Richard Sherman Predicts 49ers Pick Justin Fields at No. 3 Amid Mac Jones Rumors

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVApril 14, 2021

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JANUARY 11: Justin Fields #1 of the Ohio State Buckeyes drops back to pass against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the College Football Playoff National Championship held at Hard Rock Stadium on January 11, 2021 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images)
Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images

Free agent cornerback Richard Sherman believes his former team, the San Francisco 49ers, will select Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields with the No. 3 overall pick despite persistent buzz that Alabama signal-caller Mac Jones is their guy.

"I still think that Justin Fields is the pick," he said on Wednesday's Cris Collinsworth Podcast featuring Richard Sherman (h/t Dalton Johnson of NBC Sports).

He continued:

"I don't know what they're thinking. I don't think Kyle and John ever show their hand. I've never seen speculation to the point that it is right now. This is a feverous pitch of speculation. This is ridiculous. And then it's almost like a smokescreen because every mock has Mac Jones. It's like, c'mon now. It's interesting. It's gonna be interesting and San Francisco's gonna pretty much control the draft and control what everybody else does." 

Most of the noise surrounding the 49ers and the No. 3 overall pick has been them selecting Jones, though that of course could be a smokescreen:


Tuscaloosa ➡️ San Francisco@McShay13 and @RealTannenbaum think Mac Jones will be headed west on draft night. pic.twitter.com/ummNrgyjqP

Herd w/Colin Cowherd @TheHerd

Is Mac Jones the right pick for San Francisco?<br><br>"Everybody you talk to around the league &amp; those dialed in with Kyle Shanahan say that all signs point towards Mac Jones being the pick." — @MoveTheSticks pic.twitter.com/ngthtufJ6u

Josh Norris @JoshNorris

"I do know no final decision has been made (at No. 3)"@RapSheet on @PatMcAfeeShow, saying there is a leader in the clubhouse (Mac Jones).<br><br>"Trey Lance would also be heavily in the conversation in San Fran."<br><br>So nothing on Justin Fields, still.

Brad Evans @NoisyHuevos

Mac Jones continues to be the heavy favorite at -200 to be the No. 3 overall pick in the NFL Draft. <br><br>Still not buying it. Talking to beat writers with their ear to the ground in SF, most believe Justin Fields will be the pick. <br><br>He remains a rock solid value at +175.

Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch have already attended Jones' Pro Day and are expected to be in attendance for Fields' second Pro Day on Wednesday, per Johnson. They are also expected to attend Trey Lance's second Pro Day on Monday. 

There are a few questions surrounding San Francisco at No. 3. Would they really trade the No. 12 pick this year and first-rounders in 2022 and 2023 and a third-rounder in 2023 to move up for a player in Jones who many people believe may have been available to them at No. 12?

In his latest big board, for instance, the NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah had Jones as his No. 29 overall prospect. Teams traditionally overdraft quarterbacks, given the huge importance of the position, so it's possible that Jones wouldn't have fallen to No. 12. If the Niners really love him and are convinced other teams would rate him higher than the general public consensus, such a trade would make sense. 

The other question is what purpose a smokescreen would serve for the Niners when the Jacksonville Jaguars are widely expected to draft Trevor Lawrence No. 1 and the New York Jets are expected to take Zach Wilson No. 2. If teams believe those picks are locked in, the Niners simply get their pick of the top quarterbacks remaining. Why put out so much counterintelligence?

One reason would be if the Jets decide to shop the No. 2 pick to another quarterback-needy team. If the Niners truly love Fields (or Lance), putting out the Jones smokescreen makes it less likely a team would leapfrog them to get one of those players, believing they'd drop. 

A second theory involves Jimmy Garoppolo and the New England Patriots:

Sigmund Bloom @SigmundBloom

i cant remember who told me that first, but i can't take credit for it.<br><br>i'll still rely on kyle laughing off cousins as "not how your draw it up" and trusting that he's not that narrow-minded. my wife, who is more of a behaviorist, thinks he might be stuck on a type

Sigmund Bloom @SigmundBloom

why would Belichick give a 2nd for Sanu? Why would he set the WR market on day one with a Nelson Agholor signing? i mean you're right that something is off, but it could actually be off instead of our perception. shrug. i just hope kyle takes fields or lance so i can feel sane

At the very least, the Niners have everyone guessing. Sherman, for one, isn't buying the Jones buzz as real. We'll find out in two weeks.