When you make a monster move like the 49ers did, trading multiple first-round picks to move up from No. 12 to No. 3 in the 2021 NFL Draft, you better not mess up.
Hall of Fame football executive Gil Brandt knows that to be true. Brandt listed the 49ers as one of his seven teams that must ace the draft this year.
"When choosing the signal-caller who will succeed/replace Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco MUST get it right, seeing as how the team doesn't have a first-round choice in 2022 or '23 as a result of the compensation given to the Dolphins in the move up," Brandt wrote. "So while this team is still just one season removed from reaching the Super Bowl, and the roster was good enough even before free agency for me to name them as the likeliest group to go from worst to first next season, this draft is shaping up as a monumental one for Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch."
It's no surprise the 49ers have their eyes on a young quarterback with the No. 3 pick in the draft. Which QB they prefer remains the big question.
Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson are expected to be the first two picks in the draft. That leaves the 49ers with the choice of Mac Jones, Justin Fields and Trey Lance. Jones is seen as a prototypical pocket passer while Fields and Lance are supreme athletes who can change a game with their legs.
The plan right now appears to be for the 49ers to keep Jimmy Garoppolo as their starter in 2021, with a rookie learning behind the veteran this season. Whoever the 49ers choose No. 3 would then take over next season and be the QB of the future in Santa Clara.
Which QB will it be, though? That's anyone's best guess more than three weeks before the draft.
Brandt also points out the 49ers should address the secondary, defensive line and their hole at offensive guard at some point in the draft.