci said. "Mac Jones now, he's an accurate guy, he's a smart guy, he's a winner, he's a leader, all of those things. Not quite the athlete -- he only had 42 (career) yards rushing.

"The other guy we're not talking enough about is Trey Lance. The kid from North Dakota State is young and he might have the strongest arm out of the whole bunch, and great upside. So, this was a three-horse race for me, but I had to choose somebody right?"

Watch Mariucci's segment below, or click here to see the full mock draft. Jones wound up being selected at pick 9 for the Denver Broncos in the mock draft, while Lance slipped all the way to the New England Patriots at pick 15.

The NFL Network as well as ABC and ESPN will be televising this week's NFL Draft live from Cleveland, Ohio starting Thursday night (8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT). All three days of the draft will be televised, with coverage of Day 2 (Rounds 2-3) beginning at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT on Friday and Day 3 coverage (Rounds 4-7) getting underway at 12 p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT on Saturday.

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