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Potential 49ers draft target Fields wows with 4.4 40 time

/ by Josh Schrock
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Justin Fields

While John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan were in Alabama to watch the Crimson Tide's second pro day, Justin Fields was showing off in Columbus, Ohio.

The Ohio State quarterback, who is one of the 49ers' potential targets at No. 3 overall, blew people away by clocking a 4.4 40-yard dash at his pro day.

That's the fastest 40 time by a quarterback since Robert Griffin III, who, of course, had a sensational rookie season in Washington under Shanahan when he was offensive coordinator.

Of course, Fields' speed shouldn't surprise anyone who has watched more than just the two interceptions he tossed against Northwestern. Fields is big, strong and fast with top-level arm talent and an innate ability to make clutch plays. Yes, he has to work on being more decisive and some pre-snap stuff, but there's every reason to believe he can reach what is an extremely high ceiling.

The critics of Fields point to his struggles in games against Indiana and Northwestern. While Fields did struggle against pressure, he also scorched Clemson in the Sugar Bowl, throwing for as many touchdowns (six) as he had incompletions.

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While Shanahan and Lynch chose to watch Alabama's Mac Jones throw Tuesday, the 49ers' brass said they would get an in-person look at Fields as well,

Shanahan said he has seen a lot of tape on Fields and knows how talented the Ohio State signal-caller is.

The 49ers head coach gave a glimpse into his ideal QB archetype Monday when he pointed to players who can, first and foremost, make plays from inside the pocket.

 

"You want an elite player and, of course, if you can get a guy who is elite with his arm and can play in that pocket and do everything and still run around and make off-schedule plays," Shanahan said. "I mean, that's what you've seen with [Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick] Mahomes. Everybody wants something like that, but there is a risk to everything and you've got to see that in the draft, you've got to see it in college. It's not that these guys are just coming. I mean, no one's probably been talented like that. Some have. [Former Denver Broncos QB John] Elway's pretty talented and there's people, but there's more talented players playing these positions in college.

"So, I do think there's more options coming into the league, but if you can't sit in that pocket and play the position, eventually it's not going to matter."

While Shanahan's offense doesn't call for the quarterback to tuck it and run, it would be nice to have a dynamic athlete who can beat teams with his arms and his legs.

Fields might have the highest ceiling of any QB prospect in this class. Can the 49ers really pass that up at No. 3?

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