Lombardi: 49ers Won't Draft Justin Fields at No. 3, Will Take Jones or Lance

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistApril 18, 2021

FILE - Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields throws during an NFL Pro Day at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, in this Tuesday, March 30, 2021, file photo. The Division I Council meets Wednesday and Thursday, April 14-15, and at the top of the agenda — at least in terms of importance — is voting on a proposal that would grant all college athletes the right to transfer one time as undergraduates without sitting out season of competition. Some high-profile players such as quarterback Justin Fields, who transferred from Georgia to Ohio State in 2019, were granted waivers by the NCAA and it created an expectation that all players would be cleared to play right away. (AP Photo/Paul Vernon, File)
Paul Vernon/Associated Press

The San Francisco 49ers will have plenty of options on the board with the No. 3 pick of the 2021 NFL draft, but Michael Lombardi of The Athletic told The Wrap Saturday that Justin Fields will not be the pick:

VSiN @VSiNLive

“Justin Fields is not going to go #3.” @mlombardiNFL asks you to put your sources up against his because he is here to confirm to you, @TheWrapRadio, and everyone else that Justin Fields is NOT going to be the 3rd overall pick. #LombardiLine https://t.co/hYNcKJt1P1

"If it's not Mac Jones, it's Trey Lance," Lombardi added.

San Francisco is likely to take a quarterback after making the trade up from No. 12 to No. 3, giving up two future first-round picks in the process. Assuming the Jacksonville Jaguars take Trevor Lawrence with the first pick and the New York Jets select Zach Wilson at No. 2, it presumably leaves the 49ers with a choice between Fields, Jones and Lance in the top tier.

Bleacher Report's Scouting Department lists Fields as the No. 2 overall player in the class behind only Lawrence, while Jones is considered the fifth-best quarterback and No. 44 in the overall rankings.

Jones put up impressive numbers during the 2020 season, leading Alabama to a perfect 13-0 record and a national championship. He finished with 4,500 passing yards with 41 touchdowns and four interceptions. He has also been praised for his accuracy as well as intangibles. 

The pocket passer does have limited athleticism compared to Fields, however, a player who had 867 rushing yards and 15 rushing touchdowns during his past two seasons at Ohio State. With 63 passing touchdowns and just nine interceptions in this stretch, Fields has proved he can throw the ball with high efficiency as well.

Lance is another dual-threat weapon, although he comes with more question marks after appearing in just one game this year before opting out. He has made 17 career starts for North Dakota State, likely creating a slower transition to the NFL.

It will likely come down to personal preference for 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch when the team is on the clock.


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