By RJ Younger
FOX Sports activities School Soccer Author
By the morning of Might 1, the NFC West may characteristic essentially the most entertaining 4 quarterbacks that we’ve seen in a single division in years.
Kyler Murray in Arizona, Matt Stafford in Los Angeles, Russ Wilson in Seattle and Justin Fields in San Francisco: That is made-for-TV drama, and it is about to occur.
In the meantime, the New York Jets appear to be out of the Sam Darnold enterprise and getting ready handy their franchise to the very best QB prospect to come back out of Provo since Taysom Hill.
“Jets are gonna take Wilson at 2,” an NFL entrance workplace member instructed me. “Draw your individual conclusions about 3.”
Nice, I’ll: Justin Fields is about to develop into a San Francisco 49er.
GM John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan all however declared this with the transfer the Niners made Friday.
San Francisco gave up two future first-round picks and a 2021 third-rounder to maneuver up 9 spots to No. 3 within the upcoming NFL Draft. You don’t make that sort of transfer, mortgaging your future, until you imagine you could have an opportunity to draft an important participant to your franchise over the following decade.
The Niners additionally outlined for us what most NFL entrance workplace members and draft analysts have believed since January: There are three franchise quarterbacks on this draft class, they usually’re all family names.
Lawrence. Fields. Wilson.
If the Jets determined to run a double transfer and draft Fields as an alternative of Wilson, you may be simply as sure that the Niners will draft Wilson.
By some means, although, NFL Twitter has talked itself into the 49ers taking North Dakota State‘s Trey Lance or Alabama‘s Mac Jones, whereas Fields is alleged to be everywhere in the board.
Corridor of Fame scout Gil Brandt tweeted that he has heard from one NFL membership that his workforce has a fourth-round grade on Fields.
Even when that’s the worst backhanded “He’s A Russell Wilson Kind” praise in historical past, the thought that Fields grades out as a fourth-rounder is preposterous.
Transferring as much as draft Lance, although? Why not simply transfer as much as draft Jones then? Since you wouldn’t.
Jones completed his final season in school with an undefeated report and a nationwide title — like Lance. Jones set the single-season NCAA passer effectivity ranking report, threw 41 TD passes with simply 4 interceptions and completed third in 2020 Heisman balloting.
We are able to play the numbers and awards sport till the Detroit Lions lastly win a Tremendous Bowl, or we will watch the tape.
What does the tape present?
Lance is cellular. He didn’t play with a bunch of studs, however what number of studs are there within the FCS?
Jones is about as cellular as an indignant snail, and he did play with a bunch of studs — arguably essentially the most gifted class in school soccer historical past. He additionally performed an all-conference schedule within the hardest league within the sport.
Nonetheless, so many individuals wish to imagine that you simply don’t want a cellular quarterback within the NFL as a result of Tom Brady simply received his seventh Tremendous Bowl ring.
Whereas that’s not inaccurate, solely two quarterbacks have received NFL MVP by unanimous vote. One is Brady. The opposite is Lamar Jackson — essentially the most cellular quarterback this facet of Michael Vick.
That, fairly frankly, is a trait Shanahan didn’t have the possibility to play with as an offensive coordinator in Atlanta or throughout his 4 seasons as head coach in San Francisco.
He is aware of an motionless quarterback can’t flip a foul playcall or damaged play right into a optimistic acquire or landing. He additionally is aware of an motionless quarterback was what he had in shedding in each of his Tremendous Bowl appearances.
The mystique round Niners quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was sturdy in New England. It misplaced a few of its shine after his transfer to San Francisco, even because the Niners made a run to the Tremendous Bowl in 2019.
Nevertheless it was completely misplaced when 100 million individuals noticed Garoppolo throwing the soccer along with his eyes closed within the largest sport of the 12 months. Add to this the harm he’s coming off of, and you’ll see how attractive the prospect of a 6-foot-3, 230-pound Fields may be.
It’s not simply that Fields and Ohio State started their season in November and nonetheless managed to play within the nationwide title sport in January. It’s additionally that Fields has proven, again and again, that he’s correct with the ball, his teammates wish to comply with him, and he can play by way of ache.
Fields is the very best athlete obtainable at quarterback, and he’s more likely to present that once more subsequent week at Ohio State’s professional day. In video shared to his social accounts, Fields ran 4.41 seconds within the 40-yard sprint and claimed he’s going to get underneath 4.4 by his professional day.
If he does, he’ll be one of many 4 quickest QBs on report — ever — and the quickest since Jackson. However that’s additionally what the dialog round Fields has missed.
Lawrence, Wilson, Lance and Jones have every gone by way of their respective professional days, and the response has been predictably reactionary. Affirmation bias is in its full glory.
When Fields reveals out at his professional day, count on to listen to about his shifting up Your Staff’s draft board … and nod alongside.
Justin Fields has all the pieces you’d need in an NFL quarterback. The Niners know that. Why don’t you?
RJ Younger is a nationwide school soccer author and analyst for FOX Sports activities. Comply with him on Twitter at @RJ_Young. Subscribe to “The RJ Younger Present” on YouTube. He isn’t on a StepMill.
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