08 Apr Grading the Options at #3 Overall
After some great offseason moves by the San Francisco 49ers, they shocked the league by trading three 1st round picks, in exchange for the 3rd overall pick from the Miami Dolphins. In Kyle Shanahan’s press conference, he made it pretty clear the 49ers will probably be taking the quarterback of their future, while already holding a Super Bowl caliber team. With the Jets already trading Sam Darnold to the Carolina Panthers, one of the options at 3, Zach Wilson, probably wont be available at 3. The 49ers will have a ton of talent to pick from, the question is, who will the 49ers draft at 3?
Justin Fields was projected to be the 2nd overall pick for some time, up until Zach Wilson played a marvelous season, making the draft boards change, with his stock rocketing to be one of the top prospects. Justin Fields also had a spectacular season, beating the Clemson Tigers who have the top prospect from the draft, Trevor Lawrence. With two cracked ribs, Justin Fields still managed to put up 6 touchdowns and one of his best games. Fields possesses great accuracy, a strong arm and an amazing mobility. The NFL is evolving, and defenses are starting to struggle against quarterbacks who scramble and keep them guessing, which is why Fields could be a great quarterback for years to come. Shanahan was part of the QB Collective program with some other NFL coaches, in which he got to see Fields’ talent. He also holds some few flaws, such as his slow release and sometimes he struggles under pressure, especially when blitzed. He would still be a great addition to the 49ers offense nevertheless, his problems are not that massive and with Shanahan being one of the best coaches in the league, he could become one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL within some time.
Trey Lance played only one game in 2020, after his wonderful year in 2019 where he threw for no picks. During Lance’s college career, he only threw one interception in his last game against the Central Arkansas Bears. Although Lance currently has the highest ceiling of quarterback prospects, he also holds the lowest floor. In his 3 seasons with the North Dakota State Bisons, he only played a total of 17 full games, where he played spectacularly. The problem is, there is not much experience from him going into the NFL and not much tape for teams to evaluate him from. Lance has a strong arm, great mobility, and he is very smart which is why Lance is so highly evaluated. If he enters the right system, he could become a top quarterback, and pairing him with the stacked 49ers offense, would help him have great chances of succeeding.
Mac Jones played in the most stacked team with the Alabama Crimson Tide, with his receivers being Heisman trophy winner, Devonta Smith and another stud receiver, Jaylen Waddle. After the 49ers traded up to the 3rd spot, Mac Jones has been heavily linked with them, with many experts believing Mac Jones will be the choice. Mac is a great pocket passer and is said to be the most pro-ready quarterback in this class. However, Jones is not considered to be one of the top quarterbacks in this class, and would even be considered to be a reach. Mac Jones does not have the strongest of arms, he lacks mobility, and has the lowest ceiling of the top 5 quarterbacks. Despite that, he is still a great player, but three first round picks could be overpaying to get someone who might not succeed as much as other prospects.
Kyle Pitts is arguably the best tight end prospect to ever come out of college, making many teams interested in having his services. Pitts, in 3 years with the Florida Gators, had a total of 18 touchdowns, with 12 of them coming from the 2020 season. Kyle Pitts exhibited to be a great red zone threat, with his big hands and decent route running, being a big piece in Florida’s offense. His only problem is his size as a tight end which could be a bit of a problem when blocking. In the 49ers offense, he could become a great threat, but the 49ers already have one of the best, if not the best, tight end in the NFL right now being George Kittle. Nevertheless, Shanahan runs a lot of plays involving two tight ends which could make this 49ers offense scarier than it already is. Even though Pitts is a tempting option, the likelihood of him joining the 49ers is very low.
Penei Sewell is the best offensive linemen prospect in this draft, where he has dominated edge rushers during his college career. Sewell is a great run blocking and pass blocking tackle and with the 49ers just re-signing Trent Williams, with the addition of Sewell, the 49ers could have the best offensive line protecting Jimmy Garoppolo. One of the biggest problems with the 49ers has been keeping Garoppolo healthy, especially during the 2020 season with the many injuries the 49ers had and the bad offensive line protection. This option is very unrealistic though, the 49ers have just signed Alex Mack from free agency, and Mike McGlinchey looks to be getting on form again after his very disappointing season in 2020.