The San Francisco 49ers have a talented roster from top to bottom, and some can argue — especially GM John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan, considering the move they made to get the third overall pick in the 2021 draft — that the team is a franchise quarterback away from being a perennial contender in the near future.
It’s clear with the move up to the third overall pick that the 49ers organization is looking to move on from current QB Jimmy Garoppolo, as he has had issues remaining healthy and hasn’t been as successful as they had initially hoped. With a good stable of quarterbacks at the top of the draft, the 49ers are primed to pick a very good quarterback prospect who will have the opportunity to excel in Coach Shanahan’s current scheme. With the third overall pick in our 2021 NFL writers’ mock draft, the San Francisco 49ers select….
From Kyle Posey at Niners Nation:
Fields could go down as the best consolation quarterback of all time, especially under Kyle Shanahan. After a frustrating tenure under Jimmy Garoppolo, the 49ers select a quarterback who is known for his toughness after playing his final two games with what seemed to be fractured ribs.
Fields gives the Niners a quarterback with mobility, a big arm, and pinpoint accuracy. Shanahan could now open up his offense, throw down the field, outside of the numbers, and stretch the field horizontally with a player like Fields. And if Fields has to sit a year behind Jimmy G, then so be it. There are going to be “rookie mistakes” from Fields, no matter how talented he is.
The flashes and upside are worth one year of potential growing pains as Fields figures to be a superstar under the tutelage of Shanahan, especially with the amount of talent on San Francisco’s offense. This selection should be an easy decision.
Justin Fields is a highly athletic quarterback prospect with great arm talent, elite speed for the position, and the intelligence to carry out Shanahan’s vision for his offense. Although any quarterback taken this high is a challenge given that predicting a quarterback’s success in the NFL is especially tough, the pick of Fields makes so much sense for many reasons. The 49ers have a clear need for a player who not only can execute the offense in the way it’s intended, but one who can be a nightmare for opposing defenses in multiple ways. With the traits that Fields has exhibited on and off the field, he is a clear fit for what the 49ers need at the position.
Justin Fields, the player, has a multifaceted game that could be on full display on the 49ers offense. At 6’3 and 228 pounds, he has a well built and sturdy frame that should hold up to NFL play, which is important for a team that has had issues keeping a signal caller on the field consistently. Fields also has tremendous arm talent, as he can make any throw on the field and do so with accuracy.
What’s even more amazing about Fields is that he can be deadly when on the move. Whether in a designed bootleg or in a broken-down play, Fields has shown the ability to throw with accuracy moving to his left or right, and if teams aren’t keeping their eyes on him, he will make them pay with his legs. Most importantly, when Fields is in a rhythm in the passing game, he is nearly impossible to contain. From a physical aspect, Fields is just absolutely ideal for this offense.
Now there have been those who have questioned Fields’ ability to go through his progressions on film. This is a big misconception as a whole. Although there is certainly film out there where Fields appears to key in on a target, there is more than enough evidence to show that he can process things in real time and go through his progressions when at his best.
Where Fields will need to be more effective is in pocket awareness and blitz recognition. Once he gets a better feel for the game in the NFL, the hope is he will get better at sensing pressure. However, I do like Fields’ chances to improve on these facets of his game, especially in Shanahan’s offense. He has a good football IQ, and in a system that stresses rhythm passing and accuracy, he has a solid chance to excel.
One of the best aspects of Fields’ game are his intangibles. No moment is ever too big for him, and he has the poise to be effective when the game is on the line. From a mental standpoint, Fields is a tremendous leader and team player, and is eager to learn and improve himself in every aspect.
Fields will come into the team facilities and give his all, and his character is just as amazing as his physical attributes and skill set. Fields does have some footwork and technique issues to clean up, but there aren’t many quarterbacks who don’t come out of college with similar issues.
Ready to add a different dynamic to his offense with a true playmaker, Shanahan will happily welcome Justin Fields to the 49ers and have a quarterback who can take his team to the next level.
Top players remaining:
- Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
- Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
- Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
- Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU
- Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State