Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Schefter: Compelling QB options have 49ers going back and forth on draft decision

Apr 27, 2021 at 6:22 AM--

Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch have the biggest decision of their San Francisco 49ers tenure approaching. On Thursday night, the head coach and general manager duo will select a quarterback of the future with the No. 3 overall pick, a selection for which they traded a haul of draft picks, including first-rounders in 2022 and 2023.

If they hit on the pick, it could lead to consistent success for the foreseeable future. If they miss on the pick, though, it could put one or even both of them on the hot seat within the next few years.

For most of the time since that March 26 trade, the betting favorite has been Mac Jones of Alabama. Adam Schefter of ESPN believes the Crimson Tide product would have been the selection had the draft taken place a month ago. However, a lot of time has passed. Shanahan and Lynch have had an opportunity to see Justin Fields of Ohio State and Trey Lance of North Dakota State in person and gotten to know the prospects better.

Schefter believes that has made the decision tougher than it may have been a month ago.

"When the 49ers traded up from No. 12 to No. 3, they did so with the idea that they were comfortable picking Mac Jones in that spot, at No. 3," Schefter said on The Adam Schefter Podcast, "but that they would spend the next month doing a deep-dive into Trey Lance and Justin Fields. And they have done that deep-dive. And that deep-dive has made the 49ers' decision much tougher than they thought it was going to be.

"This is not an easy decision, and I can tell you they are going back and forth on it because these quarterbacks are quite compelling to them. And whereas, it would have been almost a lock that Mac Jones would have been the guy a month ago — and maybe it will still be Mac Jones on Thursday night. It still might be. But it might not be. And that's the thing that's interesting here.

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"They went to the pro day of Justin Fields. They went to the pro day of Trey Lance. And I can tell you that they were impressed with what they saw. They like these quarterbacks. And now it becomes almost a philosophical question about where you want to take your offense, what you want to do with your team, and I can tell you that they're not quite sure what they're going to do. That's as of Monday morning, when we're recording this."

Since then, the 49ers have held a press conference, and the nearly 30-minute discussion has left fans feeling that Lynch and Shanahan might be leaning toward Jones, the least popular choice among fans of the three quarterback options. Of course, with just days remaining until the draft, it's difficult to definitively determine what the 49ers brain trust's decision might be.

"Now, maybe on Tuesday or Wednesday, they will make up their mind," Schefter added. "And I think a month ago, like I said, they were entirely comfortable taking Mac Jones at that spot, and he still might be the pick. He very well might be the pick. But again, to repeat, he might not."

You can listen to the entire podcast below.

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