News & Analysis

Premium Content Sign Up

Monson: Trey Lance was the right decision for the 49ers at No. 3 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft

Jan 11, 2020; Frisco, Texas, USA; North Dakota State Bison quarterback Trey Lance (5) runs the ball in the third quarter against the James Madison Dukes at Toyota Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers made arguably the biggest decision of the 2021 NFL Draft at No. 3 overall. Head coach Kyle Shanahan and the team's front office had agreed to a blockbuster trade several weeks earlier to jump from outside the top 10 to the third overall pick to grab Trey Lance, their quarterback of the future, and they kept the decision under the tightest of wraps.

The betting markets had at one point or another slotted all three potential quarterback options — North Dakota State’s Lance, Ohio State’s Justin Fields and Alabama’s Mac Jones — as the favorite to go at that pick, and there were people making compelling arguments for each player.

In the end, Lance represents the right decision.

More of PFF's 2021 NFL Draft tools here: 
2021 NFL Draft Big Board | 2021 NFL Draft Guide | 2021 NFL Draft Stats Export | NFL Mock Drafts | NFL Mock Draft Simulator

The three options were all stylistically very different quarterbacks, and that’s what made the 49ers' decision so compelling. We have seen Shanahan’s offense succeed with all styles of signal-callers, and given the trade the team made to get in position for this pick, as well as the fact that Jimmy Garoppolo is far from an inept player, it represented a real statement about what Shanahan wants at that position.

Subscribe to PFF Edge to continue reading

Already have a subscription? Sign In

Know tomorrow, today. Western Southern Financial Group.
Sponsor

NFL Featured Tools

  • 250+ three-page scouting profiles - advanced stats, 3-year grades, player comps, combine data and Senior Bowl grades - for the 2021 draft class.

    Available with

    Edge
  • PFF's Big Board for the 2021 NFL Draft offers three-year player grades, combine measurables, position rankings, and in-depth player analysis for all of the top draft prospects.

    Available with

    Edge
  • PFF's exclusive metrics provide matchup previews, position rankings, grades, and snap counts.

    Available with

    Edge
  • Our exclusive database, featuring the most in-depth collection of NFL player performance data.

    Available with

    Elite
Pro Subscriptions

Unlock NFL Player Grades, Fantasy & NFL Draft

$9.99 / mo
$39.99 / yr

Unlock Premium Stats, PFF Greenline & DFS

$34.99 / mo
$199.99 / yr