The 49ers have focused their decision for the No. 3 pick on two quarterbacks, and neither are Ohio State’s Justin Fields.
When the 49ers traded up to the No. 3 pick in the 2021 NFL draft, it became a near certainty that they would take a quarterback with their selection—the only question was which one they’d settle on.
It seems the field has narrowed, and a certain Ohio State quarterback has not made the cut.
San Francisco has reportedly narrowed its decision to Alabama’s Mac Jones or North Dakota State’s Trey Lance, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. That means Ohio State’s Justin Fields would fall outside the top three and be available to the Falcons at pick No. 4.
Jones has seen his draft stock skyrocket over the past year. In his first season as a full-time starter, he led a historic Alabama offense that averaged 48.5 points per game en route to winning the national championship. He finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting, throwing for 4,500 yards with 41 touchdowns and four interceptions.
Nance is more of an unknown to casual observers. He played in just one game in 2020, opting not to play in the FCS’s spring season. As a sophomore in 2019, he threw for 2,786 yards with 28 touchdowns and no interceptions while rushing for 1,100 yards and 14 scores, leading North Dakota State to a national title.
Fields starred in his two years at Ohio State, throwing for 63 touchdowns and nine interceptions over 22 games while completing 64.8% of his pass attempts. He led Ohio State to the College Football Playoff each season, with the Buckeyes falling to Alabama in last season’s national title game.
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