With the 2021 NFL Draft just days away, the one question surrounding the San Francisco 49ers is the one that has been asked ad nauseam following their blockbuster trade with the Miami Dolphins: which quarterback will they select with the third overall pick?
The only thing that is clear for the Niners at quarterback is that Jimmy Garoppolo’s time as San Francisco’s starter grows short, yet there is no definitive answer as to who his eventual successor will be.
Who will the 49ers take at pick 3?
Mac Jones remains the leader in the clubhouse. The 49ers would immediately be under significant pressure to justify giving up three first-round picks for a quarterback of his limited physical skill set. A move for either Justin Fields or Trey Lance would appear to make more sense and would likely not be subject to the same scrutiny.
Beyond that franchise-altering decision, the 49ers have little in the way of pressing needs. The offense is in strong shape at the skill positions and on the offensive line while there is talent at every level of the defense, with the biggest question on that side of the ball pertaining to whether DeMeco Ryans can keep that unit in the top five following the departure of Robert Saleh to become head coach of the New York Jets.
Indeed, days two and three of the draft figure to largely be about the 49ers building on their strengths and taking the best players available rather than targeting specific holes on a roster stacked with talent.
All that will be an afterthought, though, to the decision that will define the tenures of head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch.