49ers Rumors: SF Hasn't Decided Between Mac Jones, Fields, Lance with No. 3 Pick

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistApril 20, 2021

American Team quarterback Mac Jones of Alabama (10) throws during the American Team practice for the NCAA Senior Bowl college football game in Mobile, Ala., Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)
Matthew Hinton/Associated Press

Much of the first round of the 2021 NFL draft hinges on the decision the San Francisco 49ers, since the Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Jets are widely believed to be taking Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson, respectively, with the first two picks. 

As for which quarterback the Niners favor, well, that remains to be seen. In his latest mock draft, Peter Schrager of NFL.com believes it will be Alabama's Mac Jones, though he added that the team reportedly has yet to make a final decision:

"We're less than two weeks away and I'm still feeling Mac Jones is the guy. I'm told the 49ers still have not made a decision and continue to do their work on all three quarterback prospects who would be available: Jones, Justin Fields and Trey Lance. Jones had one of the greatest college football seasons we've seen in recent years, and pro scouts like him a lot—even if the pundits do not."

Much of the buzz surrounding the Niners since they traded a treasure trove of picks to move up to No. 3 overall has been that Jones would be the pick. 

On The Athletic's consensus big board—which compiled over 50 various big boards into one comprehensive ranking—the top five quarterbacks stacked up as follows:

  • Trevor Lawrence: No. 1 quarterback, No. 1 overall.
  • Justin Fields: No. 2 quarterback, No. 5 overall.
  • Zach Wilson: No. 3 quarterback, No. 6 overall. 
  • Trey Lance: No. 4 quarterback, No. 12 overall. 
  • Mac Jones: No. 5 quarterback, No. 22 overall. 

In early April, Daniel Jeremiah of the NFL Network projected Jones to the Niners, writing he was "not surprised San Francisco traded up to No. 3. I am surprised that everything you hear points toward Jones being the Niners' pick at No. 3."

But the tide has turned toward Fields. 

In Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay's alternating mock draft for ESPN, Kiper picked Fields for the Niners, saying he "has all the tools to be a superstar, and he'd thrive in Kyle Shanahan's offense."

CBS Sports' Pete Prisco agreed, projecting Fields—who he believes has "more upside than Mac Jones" and the "chance to be a star"—to San Francisco. 

And PFF's Steve Palazzolo believes Fields is the right fit for Shanahan's offense, mocking him to the Niners as well:

"While the markets are finally leaning back in Fields' direction, I believe this has been the play all along. Kyle Shanahan's offense is always excellent, but it hit another level two times: 2012 with Washington and 2016 with the Falcons. That 2012 team featured a rookie Robert Griffin III being used effectively in the designed run game with play action coming off it, and that may be what Shanahan is looking to do to further elevate his creative offense."

So very few draft pundits believe Jones should be the pick for San Francisco. The question as to which player they'll actually select, however, remains unanswered.


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