Justin Fields Expected to Throw at April 14 Pro Day with 49ers Likely to Attend

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVApril 7, 2021

Alika Jenner/Getty Images

The agent for Ohio State star Justin Fields confirmed the quarterback is planning to throw at the Buckeyes' pro day April 14.

The Athletic's Matt Barrows noted the San Francisco 49ers, who have the No. 3 pick in the 2021 NFL draft, are expected to have representatives at the event.

Many expect the Niners to target a quarterback after having traded up from the No. 12 spot. A team doesn't swap first-rounders and surrender its next two first-round picks unless it's looking to land one of the top passers available.

Rather than Fields, Alabama's Mac Jones has become the favorite to wind up in the Bay Area. ESPN's Adam Schefter asserted in an appearance on DiPietro, Canty & Rothenberg that Jones will be San Francisco's pick.

However, some are questioning whether opting for the Crimson Tide star over Fields would be the right move.

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In B/R's Mock Draft 1.0, Nate Tice made the case for Fields at No. 3:

Even with all of the rumors and reports of Alabama's Mac Jones at No. 3, Justin Fields is still my pick for the 49ers. Fields is the complete package for a modern QB; he has the size, aggressiveness, smarts, accuracy and athleticism to create on his own. He also ran a 4.44 40-yard dash at his pro day. Fields' accuracy on the move and aggressive nature will match perfectly with San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan's scheme (or any scheme, really). He would give Shanahan a legit weapon in the QB run game that matches the versatility the 49ers offense has emphasized recently and could take the offense to a whole new level.

During draft season, gauging a team's intentions is always difficult. By attending Ohio State's pro day, perhaps the Niners are signaling a level of indecision about what they'll do in the first round. Of course, they might just be trying to throw teams off the scent and still have Jones at the top of their board.

But subterfuge isn't really necessary in this situation since San Francisco already made its move up the draft. There's a good chance Fields and Jones will both be available at No. 3, too, thus removing the need for cloak-and-dagger tactics.

The Jacksonville Jaguars are all but guaranteed to take Clemson's Trevor Lawrence, and Schefter was equally definitive about BYU's Zach Wilson going to the New York Jets at No. 2.

Fields worked out for NFL talent evaluators on March 30, running a 4.44-second 40-yard dash and throwing the ball well during that portion of the showcase.

Based on how he does next week, perhaps the narrative will shift to where Fields overtakes Jones as the projected selection as Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan looks to shape his offense for the future.