But, the current NFL Network analyst’s QB pick could be seen as a bit more controversial than most.
Taking to Twitter on Wednesday afternoon, Thomas gave his prediction for the 49ers’ 2021 draft selection.
“Kyle Shanahan and @49ers are going to draft [Justin Fields]… Save this tweet,” the former Cleveland Browns tackle wrote.
— Joe Thomas (@joethomas73) April 14, 2021
With Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence and BYU’s Zach Wilson essentially locks to be selected with the No. 1 and No. 2 overall picks, GM John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan made the decision to send the No. 12 pick, a 2022 third-round pick and first-round picks in 2022 and 2023 to Miami for the No. 3 selection.
Right now, many analysts are under the impression the 49ers will select Alabama’s Mac Jones. Veteran ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. said he thinks Jones to San Francisco is a “lock” and would be “very surprised” if Shanahan and Lynch didn’t pick the reigning national champion QB.
Another quarterback firmly in the mix is North Dakota State’s Trey Lance. While NFL scouts didn’t get to see much from the young QB at the college level, his potential as a future NFL-caliber player is believed to immense. With Jimmy Garoppolo likely to stay on as the 49ers’ starter at the beginning of next season, many analysts believe Lance could ease into the role in 2021.
Once considered the consensus No. 2 quarterback in this year’s class, Fields’ stock has significantly dropped as we approach draft day. The biggest hit on the QB is his perceived inability to get past the first read in a passing offense. In addition to those critiques, the former Ohio State star has also had his work ethic called into question.
But, Thomas remembers the days when Fields was neck-and-neck with Lawrence as the top quarterback in the nation. He remembers the time Fields threw a whopping six touchdown passes after taking a brutal hit to the ribs in a Sugar Bowl victory. He remembers that Fields was and still should be considered an elite QB option in this year’s draft.
With this stacked quarterback class, the 49ers have a tough decision ahead of them. The 2021 NFL Draft will kickoff on Thursday, Apr. 29.
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