For the first time in his 38-years covering the NFL Draft, ESPN Mel Kiper’s latest mock draft has some moving parts.
One of Kiper’s trade scenarios has the 49ers jumping up with the Detroit Lions to draft Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields.
“It’s tough to project the exact details,” Kiper said, “but moving up five spots in a talented quarterback class means there will be competition. We can look to the Mitchell Trubisky as one comp, but another could be the Steelers move for Devin Bush in 2019, where they jumped 10 spots with the Broncos and had to give up the Nos. 20 and 52 picks, plus a third-round pick the following year.”
Kiper also added that he wouldn’t be “shocked” if the Niners had to give up a 2022 first-round pick and that the team would move on from quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo as a designated June-1 cut.
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Justin Fields’s Scouting Report
Weight: 223 Lbs
Fields will always be considered the “one that got away” from the Georgia Bulldogs, which the junior signal-caller played for before entering the transfer portal to OSU.
The Georgia native’s football season was shortened to six games this past season due to the coronavirus outbreak. Fields ended the season with a National title appearance throwing for 2,100 passing yards, 22 touchdowns, five interceptions.
Fields’ athleticism has been compared to NFL stars Russell Wilson or Dak Prescott, as noted by NFL Media analyst and ex-NFL scout Daniel Jeremiah. At 6-foot-3-inches and 223 pounds, Fields is built similar to Prescott who stands at 6-foot-2-inches and 238 pounds. Like both Prescott and Wilson, Fields is considered a dual-threat quarterback who can throw on the run and scramble when needed.
The 49ers Want Better Options at QB
After leading the 49ers to a conference championship in 2019, Jimmy Garoppolo’s 2020 season was limited to six games because of an ankle injury. He finished the season completing 67.1 percent of his passes for 1,096 yards, seven touchdowns, and five interceptions.
When Garoppolo went down, the 49ers’ weak QB depth chart was in the spotlight and Niners’ GM John Lynch joined the “Eye Test for Two” podcast this past week where he opened up about Jimmy G.’s future and the need for better options at QB.
“Being available is a big part of this thing,” Lynch explained. “So we — probably as a stated goal — we have to insulate ourselves better. We’ve got to have better options if he’s not there. I’ve watched people go through this in their careers where they struggled early. It happened to me early, and then I went eight years without missing a practice. So I believe things can happen, and I believe they will for him. I really believe that Jimmy is our guy.
“When he’s healthy, he’s played at a high level. But we probably have to add someone. We probably need to improve ourselves, so if he’s not there, we’re all right; we can win games.”
It seems to me that the Niners are not really set on Jimmy G. being their future quarterback so don’t be surprised if the team looks for a jump-up for their future franchise signal-caller in this year’s draft.