The last mock draft I published included a trade-up from pick 12 to pick 3, sacrificing first-round picks in the next two drafts. A mere thirty minutes after the mock draft was published here, the 49ers made a trade for the number three pick, in real life, and gave up an additional 2022 third-round compensatory pick on top of the two first-round picks. Needless to say, I, and the rest of the 49ers Empire, was ecstatic.
Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch confirmed the following Monday, during a press conference, that this move was made with a quarterback in mind. The majority of 49er coverage since that time has been about which quarterback they are going to draft at three, but I think this draft is important to add depth to the roster, especially in the secondary, interior offensive line, wide receiver, and EDGE players.
For the sake of this exercise, I used the Pro Football Network (PFN) Simulator, which I prefer over the one produced by Pro Football Focus (PFF) due to PFF’s unique grading system. The PFN Simulator also features sim to user trades and sim to sim trades, which creates a different experience each time you use it.
Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State 6’3″, 227 lbs.
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
As many experts have predicted, QBs Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson were taken with the first two picks. This left Justin Fields, Trey Lance, and Mac Jones available with the third pick. This debate has been analyzed incessantly over the last twenty days since the trade was made, and I’m not going to spend too much time on it here. My take is this: Justin Fields is the most accurate quarterback in this class. He is arguably the best athlete at the quarterback position in this class. He faced the toughest defenses in 2020 out of all of the quarterbacks in this class. Fields likely broke multiple ribs (or at the very least bruised them) against Clemson in the Sugar Bowl, missed one play, then came back in and immediately threw a 9-yard touchdown to Chris Olave and played the rest of the game. He also might be the smartest quarterback in this class, having received scholarship offers from both Harvard and Yale, and earning praise in 2019 from center Josh Myers for his depth of knowledge of the offense after transferring from the University of Georgia. Despite the Jets taking Zach Wilson, Justin Fields is QB2 in my opinion, and the Kyle Shanahan/Justin Fields relationship will flourish for years to come.
*TRADE* Indianapolis sends Picks 54 and 127 to San Francisco for Picks 43 and 155
Indianapolis moved up to take T Alex Leatherwood out of Alabama
Eric Stokes, CB, Georgia 6’0″, 194 lbs.
(photo by Anthony Banks)
The 49ers have their starting cornerbacks covered for the 2021 season with Jason Verrett, Emmanuel Moseley, and K’Wuan Williams, but there is very little depth behind them. All three players have injury histories, and Verrett and Williams are both on one-year deals, so adding some top-end talent to provide depth this season and starter possibilities in 2022 are a must in this draft. Stokes is a phenomenal athlete at the CB position, with great length and top-end speed, having run his 40-yard dash in 4.34s. He has started for three-straight seasons at Georgia, and has been one of the most consistent corners in the SEC not named Patrick Surtain, Jr. Stokes had his best season in 2020, coming away with four interceptions, had five games in which he allowed only ten yards or fewer when targeted, and allowed a 38.5% completion percentage. He can be a little grabby at the top of routes and is no stranger to contact, which will get him in trouble at the next level, but he will have the opportunity to get coached up for a season before being relied on as a starter.
Tommy Tremble, TE, Notre Dame 6’3″, 241 lbs.
(Photo by Andris Visockis)
Tremble is a little on the smaller side for a tight end, but despite his size limitations, he was the best run blocker at the tight end position in all of college football. The 49ers have been looking for a complement to superstar tight end George Kittle for three seasons now, and Tremble gives the team positional flexibility as well as he lined up mainly inline at tight end and in the backfield as a fullback. Kyle Juszczyk signed a 5-year, $27 million contract this offseason, but the structure of the contract makes it essentially a 2-year deal, with no guaranteed money past 2022. Tremble could come in and help immediately at the tight end position, but could also be the fullback of the future. A third-round pick may seem a little rich for the fullback position, but the importance of a run-blocking tight end and a dynamic fullback are important in Kyle Shanahan’s offense and worth a pick this high, especially with the 4.6s 40-yard dash speed he possesses. He reminds me of the profile that George Kittle had coming out of Iowa, a beast in the run game who was an afterthought in the passing game but has the speed and athleticism to excel at the next level.
