With one month to go until the 2021 NFL Draft, rumors and whispers will fly left and right, and the 49ers are at the center of it as they hone in on their preferred quarterback.
Justin Fields, Mac Jones and Trey Lance are viewed as the three signal-callers the 49ers will choose between at No. 3 overall, with Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson expected to be the first two players selected. While early whispers have tabbed Jones as the 49ers' top choice, Dan Patrick reported Thursday that he's hearing coach Kyle Shanahan and the team's personnel department have different feelings on who the pick should be.
"Yeah, I know Kyle Shanahan loves Mac," Patrick said, reading a text from a source. "Was told personnel department is still hoping to change his mind to Trey Lance. I get that Mac fits what he does, but man, I would want a lot more with that third pick."
Another source told Patrick they are hearing that Jones is the expected pick, while a third source said they believe Lance makes more sense with the 49ers' plan for 2021.
"The Niners and Shanahan are the only ones who know, but I'm hearing that Trey Lance makes more sense with Jimmy G being a bridge quarterback this next year," Patrick said, reading the third source's text. "Shanahan prefers a more mobile quarterback. Regardless of what Mac Jones ran, he's not athletic outside the pocket. He's [an] accurate/timing/touch passer. But inside, there's discussions of Trey Lance or Mac Jones."
What do we make of any of this? Draft season doubles as misdirection season, so it's impossible to tell what is real and what's purposefully placed to lead other teams astray as they try to map out what the 49ers will do at No. 3. There's also a large incentive for other teams to leak some criticism of top prospects they like in order to get that player to slide down the board to them.
All we know is the 49ers traded up to select a quarterback, and that Shanahan and general manager John Lynch believe at least three signal-callers in the class can be top-level starters, while four and five have a chance to get there.
Lawrence and Wilson presumably are two of those three. All the noise says the third is Jones. But Shanahan and Lynch plan to watch Fields throw live and could try to get a look at Lance, who's already had his pro day, as well.
With one month left, everything remains on the table.