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49ers NFL Draft 2021 Rumors: Shanahan Wants Mac Jones; 'Many' Want Trey Lance

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistApril 26, 2021

FILE - North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance throws at the school's football NFL Pro Day in Fargo, N.D., in this Friday, March, 12, 2021, file photo. Lance will likely be one of the first two players drafted from non-Football Bowl Subdivision programs next week. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King, File)
Andy Clayton-King/Associated Press

The San Francisco 49ers appear likely to select a quarterback with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft, but there is still reportedly debate about which one will be the final choice.

ESPN's Todd McShay provided the latest buzz surrounding the 49ers' decision:

"I'm told that many in the 49ers' personnel department have pushed for North Dakota State QB Trey Lance but that coach Kyle Shanahan wants to draft Alabama's Mac Jones. One person I spoke to even heard that Shanahan might "acquiesce" to the scouting department on the selection, but others have said that seems unlikely. At this time of year, there is a lot of seed planting with the rumor mill, and it could certainly be the case here."

Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson are widely expected to be the first two players off the board, presumably leaving San Francisco with the choice between Mac Jones, Trey Lance and Justin Fields at quarterback.

Peter KingΒ of NBC Sports reported that "it's a two-horse race" between Jones and Lance.

There are some similarities between the two as both were members of dominant teams that won national championships. Jones led Alabama to a perfect 2020 season and a title in the college football playoffs, while Lance helped North Dakota State win the FCS championship in 2019.

The skill sets among the quarterbacks differ, however, with Jones known for his pocket presence and accuracy while Lance excels with his strong arm and athleticism.

The different picks could create a significantly different timeline for the organization as well.

Jones could be more NFL-ready after excelling against SEC competition last year. Lance played only one game last season before opting out amid the COVID-19 pandemic, while his only competition has been against FCS teams. It could lead to a slower transition to the next level.