As they say, it’s not just what you know but who you know that counts. Despite being just 41 years old, Kyle Shanahan has almost twenty years of coaching experience in the NFL, and that could pay big dividends when the 49ers actually have to draft someone in 13 days.
As Matt Barrows detailed in The Athletic this week, John Beck has become one of the industry’s most sought-after quarterback trainers. This year he’s worked with Justin Fields, and as of about three weeks ago, Trey Lance.
Why is this good for the 49ers, you might ask? Because Kyle Shanahan coordinated the offense Beck played on in 2010-11, and, again according to Barrows, the two have remained close. Surely Kyle is mining Beck for everything he’s learned about both Fields and Lance in the time he’s worked with them.
Furthermore, Beck has unique insight into this year’s rookie quarterbacks, but he also has a working knowledge of what the 49ers want from their QBs thanks to working with Jimmy Garoppolo, Nick Mullens, and CJ Beathard. That knowledge was absolutely put to good use during Justin Fields’ second pro day and will no doubt be exercised again when Trey Lance throws for the 49ers’ brass next week.
In a year where COVID-19 restrictions have scuttled a lot of the normal pre-draft process, things couldn’t be lining up better for San Francisco. Kyle Shanahan has unique access to John Beck. Beck has unique access to Fields and Lance, and he knows exactly what the 49ers want from their quarterbacks. Nobody should have more information about Justin Fields or Trey Lance than Kyle Shanahan.
I’ve already detailed how much I think Mike Shanahan will be a factor in the QB decision. Given this information about Beck and all his connections to the situation, a thought did pop into my head: The two biggest influences on Kyle Shanahan over who gets taken with this pick could be men who aren’t employed by the San Francisco 49ers.
I’m not saying that’s a good thing or a bad thing, but it could be a true thing. I explain more in today’s Niners Nation Gold Standard Podcast, which is here for you below and available anywhere you get your podcasts.
Other thoughts in the episode
- One red flag each for Justin FIelds, Trey Lance, and Mac Jones
- One reason Fields could be even more motivated to crush it with the 49ers