Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports


Fan revolt leads to 49ers drafting Trey Lance in Cris Collinsworth’s mock draft

Apr 29, 2021 at 6:23 AM--


The San Francisco 49ers have stated that fan blowback will not influence their decisions in improving the roster. That goes for the NFL Draft. Fans have made it clear via social media that quarterback Mac Jones of Alabama is a very unpopular option for the No. 3 overall pick.

"Our charge is to go and not worry about the anxiety of our fans, and hopefully, that there's some trust there," general manager John Lynch said this week during the 49ers' pre-draft press conference.

Added head coach Kyle Shanahan: "Let us go through the process. We're going to get a good one. Yeah, I wish I could take that anxiety away from people, but that's because people get excited. ... We're going to add a quarterback to our team this year."

Cris Collinsworth of Pro Football Focus doesn't have the 49ers selecting Jones in his mock draft, released this morning. He has the team drafting Trey Lance of North Dakota State, and the reason goes against everything Lynch and Shanahan said this week.

"I don't believe the Niners traded up with Trey Lance in mind," Collinsworth explained. "I will always think that Kyle Shanahan traded up to get Mac Jones, but the fan base revolted. So, the 49ers go the developmental route with Trey Lance and let Jimmy Garoppolo play one more year."

It seems unlikely that a decision of this magnitude will factor in the pulse of the fanbase. Justin Fields of Ohio State remains the most popular option of the top three quarterback prospects expected to be available at No. 3. However, he has the third-best odds to be the Niners' pick. Jones is the betting favorite, followed by Lance.

Most final mock drafts have San Francisco selecting Jones, like this one from Peter Schrager of NFL Network, this one from Lance Zierlein, and this one from Daniel Jeremiah.

"Lance will eventually give the 49ers that final element: a QB who can run on bootlegs opposite those stretch runs," Collinsworth continued. "San Francisco already fields the most creative offense in the NFL, and Lance may add that final piece that proves too much to stop. At the same time, the FCS product has so little experience against top competition that this is still a very risky move."

Meanwhile, the Atlanta Falcons are probably keeping a close eye on what happens at No. 3, which might explain San Francisco's reluctance to hint at who the team is targeting.






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