Report: 49ers' pick down to Jones or Lance, not Fields


The 49ers' choice reportedly is down to two.

When the Niners pick No. 3 overall in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft on Thursday, they likely will decide between Alabama quarterback Mac Jones and North Dakota State QB Trey Lance, NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported Sunday night, citing sources.

Jones, 22, set an NCAA record in completion percentage (77.4 percent) during the Crimson Tide's undefeated, national championship-winning 2020 season. Since the 49ers traded up for the No. 3 selection, Jones has been consistently linked to the 49ers. After the Niners' brain trust attended Lance and Justin Fields' pro days earlier this month, Jones became the betting favorite again.

Lance, 20, played in just one game this fall for the Bison before declaring for the draft. During his lone collegiate season as a starter in 2019, Lance accumulated 3,886 total yards. He scored 42 passing and rushing touchdowns with zero turnovers.

Fields, entered the 2020 season as the presumptive No. 2 QB in the 2021 draft behind Clemson's Trevor Lawrence. But the Ohio State star reportedly isn't expected to be among the 49ers' options at No. 3, despite leading his peers in a number of key metrics, most of which dispel the narratives surrounding the 22-year-old amid his apparent "slide" down draft boards.

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Jones and Lance are both listed at 6-foot-3 and around or over 215 pounds, but their skill sets are very different. Lance is a true dual threat with a strong arm and high upside, whereas Jones' quick release and intermediate accuracy evoke Shanahan's previous quarterbacks.

Despite their differences, Rapaport's sources believe one of those QBs will hear their name when the 49ers make their pick Thursday night.

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