Think Robert Griffin III was paying attention to the 49ers’ No. 3 selection in Thursday’s 2021 NFL Draft?
The former NFL quarterback joined Bleacher Report “Draft Night” to share his thoughts on Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers drafting dual-threat signal-caller Trey Lance. Turns out, RG3 thinks he could be a teacher for Lance at the NFL level.
“I’m excited for him and I think it will be great,” Griffin said. “To be honest with you, I don’t think they have a guy on the roster that would be better situated than myself to come in and mentor the kid. Who knows, maybe there’s a reunion in store with the Shanahans.”
Back in 2012, the Washington Football Team sent three first-rounders and a second-rounder to the St. Louis Rams for the rights to the No. 2 overall pick, which they used to draft Griffin. In March, the 49ers sent three first-rounders and a third-rounder to the Miami Dolphins to move up to the No. 3 overall pick, which they used to draft Lance.
The parallels are certainly there, though the 49ers aren’t expected to take another quarterback in the fourth round and raise some eyebrows, like Shanahan and Washington did in 2012 when they picked Kirk Cousins.
Reports then surfaced that Shanahan and his father, head coach, Mike, weren’t sold on giving up so much draft capital to draft Griffin No. 2 overall. Adding more fuel to the fire, Griffin was injured near the end of his scintillating rookie campaign when he kept playing on a bum knee an eventually tore his ACL, never returning to his explosive self.
Despite reported friction between Griffin and the Shanahans over the years, the ex-quarterback gave a prime grade to his former coach.
“I would give ‘em an A-plus,” Griffin said of the 49ers. “I think it shows growth in Kyle Shanahan, that this is the type of player that he needs to get over that hump. …
“Over the years, he’s gotten production out of guys where it’s been more about the system than the quarterback. With Trey Lance, he’s got an opportunity with a guy that can really make plays with his feet, but I think the thing that’s undervalued about him is the fact that he can literally throw the ball anywhere on the field.”
If Griffin doesn’t slide into a 49ers advisory role -- which would be very surprising at this point -- he already offered a piece of advice to Lance, who should expect Shanahan to test him with extensive and complicated playcalls from Day 1.
“My advice to him would be, just go in there and enjoy the process,” Griffin said.