Why Fields is 49ers' best QB option in draft to Garcia

/ by Alex Didion
Presented By Big O Tires

As draft day draws closer, there are no shortage of opinions on which of the potential first-round quarterbacks the 49ers should select after trading up to the No. 3 overall pick.

NBC Sports Bay Area 49ers analyst Jeff Garcia hopped on the radio with Greg Papa and John Lund on Friday, and explained why he has become enamored with Justin Fields and what he could do in the 49ers' offense.

"I loved his leadership ability within his team, I loved his focus, he comes from a good family I think football is very important in his life," Garcia said of Fields on KNBR. "He has the want to be better every single day that he steps on the field, it's not just doing it with his athleticism, as much as he wants to prove to people that he is a student of the game, that he has the understanding of how to run a complex offense, that he can make adjustments during a game that are going to benefit the team."

Garcia also believes Fields is just "scratching the surface" on his ability, and has plenty of room to grow in the NFL.

Alabama's Mac Jones continues to be linked to the 49ers, as coach Kyle Shanahan attended the QB's second pro day in person. Garcia explained that he believes Jones wouldn't offer as much of an upgrade over incumbent Jimmy Garoppolo due to his similar "limitations."


Jones showed an ability to throw bootlegs and on rollouts during his pro day, but he doesn't have nearly the same athleticism to extend plays as Fields does. The former Buckeye ran an eye-popping (and unofficial) 4.44 in the 40-yard dash at his pro day earlier this week.

"I just see a guy who is more mature than what his age is, and not a typical Ohio State quarterback, how they've transitioned to the NFL and really haven't flourished," Garcia continued. "I see this guy as a guy who can flourish."

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Given that Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson seem to be the generally accepted first two picks of late, the 49ers inextricably will be linked to Fields, Jones and Trey Lance again and again over the next few weeks.

Whoever ends up being the pick, they likely will get a chance to sit behind and learn from Garoppolo, at least to start their rookie season.

The 49ers won't need to put pressure on a rookie to succeed from the outset, a luxury some of the other teams at the top of this year's draft do not have.

Smokescreen season will continue in the coming weeks, so don't invest all your stock into any one of the options. Clearly Shanahan and general manager John Lynch are hard at work determining which QB would be the best culture and scheme fit within the 49ers' locker room, and we'll all find out together who that is on April 29.

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