Arguably the biggest storyline of this year’s draft is San Francisco’s massive haul to trade up from the No. 12 to the No. 3 overall pick.
Filed to ESPN: Dolphins trading No. 3 overall pick to the San Francisco 49ers for the No. 12 pick, a 2021 third-round pick (SF’s comp pick for Robert Saleh hiring) and first-round picks in 2022 and 2023, per sources.
Blockbuster deal with massive ramifications for years to come.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 26, 2021
After practically giving up their future for years to come, whoever the No. 3 overall pick is can single handily can make or break the Kyle Shanahan-John Lynch era in the Bay area. One thing I will never undermine though is trading up for a quarterback which is exactly what the 49ers are doing here. Having a franchise QB is of the utmost importance in this league and if Shanahan can nail this pick he will most certainly come out of this draft as perhaps the biggest winner. On the contrary, with that much upside, there could be that much downside… In the off chance that this pick does not pan out how it’s supposed to then it’s safe to say Shanahan could be on the hot seat sooner than later.
In terms of the shortlist of quarterbacks San Francisco is eyeing, we have heard loads of buzz around Alabama’s Mac Jones, North Dakota’s Trey Lance, and Ohio State’s Justin Fields. Shanahan did state that the team seems comfortable with five guys at No. 3 and added “We [49ers] probably started with one in mind, but that one’s gotten better since and so have all the other candidates.” My question is, the one that the team had in mind if he has gotten better since should he still not be the top choice? Sure, I think I downplayed it and made it sound simpler than it seems, but my best guess is that the QB Shanahan is talking about can’t be Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence or BYU’s Zach Wilson. Those two signal-callers are presumed to be the No. 1 and No. 2 picks respectively to the Jaguars and Jets.
After recent developments, it’s clear that San Francisco has narrowed down their options to either Jones or Lance. The belief is that Shanahan likes Jones but the personnel department is pushing for Lance. Quite frankly, if I’m the 49ers I would draft Justin Fields simply because he fits the Niner offense as well as any other quarterback in this class. But when it comes down to Jones or Lance, although there is a lot of buzz for the Alabama QB, my gut tells me it’s going to be the latter. On top of that, there’s a fairly strong expectation that Jimmy Garoppolo will be moved via trade, however, if no trade is imminent I wouldn’t rush a move. Keeping Garoppolo around for one more season and letting the No. 3 pick sit for a season wouldn’t be the worst thing for the team, especially when it comes to a guy like Lance who likely needs to develop more as a player before starting.