49ers NFL Draft 2021 primer: Picks, stories to watch and more

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announces a draft pick by the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announces a draft pick by the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /
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Justin Fields, Ohio State Buckeyes
Justin Fields #1 of the Ohio State Buckeyes (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Storylines 49ers fans will want to follow during NFL Draft

Understandably so, the bulk of focus surrounding San Francisco this year will be on the quarterback selection at No. 3 overall.

But that’s not the only thing fans should pay attention to over the next three days, and these storylines could be of massive interest.

Which quarterback do the 49ers select?

Is it going to be Mac Jones as so many draft pundits have suggested? Or how about Ohio State’s Justin Fields? Is North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance a dark-horse candidate and late riser?

Or what if the No. 2-drafting New York Jets don’t go with BYU quarterback Zach Wilson and instead pick someone like Fields?

That would sure shake things up.

Either way, Kyle Shanahan’s pre-draft press conference essentially summed up what fans need to know:

"We do this for a living and I think people should be proud of us that we won’t let that affect our decision. Then it’s up to us to live with the consequences."

Hopefully, the consequences wind up being good ones.

Do 49ers trade up in Round 2 or back into Round 1?

While there’s a good enough need to add some depth at various points in the draft, and the 49ers could always find some serious value late in the draft, too, one can’t rule out the real possibility John Lynch gets aggressive and tries moving up from No. 43 overall. Potentially getting into a prime position to land one of the Round 1-caliber prospects who fall into Round 2 or even possibly looking to steal a luxury pick towards the end of the first round.

Yes, the end result of Lynch’s trade-back into Round 1 of the 2017 NFL Draft, which landed the Niners linebacker Reuben Foster, didn’t work out to the desired effect.

But it did show Lynch was willing to be aggressive and could so again.

Is Jimmy Garoppolo going to be traded during or shortly after the NFL Draft?

This is ultimately going to be contingent upon whether or not Shanahan and Lynch are comfortable starting whichever rookie quarterback they select in Round 1 come Week 1. And it’s also contingent upon whether or not Jimmy Garoppolo is truly comfortable and willing to stick around in San Francisco for one more year.

Neither situation is known aside from within the organization. But there are reasons to believe the 49ers would be more willing to move Jimmy G sooner than later, particularly if one of the many quarterback-needy teams don’t wind up getting the rookie signal-caller of their choice in the draft and are willing to offer up a trade package for Garoppolo the Niners would be willing to accept.

Either way, expect fans to keep tabs on any would-be Garoppolo trade during and shortly after the draft.