NFL Draft 2021: Justin Fields is the best bet to be drafted No. 3 by the 49ers
The odds are on the move for who will be the No. 3 pick, but don't buy all the smoke on Mac Jones
The San Francisco 49ers made waves last week by trading a host of future draft picks to acquire the No. 3 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Filed to ESPN: Dolphins trading No. 3 overall pick to the San Francisco 49ers for the No. 12 pick, a 2021 third-round pick (SF’s comp pick for Robert Saleh hiring) and first-round picks in 2022 and 2023, per sources.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 26, 2021
Blockbuster deal with massive ramifications for years to come. pic.twitter.com/nRLMUaWGo5
The overwhelming sentiment is that the Niners will select a quarterback with the third pick, as the odds indicate it’s a three man race for the future signal caller in San Fran.
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Trevor Lawrence is going to go No. 1 to the Jaguars -- -10000 at DK -- and it is becoming more clear by the day that BYU’s Zach Wilson is going to go second to the Jets, sitting at -500 to do so.
With that in mind, which of the other three quarterback’s makes sense to go third to San Francisco?
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Justin Fields (+150)
The Ohio State QB showed flashes of greatness in the College Football Playoff semifinal against Clemson, tossing six touchdowns including this dime to Chris Olave.
Fields stands 6’3” and is more than capable at escaping pressure and picking up yards with his legs, rushing for nearly 383 yards on 81 carries.
It didn't hurt his cause that he ran a 4.44 unofficial 40-yard dash time at the Ohio State pro day on Tuesday.
49ers brass has indicated that Jimmy Garoppolo is still going to be the starting quarterback for San Fran in 2021.
Whether you believe that or not is up to you, but either way, Fields may be best suited wearing the scarlet and gold. The QB has a skillset that can contribute right now or he can also grow into a starting role down the road if the team doesn’t feel he is ready this season.
Trey Lance (+150)
Lance played just one game this season due to COVID-19 protocols, so teams are going to have to go off of his lone season as a starter to evaluate him. Luckily for him, it was an incredibly productive one.
He completed nearly 67% of his passes for 2,786 yards, 28 touchdowns and no interceptions. On top of that, Lance rushed for 1,100 yards on over six yards per carry.
While it feels risky to go with such an unheralded prospect, Lance provides a dynamic threat to a 49ers offense that already has speed all over.
If we are sticking to the trend that Jimmy G is staying in San Fran, it may be best to take Lance at No. 3. This would let him develop for a year under head coach Kyle Shanahan’s system before giving him the keys to the franchise.
Mac Jones (+175)
This number has bounced around quite a bit, going from +125 early in the week to +175 behind Fields and Lance, as of this writing.
Jones’ stock is as volatile as it can be in the quarterback class this year. With a bevy of weapons at his disposal at Alabama, he put together a fantastic campaign en route to a Tide National Championship.
Jones completed over 77% of his passes for 4,500 yards and had an insane 41:4 touchdown to interception ratio.
However, how much was his pristine season due to the weapons around him as it was his ability as a passer?
The Tide have two first round receivers in Heisman winner DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle, as well as running back Najee Harris, that were flanking Jones all season.
The smoke around the Crimson Tide QB reached its high when both Shanahan and 49ers general manager John Lynch attended his pro day earlier this week, but I can’t envision San Francisco relinquishing all that draft capital for a traditional pocket passer in Jones.
Lance would be the bold pick of the three. But, I do think that Jimmy G ends up on a different team by Week 1 and the Niners are going to roll with their rookie QB right away, which leads me to Fields.
While Jones had a decorated season, Fields has the arm talent to thrive on the field right now. To me, it’s the only justification for a move of this magnitude.
Lean: Justin Fields +150