Many San Francisco 49ers fans felt relief Thursday night. The third overall pick was not Mac Jones. However, it was also not used on Aaron Rodgers.
Since the end of March, when the 49ers moved up to third pick in the draft in an expensive trade, it was reported that the team had done it with Jones in mind. Many 49ers fans brushed off any mention of the team climbing to No.3 to get Jones, who likely wasn’t in the top 10 in a mock draft before the trade.
Jones was no choice. The 49ers went with North Dakota State’s Trey Lance, a multi-talented threat who will fit in very well with Kyle Shanahan’s offense.
49ers fans will go quickly to Lance, mainly because he’s not Jones. Even though the 49ers were at the center of the Rodgers rumors when it was revealed Thursday that Rodgers wanted to leave Green Bay.
The 49ers have taken a big step forward
The 49ers rocked the draft with their big upward movement, which didn’t come cheap.
The 49ers traded 12th overall, first-round picks in 2022 and 2023 and a third-round compensatory pick in 2022 to the Miami Dolphins for third place overall. This is where the speculation started.
When prominent national NFL reporters reported that the 49ers had taken the big step for Jones, 49ers fans were in disbelief. BetMGM’s odds on who would go third rebounded, with Jones defined primarily as the favorite and at times as a big favorite. Jones, third overall, hit -300, which means a bettor would have to bet $ 300 to win $ 100.
But reports also said the 49ers would continue to assess all quarterbacks ahead of Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson, who were handy locks to go 1-2. On Thursday afternoon, BetMGM saw a huge change in odds, with Lance taking over as the favorite to go No. 3. Lance was -175 just before the draft started.
For practical reasons, by the time the project began, no one knew what the 49ers were going to do.
Trey Lance is well positioned to succeed
Lance is an unusual prospect.
He has all the physical tools that NFL teams love. It matches the evolution of the NFL towards mobile quarterbacks. He was very productive in college and a TD / INT ratio of 28-0 in 2019 caught everyone’s attention.
He also played at North Dakota State, an FCS school. And in 2020, he only played one game as the Bison shifted their schedule to the spring. Many FCS players have had great success in the NFL, but this complicates the screening process. The same goes for a lost 2020.
The 49ers obviously have confidence in him to succeed immediately at the NFL level. San Francisco still has quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, at least for now, but the No. 3 overall picks are no longer sitting. The 49ers hope to rebound throughout the season, after a 2020 filled with injuries and COVID. At some point, likely sooner rather than later, they’ll be putting their season on Lance’s shoulders.
Given that for weeks it looked like Jones would be the new QB for the 49ers of the future, 49ers fans will have no problem with Lance being. Even if the possibility Rodgers will always be a classic tease.
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