On the eve of the 2021 NFL Draft, everyone is still guessing who the 49ers will take with the No. 3 overall pick.
According to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, the 49ers are locked in on two candidates: Alabama’s Mac Jones and North Dakota State’s Trey Lance.
“Those are the two guys they are considering,” Rapoport said Wednesday on NFL Network. “I believe Trey Lance is firmly in the picture. We will find out tomorrow night, which direction they go.”
The rumors are likely to spin until Roger Goodell approaches the podium to announce the 49ers’ draft pick.
But after weeks of speculation, it appears San Francisco is locked in on Jones and Lance. According to Rapoport’s intel, that would leave Ohio State’s Justin Fields as the odd man out during the 49ers’ quarterback search, assuming Clemson's Trevor Lawrence and BYU's Zach Wilson are the first two picks off the board.
As Rapoport noted, Lance’s recent pro day featured a lot of actions and movements that can be found in the 49ers’ playbook.
“What they did was request film after film after film of Trey Lance to do as much research as they possibly could,” Rapoport said. “They took a look at him going through drills in their offense -- everything they possibly could. Even at his pro day … a lot of the stuff they did was 49ers stuff.”
Lance is certainly intriguing but comes with loads of question marks. He racked up 2,786 passing yards, 28 passing touchdowns, 1,100 rushing yards and 14 rushing touchdowns without throwing an interception while leading NDSU to the 2019 FCS title. His team only played in one game in 2020 and he went 15-of-30 for 149 yards, two touchdowns and a pick against Central Arkansas while adding 143 yards and two more scores on the ground.
Dual-threat quarterbacks are all the rage in today’s NFL and Lance looks like he has all the tools to become a franchise quarterback, perhaps in the mold of the Buffalo Bills' Josh Allen.
No matter who the 49ers draft at No. 3, the ceiling will be high. It will just be a matter of grooming him for the job, perhaps as soon as Week 1 if Jimmy Garoppolo is off the team by then.