The 49ers have been most heavily connected to Alabama quarterback Mac Jones, and many expect John Lynch & C0. to nab the Crimson Tide passer when they are on the clock with the No. 3 overall pick. But Trey Lance‘s Pro Day is tomorrow, and Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com says the Niners are heading into Lance’s showcase with a completely open mind.
Fowler goes on to say that Lance could swing the pendulum in his favor if he performs well. As reported previously, the North Dakota State product will run drills that are favored by 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan in an effort to show that he can thrive in a system that on the surface appears to be best-suited to Jones. He will also have NFL staffers running his throwing session as opposed to his own coaches.
San Francisco attended Justin Fields‘ Pro Day earlier this week — his workout was also tailored to the 49ers’ system — and Shanahan has spoken with Fields’ pre-draft coach, John Beck, multiple times this offseason. According to Fowler, Fields was able to allay concerns that the Niners and other clubs had with respect to his decision-making ability with intelligent Zoom meetings where he discussed his thought processes and his gameday preparation.
Fowler sort of implies, however, that Fields is not really in the mix for the No. 3 pick, saying that if the 49ers don’t pick him, it’s not because they don’t like him, it’s because they love someone else. But on a recent segment on VSin, former NFL executive Michael Lombardi offers a much more straightforward take. Lombardi’s sources tell him that if San Francisco does not draft Jones, then Lance will be the pick, not Fields (video link).
Either way, none of those three signal-callers will have to wait too long to hear their names called. With a number of QB-needy clubs holding picks that put them in play for a player like Jones, Lance, or Fields we are expecting five signal-callers to be off the board within the first 10-12 selections.