Benjamin St-Juste, CB, Minnesota 6’3″, 202 lbs.
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
St-Juste has been a fixture in almost every mock draft I’ve done, both to publish, and just for fun. He has prototypical size that the 49ers tend to look for at the corner position, standing 6’3″, 202 lbs., with an impressive 80-plus inch wingspan. St. Juste grew up in Canada, and hockey was his first sport, so he is still relatively raw at the cornerback position. His incredibly long arms make him a natural press-coverage athlete, allowing him to get into the body of receivers quickly at the line of scrimmage, altering their release and allowing him to maintain leverage through the route. St-Juste profiles as another outside corner, just like Eric Stokes, but Emmanuel Moseley is signed for two years, so he could transition to the slot next season and St-Juste and Stokes can man the outside.
Drake Jackson, C, Kentucky 6’1″, 293 lbs.
(Photo by Jason Marcum – Sea of Blue)
Jackson is a little undersized at his listed measurables, but he is a tremendous athlete at the position and plays extremely well on the move. He is a perfect prospect for the center position in Kyle Shanahan’s outside zone run scheme. According to PFF, Jackson only had 97 true pass sets in the Kentucky offense in 2020, so there are questions about his pass-blocking ability, but he gets to the second level in the run game incredibly quickly and engages linebackers well. His coaches rave about his off-field intelligence and his football intelligence, which are both highly sought-out traits for any center in a Shanahan system. Jackson likely isn’t big enough to slide over and contribute at right guard right away, which means he will likely only be a center in the NFL, but with Alex Mack on board, the 49ers have the luxury of allowing Jackson a season to learn under Mack and prepare for the 2022 season.
Simi Fehoko, WR, Stanford 6’3″, 222 lbs.
(Photo by Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports)
The 49ers’ biggest need at the WR position is in the slot, where there is a hole left by the departure of Kendrick Bourne in free agency. Simi Fehoko is not likely to see much time in the slot, but he is an incredible athlete for his size, running the 40-yard dash in 4.42s and the 3-cone drill, one of Kyle Shanahan’s favorites, in 6.86s. The 49ers lack some size at the WR position, so adding an outside threat that stands 6’3″, but still has the lateral quickness that Shanahan desires, is likely a winning proposition for the offense. Fehoko is more athlete than WR at this point in his development, so WR coach Wes Welker will have his work cut out for him, but he flies off of the line every snap, runs through press attempts, and has the long speed to be a game-breaker as well.
Patrick Johnson, EDGE, Tulane 6’6″, 240 lbs.
(Photo by Parker Waters)
Johnson is a perfect fit for the speed rusher role in the 49ers’ wide-9 defensive front. He is a little undersized at 240 lbs., but he has the frame to add 10-15 pounds of functional muscle once he gets into an NFL strength and conditioning program. He has incredible speed and agility off the edge, running the 40-yard dash in 4.59 seconds and the 3-cone drill in 6.97 seconds. He also displays some innate pass-rushing ability, earning a 91.9 true pass-rush grade from PFF, and an incredibly impressive 18.6% pass rush win rate. The biggest question for Johnson is his ability to translate that production to the next level due to a lower level of competition at Tulane. Getting him into the organization and in the hands of DL coach Kris Kocurek should provide some excellent depth at the speed rusher position, especially with the status of Dee Ford‘s back still up in the air.
Dan Moore, Jr., T, Texas A&M 6’5″, 311 lbs.
