The San Francisco 49ers got the NFL draft craziness started a few weeks early with a blockbuster trade allowing them to move up from No. 12 to No. 3. Who could be so good that giving away two future first-round draft picks sounded like a good idea? Who are they going to take with the No. 3 pick?
General Manager John Lynch and Head Coach Kyle Shanahan were kind enough to let the fans in on their plan once the news broke about the trade. They are going after a quarterback.
But with quarterbacks expected to go No. 1 and No. 2 in the NFL draft, that means the 49ers gave up two future first-round draft picks (and more) to move up nine spots for the third-best quarterback in the draft.
It is a move that is a little reminiscent of the one the Chicago Bears made a few years ago to move up from No. 3 to No. 2 so they could select Mitchell Trubisky. Fans of the 49ers are hoping things will work out a little better for their team.
So, we know it is going to be a quarterback—but which one?
2021 NFL Draft—49ers Choices At No. 3
While the 49ers have said they are going with a quarterback, there is still a very real chance they go with someone else. If Jimmy Garoppolo is good enough to start for the team next year, why not build around him?
But if that were the case, it would have been smarter to stay at No. 12 and keep their picks. Now, that does not mean they will not go for a player other than a quarterback. Teams make questionable moves involving the draft all the time.
However, according to oddsmakers, it will be a quarterback. The only question is which one:
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Teams typically do not tip their hand when it comes to the draft, even if it is obvious who they will take. But Urban Meyer confirmed the Jags plan on taking Trevor Lawrence with the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft. Since Sam Darnold has struggled with the Jets, many assume they are taking a quarterback with the No. 2 pick—Zach Wilson.
While that takes the best two off the board, it leaves a few great quarterbacks for the 49ers to choose from, like Mac Jones, Justin Fields, and Trey Lance.
But who will they choose?
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The experts have locked in on the 49ers taking a quarterback, but teams do crazy stuff all the time. Can we really be sure that is what they will do? Kyle Pitts teaming up with George Kittle could be fun to watch. Penei Sewell could give their offensive line a real boost, too.
However, according to Shanahan, it sounds like the 49ers will take a quarterback (via ESPN):
“We felt pretty strongly we were gonna get left at the altar sitting there at 12. There are five guys that are kind of at this party a little bit, and people are talking about them going everywhere. They’re all over in the first round. Our feeling is these guys were going to go a lot higher than people realize.”
Lawrence is out of the picture, and most assume that Wilson will be as well. That leaves Mac Jones, Justin Fields, or Trey Lance as the likely choice.
There has not been much talk about the 49ers possibly taking Lance. No, most of it has been about Jones and Fields. With Shanahan going to Alabama’s Pro Day, a lot of the talk has focused on him. But that could easily change once the 49ers attend the second Pro Day Ohio State is holding.
However, working under the assumption the 49ers will take one of those two could result in missing a bet with higher value—Zach Wilson.
Yes, the media has assumed that the Jets will take him since Sam Darnold has yet to develop into a franchise quarterback. But the Jets have not said anything about their draft plans. With the moves they have made so far during the offseason, they appear to be building around Darnold.
If they take Penei Sewell or Kyle Pitts with the No. 2 pick, that would further that cause. Then again, their offseason moves could be about building around whoever they draft, too.
So—who should you bet on?
If you want to play it safe, go with Fields or Jones . The odds on both are as low as they are for a reason. But it would not be shocking if the Jets went for Sewell—which would leave Zach Wilson available at No. 3 (so put a little down on him, too).