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ESPN’s McShay has 49ers drafting Trey Lance in final mock draft

Apr 29, 2021 at 6:44 AM--

This morning, ESPN analyst Todd McShay released his final mock draft. While most mock drafts have the San Francisco 49ers selecting Mac Jones of Alabama with the No. 3 overall pick, an unpopular choice among fans, based on social media feedback, McShay has the team selecting Trey Lance of North Dakota State.

"This is where it gets interesting, with a departure from what we've been predicting for the past month (Alabama's Mac Jones)," McShay explained within the article. "Lance has a huge arm and the tools to develop into an excellent NFL starter. He has only 17 career starts, all at the FCS level, but he'd have a chance to learn and develop behind Jimmy Garoppolo for a year or two before taking over."

Of course, there remain scattered rumors that the 49ers may opt to trade Garoppolo before or even during the draft. However, the team has repeatedly stated that the veteran quarterback remains in its plans for the upcoming season.

McShay has Justin Fields of Ohio State headed to the Denver Broncos at No. 9 and Jones to the New England Patriots at No. 15.

The ESPN analyst is not alone in his thinking. Cris Collinsworth's Thursday-morning mock draft also has Lance headed to the 49ers. Although, his reasoning might seem questionable to some.

"I don't believe the Niners traded up with Trey Lance in mind," Collinsworth wrote on Pro Football Focus. "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."

How does ESPN's Adam Schefter feel about McShay's selection of Lance?

"I can tell you that Trey Lance has closed the gap on Mac Jones," Schefter said this morning on ESPN's Get Up! "I don't know that it was enough to overturn him. When the Niners traded up to the No. 3 spot, giving up two future additional first-round draft picks, they did so with the intention of taking Mac Jones but leaving open the idea that they would do a deep-dive into Trey Lance and Justin Fields, which is what they've done. And I can tell you that they've come away impressed.

"I think Trey Lance is the smartest quarterback in this draft class, with a tremendous aptitude, well-liked by his teammates, beloved there at North Dakota State. And he has impressed Kyle Shanahan. And so, he has gotten square into the conversation."

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