(Photo by Smiley N. Pool/Staff Photographer)
Moore was the starting left tackle for Jimbo Fisher’s Aggies during the past three seasons. The 49ers have often shown significant interest in SEC linemen, especially those who have started for multiple seasons (see: Justin Skule). While Skule has been a bit of a disappointment, Moore shows better movement skills and athleticism at the position, with fluid hips, and plays with excellent strength and body control in the run game. He tends to allow pass rushers to get into his body too easily on his pass sets, being a little more passive than you’d like, but the Aggies coaching staff thinks that Moore is the best pro prospect on a senior-heavy offensive line. Mike McGlinchey is entering his 4th season with the team, and the 49ers have yet to decide whether to pick up his 5th-year option. The team can bring in Moore to develop and possibly take over for McGlinchey if he moves on or gets traded, and he would upgrade the swing tackle position as well, which currently consists of Justin Skule and 2020 opt-out Shon Coleman.
Jonathon Cooper, EDGE, Ohio State 6’3″, 253 lbs.
(Photo credit USA TODAY Sports)
Cooper is a bit of a tweener EDGE player, but has incredibly refined pass rush moves already in his repertoire. His measurables show some promise with 28 reps at 225 lbs. on the bench press, a 4.69 40-yard dash, and a 6.99 3-cone drill. He had limited production at Ohio State, with 2020 seeing his highest sack total at only 3.5. He primarily wins with his incredibly quick hands, and he is relentless in his rush on every play. He wore the #0 jersey at Ohio State, which is given to the player who displays the most leadership on the team, and his coaches rave about his football character, with his teammates naming him a team captain two seasons in a row. Cooper would be a rotational piece along the defensive line, but that is likely the ceiling for him in the NFL.
The views within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.
ESPN analyst Mel Kiper expanded his latest mock draft to two rounds, and it features the San Francisco 49ers adding prospects on both sides of the football. The team traded from No. 12 overall to the No. 3 slot on March 26.
The Jacksonville Jaguars are expected to select Trevor Lawrence with the top selection, and the New York Jets are projected to add Zach Wilson at No. 2 overall. That’s exactly what Kiper has the two teams doing within his mock draft, leaving San Francisco with its choice of quarterbacks in Mac Jones, Justin Fields, and Trey Lance.
Kiper has the
Dane Brugler released his latest mock draft for The Athletic, and it goes seven rounds deep. The popular opinion is that the San Francisco 49ers will select former Alabama quarterback Mac Jones at No. 3, and the draft analyst follows that narrative.
“Coach Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers have seen or are scheduled to see Jones, Justin Fields and Trey Lance throw in person as the organization does due diligence on the top available passers,” wrote Brugler. “My initial reaction after San Francisco traded up to No. 3 was Lance, but most of the buzz points to Jones. Ultimately, any of the three quarterbacks could be the pick
Pro Football Focus released its latest mock draft, courtesy of analyst Ben Linsey. The San Francisco 49ers are highly anticipated to select a quarterback following their recent trade up to the No. 3 spot. They’ll have their choice of some good options. With Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson nearly a lock to go No. 1 and No. 2, San Francisco can go with Justin Fields of Ohio State, Trey Lance of North Dakota State, or Mac Jones of Alabama.
Linsey has San Francisco going with the player who has been the popular choice among 49ers fans—Fields.
“Fields’ game has been put under the
With so many smokescreens and teams keeping their strategies close to the vest, it’s tough to believe anything you hear when it comes to pre-draft rumors and speculation. Everyone in the media feels the San Francisco 49ers traded up to the No. 3 spot for Alabama quarterback Mac Jones, whether they can make sense of it or not.
Much of that is based on what they hear from around the league. Their colleagues and other teams feel Jones might be the pick, despite the overwhelming opinion that the selection would be a reach.
NFL Media analyst Bucky Brooks doesn’t even view Jones as worthy of a first-round pick, much less No. 3 overall.
“Perhaps the Alabama quarterback is a secret member of The Avengers, operating like Tony Stark as Iron Man,”