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:
"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.