With six days to go before the 49ers choose the next face of their franchise with the No. 3 overall pick, we finally might have gotten an answer. Former NFL quarterback and current QB coach John Beck, who played for Shanahan and has worked with top prospects Justin Fields and Trey Lance, went on KNBR on Thursday and explained exactly Shanahan looks for in the trigger man for his offense.
"Kyle wants somebody that can understand his offense, that can process information quickly, that can see the field through a lens that makes sense to him to be able to coach it, and for you to kind of see it how he sees it," Beck said on "Papa and Lund." "It doesn't have to be perfect, but he wants you to be able to communicate with him and then be able to process so that in-game communications, during-practice communication, all those things can flow smoothly.
"He's also really big on feet. He wants to be able to tie feet to the scheme, and really vice versa. So, he's very particular about the feet of his quarterback, the eyes of his quarterback, the positioning, and he looks for traits and abilities. Physical abilities would be getting the ball out quickly, being able to drive it to a lot of different places on the field quickly and effortlessly. He loves to be aggressive in play-pass, especially certain areas of the field, so he wants somebody, as they come off the play fake, if those safeties start to cut the underneath routes, or if they get flat-footed, he wants somebody that can drive a ball downfield, and then within space.
"In this game, space is always taken away because of the pressure [by] the defense. So, he wants somebody that doesn't have to use a bunch of space in the pocket to be able to really drive the ball and do it accurately. So, that's why there are certain elements of a guy that may jump out to him, and he looks and says, 'I know where that fits in what I do.'"
No doubt, everyone who read that had one of the three prospects the 49ers are expected to choose between pop into their head. We've dissected and analyzed the games of Fields, Lance and Mac Jones ad nauseum ever since the 49ers made their blockbuster move up the draft board, but are no closer to having any insight into what Shanahan and general manager John Lynch plan to do when they go on the clock.
Jones has been seen as the favorite for most of the past month, but rumors have been starting to trickle in that Shanahan and Lynch might be leaning toward Lance after attending the North Dakota State star's second pro day Monday.
There's little chance the 49ers gave up a massive haul without knowing who they were planning to draft. That opinion, naturally, could change, but it feels like the 49ers made the trade with one quarterback in mind.
We'll know who that is in six short days.