Your daily San Francisco 49ers links for Monday, March 29, 2021
We have a big one this afternoon as John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan will speak to the media as they’re sure to answer 55 questions about the quarterback position.
1) Jimmy Garoppolo will have a chance, it appears, to beat back a challenge from the quarterback San Francisco drafts a month from tonight. The Niners, as of today, do not plan to trade Garoppolo before the season. An offer to blow them away could get Garoppolo—Carolina? New England?—but otherwise, Garoppolo and the new man will be in camp for the Niners in August. The 49ers have played very nice with Garoppolo since the end of the season, with GM John Lynch saying several times Garoppolo is their guy. Well, there’s a cost for going cold down the stretch of the Super Bowl season, and for missing 23 of the 48 regular-season games over the past three years. The cost is drafting a man likely to beat him out. The Niners are no longer willing to let a quarterback injury ruin their season.
It seems stunning to think Alabama’s Mac Jones could be the Niners’ choice—and “could be” is the operative phrase because the Niners have not decided who to choose at three. You can expect Lynch or coach Kyle Shanahan to say that today when they meet with the local press for the first time since January. But Jones is in the mix
The former 49ers receiverd wrote that he was grateful to be uninjured in the scary collision, posting photos of the damaged cars alongside a picture of him kneeling in prayer.
“I was on my way home but this is.. HOW MY DAY ENDED YESTERDAY and.. HOW MY DAY STARTED TODAY,” Owens wrote on Instagram. “Thankful for no injuries, health and able to see another day. God is Good.”
It’s unclear which of the three cars pictured was occupied by Owens, but two of them appear to be severely crumpled.
“Trust me, I’m so thankful and grateful because this could have been worse than it looks,” Owens wrote in his Instagram story Sunday.
Now, I have a great deal of respect for Simms’ quarterback acumen, even when I don’t agree with what he’s saying. And in this instance, I really don’t agree with it. When you see the term “pro-ready,” keep in mind that it became a big deal about 15 years ago, when NFL teams were struggling with the transition for college quarterbacks in spread-style, shotgun-heavy offenses to the professional level. That issue doesn’t exist anymore; the league has long since made that transition, and when you say “pro-ready” these days, you could be referring to any one of five or six radically different schematic strains. The value of a quarterback who played under center and primarily in the pocket has plummeted in recent years. Now, NFL teams are looking for quarterbacks that can make downfield throws from second-reaction and out-of-pocket situations. Against today’s defenses, if you’re sitting in the pocket all day, you’re a sitting duck — no matter how great your protection is.
I’ve seen a lot of comparisons to Kirk Cousins, and with all due respect, I have absolutely no idea what Mac Jones tape these people are watching. Last season, Cousins ranked fourth in the NFL with 62 dropbacks in boot-action with 61 attempts, completing 38 passes for 472 yards, four touchdowns, and two interceptions. In 2020, Mac Jones ranked 23rd in the NCAA with 23 boot-action dropbacks, completing 10 of 17 passes for 123 yards, one touchdown, and one interception.
As we’ve said, boot-action is a fundamental part of Shanahan’s offense no matter where he is, and that’s not what Jones does. He’s a pocket passer. A great pocket passer, but as I wrote in my analysis of Jones back in February, “It also limits Jones’ landing spots if he can’t run boot; there’s no way you wind up in a McVay/Shanahan/LaFleur offense if you can’t. And if you can’t effectively make plays on second-reaction throws… well, your real estate options just narrowed even further.”
Wilson is the one with the best chance to be special. Wilson is the one who has drawn comparisons to Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes. If the 49ers think Wilson is that good, it would make sense for them to trade three first-round picks to get him.
Keep in mind both Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch went to Wilson’s Pro Day — they did not go to the Pro Days for Lance or Jones. And just hours after Wilson’s Pro Day, the 49ers announced their trade for the No. 3 pick.
Robert Saleh also was at Wilson’s Pro Day, because Saleh is the new head coach of the Jets, who own the No. 2 pick. And it’s unclear whether they plan to draft a quarterback — they still have Sam Darnold.
It’s possible Saleh told Shanahan the Jets won’t draft Wilson, and he’ll be available at No. 3.
Or, it’s possible the 49ers traded up to No. 3 with the intention of trading up one more time to No. 2, so they can get Wilson.