In this mock draft, we examine the implications of the 49ers blockbuster trade and discuss what their full draft may look like with the third overall pick.
The beginning waves of NFL free agency have come and gone, which means it is time to look ahead to the next big event on the NFL calendar, the 2021 NFL Draft.
Draft season is always a fun time, full of speculation over how teams will rebuild. For the San Francisco 49ers, the team needs to draft well to fill the holes in a still-supremely talented roster that suffered through injuries last season.
The Niners, when healthy, are certainly a Super Bowl contender, and making the right draft picks could push them over the hump. This draft was looking to be one where the San Francisco wasn’t going to be flashy but was instead going to reinforce key position groups.
Then, last week, the 49ers made the 2021 draft a lot more interesting by giving up three first-round picks for the No. 3 overall pick from the Miami Dolphins.
In this piece, we rethink everything we had previously assumed about the Niners’ 2021 NFL Draft plans and take a look at a seven-round mock after San Francisco shocked the football world with the blockbuster deal.
49ers Round 1 Pick, No. 3 Overall: Quarterback Justin Fields, Ohio State
The 49ers’ move to No. 3 puts them right in the mix to draft a quarterback. While there’s always the outside chance it’s another position, the general consensus is the Niners go QB here. It seems incredibly unlikely San Francisco would give up three first-round picks to move into a top spot for a anything else. It would be a waste of picks otherwise.
It seems head coach Kyle Shanahan must like at least three of the top quarterbacks in this year’s class to make a move like this. The Jacksonville Jaguars are all but assured to take Trevor Lawrence first overall, and the New York Jets taking BYU’s Zach Wilson second overall has been picking up steam for months, too.
So, with those two out of the way in this mock, Ohio State’s Justin Fields is the correct choice from the 49ers.
Two other names that will get buzz are North Dakota State’s Trey Lance and Alabama’s Mac Jones. Both of those players are interesting, but Fields has both the raw talent of Lance and Jones’ pedigree of elite college production.
Arguably, the Jets taking Wilson over Fields is a mistake, although it does seem to be what will happen. Either of these guys would be great picks by San Francisco, however, Wilson seems to be the classic example of a player getting pre-draft buzz and skyrocketing up draft boards after a mostly unheralded college career. Certainly, Wilson has flashed greatness, but he is being drafted more off of his intangibles and high upside than his college production.
Sometimes, a player like that works out, like the Buffalo Bills’ Josh Allen. Other times, you wind up with the Denver Bronco’s Drew Lock.
Give me Fields, who was one of the top high school players in the nation and a Heisman Trophy finalist in 2019. Additionally, he outdueled Lawrence, considered the best QB prospect since Andrew Luck, in the 2020 College Football Playoff, showing some incredible grit in the process.
FIelds’ skill set will allow the 49ers offense to be even more creative and versatile than it has been, due to his ability as a mobile quarterback, combined with a strong arm and the ability to make major NFL-level throws. A mobile quarterback is not something Shanahan has worked with in a long time, and this wrinkle should allow the Niners offense to continue taking the NFL by storm.