Friday, April 2, 2021

San Francisco 49ers 2021 NFL Mock Draft Roundup 8.0

Throughout the year and leading up to the 2021 NFL draft, we will update our San Francisco 49ers Mock Draft Roundup showing picks for the San Francisco 49ers from several prominent sites and draft analysts.

For a more inclusive lists of mock drafts for the San Francisco 49ers, check out our 2021 San Francisco 49ers Mock Draft Database.

The following are picks in recent mock drafts for the 49ers:

EDSFootball - Hanson (4/1)

3. Mac Jones, QB, Alabama

In my 2021 NFL Mock Draft 5.0, I projected a 49ers trade up so that they wouldn't miss out on one of the top-five quarterbacks. While I projected a trade up to No. 7 to get in front of the Panthers, the 49ers pushed their chips into the middle of the table in a more aggressive jump up to No. 3.

Almost universally, Trevor Lawrence is the QB1. As noted with the Jets pick, Chris Simms is a notable trend-bucker with Zach Wilson as his QB1. Not everyone has Lawrence or Wilson as their QB1, though. Former NFL head coach June Jones ranks (Mac) Jones as his QB1.

Taking the reigns from Tua Tagovailoa, the fifth pick in 2020, Jones really hit the ground running in 2020 as he completed 77.4% of his pass attempts and threw for 4,500 yards (11.2 Y/A), 41 touchdowns and four interceptions last season. While Jones may lack the elite arm strength and athleticism that the other top-four quarterback prospects possess, he makes quick reads and throws with outstanding accuracy and touch.

ESPN - McShay (4/1)

3. Mac Jones, QB, Alabama

The Niners sacrificed first-rounders over the next two years and then some to skip the line. Which player did they do it for? Coach Kyle Shanahan surely has his guy in mind already, and it's going to be a QB -- teams don't make these types of massive early deals for non-QBs. I'm hearing a lot of noise about Jones being the 49ers' preference. He is accurate and reads the field so well, which helps assuage some mobility concerns. Plus, he excels when passing in the pocket or off play-action, two staples of Shanahan's system. San Francisco paid a hefty price, but quarterback was in need of an upgrade. Now it just has to hope it selects the right one.

Baltimore Sun - Doon (3/31)

3. Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State

The 49ers shook up the draft with a massive trade from No. 12 to No. 3, sending two future first-round picks to the Dolphins to complete the deal. There's no question that San Francisco is targeting a quarterback with this move, despite all the reassurances that Jimmy Garoppolo is still in the team's plans. Who that quarterback winds up being is anyone's guess, but Fields offers the highest upside of the three candidates because of his athleticism, arm strength and poise.

EDSFootball - Donahue (3/29)

3. Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State

And we have our first trade of draft season! Yes, I have seen the speculation that this move is for Mac Jones, I'm not buying it. I don't believe that the Niners would give up that type of draft capital a month in advance to target a player that may have been available to them at 12 -- or if not 12, somewhere after the third pick on draft night, so that they wouldn't have to give up as much. So to me, this is between Lance and Justin Fields and I think Shanahan wants the opportunity to mold someone like Lance.

At his pro day, Lance reminded scouts that he is a unique talent and got them buzzing about him again. Turn on NFL Network or ESPN and you hear comps to Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson. While there are questions about his competition and total number of games started, there is no questioning his physical tools and athleticism. To quote Daniel Jeremiah "it's a limited body of work, but the foundation is outstanding."

San Diego Union Tribune (3/29)

3. Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State

You don't move this much draft capital unless it's for a quarterback. A showcase game against Central Arkansas didn't really do Lance's draft stock any favors, but there's too much arm talent and playmaking ability to deny here. He has the highest ceiling of any QB in this draft class outside of Lawrence. Sitting a season behind Jimmy Garoppolo while being coached up by offensive mastermind Kyle Shanahan will provide him the best opportunity to reach it.

L.A. Times - Farmer (3/29)

3. Zach Wilson, QB, BYU

With his ability to roll out and throw darts on the run, Wilson has some young Aaron Rodgers appeal and fits Kyle Shanahan's system.

New York Post - Serby (3/27)

3. Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State

John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan make a bold move for their quarterback of the future. Jimmy G Whiz. "Bill Belichick on Line 1 …"

The Ringer - Kelly (3/26)

3. Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State

The 49ers made a massive, draft-altering move by sending three first-round picks (the no. 12 pick in 2021 and first-rounders in 2022 and 2023) plus a 2021 third-rounder to the Dolphins to move up to no. 3. The big question now is not whether San Francisco wants a quarterback; it's which quarterback the front office wants most. I suspect that player is Lance, for a number of reasons. For one, his skill set perfectly fits head coach Kyle Shanahan's scheme: Lance's transition from North Dakota State's run-centric, play-action-based approach to Shanahan's system with the Niners would be smooth. And two, if the reports that San Francisco is planning to roll with Jimmy Garoppolo as its starter for at least one more season are to believed--a big if--they would make a lot more sense if the franchise was grooming the inexperienced Lance, who played just one full college football season against lower-level FCS competition. In that case, Lance would be afforded the necessary time to get reps before being asked to helm the offense.

Newsday - Klopsis (3/26)

3. Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State

The 49ers took a huge leap up the board, giving up 2022 and 2023 first-rounders and a third-rounder this year to move up nine spots. That all but guarantees they'll be taking Jimmy Garoppolo's replacement --it all comes down to which one they prefer (and who's there at No. 3). Justin Fields, the former Ohio State star, is an excellent dual-threat quarterback with a ton of pure athletic talent, but questions remain about his ability to quickly process his progressions.

Previous update: San Francisco 49ers Mock Draft Roundup 7.0

MORE TEAMS: All NFL Team Mock Draft Roundups

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