Silly season is upon us as we near closer to the 2021 NFL Draft, and at this point, the focus has been around Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields. As he is apparently slipping in the eyes of the league, the San Francisco 49ers may just find themselves in a position to land the former Heisman Trophy finalist by the time April rolls around.
In fact, Fields has been training at the Quarterback Collective, a well-respected facility known for its influence from NFL head coaches. Among the most notorious coach to be affiliated with the Collective among the likes of Cleveland Browns’ head coach Kevin Stefanski, Los Angeles Rams’ head coach Sean McVay, and Green Bay Packers’ head coach Matt LaFleur? Kyle Shanahan.
49ers connections to QB Collective is real
Not only is Shanahan a coach at the QB Collective, but so are the majority of the coaches in his tree, including new offensive coordinator Mike McDaniels. Even his dad, longtime NFL head coach Mike Shanahan is on staff at QB Collective. To make things even more interesting, the QB Collective account itself tweeted out a picture of Fields and other attendees, stating “The only pro-style quarterback development pipeline led by the coaches who (just might) draft you.”
Not only that, but the QB Collective also tagged both the 49ers and Fields in the picture attached to the tweet. It could be all smoke at this point, but where there is smoke, there is usually fire. There is also one thing to consider as well: Mike LaFluer, a former coach of Shanahan who went with Robert Saleh to the New York Jets as their offensive coordinator is also on staff at the QB Collective.
What Fields brings to the next level
Despite being the most accurate quarterback in this 2021 NFL Draft class, being arguably the most agile quarterback outside of structure, and having a big-time arm, Fields continues to get bashed for easily disproven claims that he cannot process the field quickly enough.
Fields can layer throws to every level of the field, outside the numbers, and deep at a high level, and if he were to land in an outside zone system in either San Francisco or New York, he would be put in a position to thrive day-one. Is this all smokescreen to try and get the Jets to pass on Fields with the second overall pick, or is he going to get the same treatment as Deshaun Watson did in 2017?
Regardless, whoever lands Fields at whatever position in the draft is getting the second-best quarterback in this class behind only Lawrence. Jets? 49ers? Falcons? Somewhere else? It will be an interesting story to follow for another two months before the draft.