Cleveland Browns legend Joe Thomas is joining the foray of predicting who the San Francisco 49ers will draft with the third overall pick.
Because everyone pretty much knows how the first two picks will go, the unknown is with the third pick.
The Jaguars will take Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence, and the Jets will take BYU QB Zach Wilson.
When San Francisco finally is on the clock on Thursday, April 29, Thomas is boldly predicting the 49ers will take Ohio State QB Justin Fields.
Kyle Shanahan and @49ers are going to draft @justnfields … Save this tweet
— Joe Thomas (@joethomas73) April 14, 2021
Why Is There So Much Mystery?
The 49ers created buzz by trading up from the 12th position to the 3rd position in a draft that is supposed to see quarterbacks fly off the board immediately.
Justin Fields of Ohio State is an excellent quarterback, but so is Alabama’s Mac Jones.
Both are viable choices with the third overall pick.
49ers coach Kyle Shanahan and GM John Lynch added to the frenzy by electing to go to Mac Jones’ Pro Day which coincidentally was on the same day as Fields.
Shanahan said that the 49ers would have another opportunity to see Justin Fields throw after speaking with his agent, so that made the decision easy to go to Alabama's pro day tomorrow.
— Niners Nation (@NinersNation) March 29, 2021
Media people and those who generate mock drafts moved Mac Jones to third thinking that was the definitive sign Jones was going third.
However, Shanahan knows Justin Fields and worked with him previously at a quarterback camp.
In addition, there was a second Ohio State Pro Day on April 14 where Fields threw in the presence of Shanahan and Lynch.
Here’s video from Justin Fields’ workout today courtesy Ohio State. Kyle Shanahan, John Lynch and 49ers QB coach Rich Scangarello were among the NFL personnel on hand. SF had some input in Fields’ throw selection, but it’s unclear if any of those throws are on tape: pic.twitter.com/LCTZuWWFGb
— David Lombardi (@LombardiHimself) April 14, 2021
The Emphasis on Quarterbacks Is Deja Vu From 2018.
Not every year do we see this level of quarterback talent in the NFL Draft.
In fact, the last time we saw it was in 2018 when the Browns drafted Mayfield.
His peers and 2018 draft mates were Josh Allen, Sam Darnold, Lamar Jackson, and Josh Rosen.
What did we learn from 2018?
It is not a new lesson and not exclusive to quarterbacks.
When a football player is talented and plays extremely well in the college ranks, it does not always translate to a similar performance at the NFL level.
However, the expectations are there that each is going to be a superstar, despite the unknowns of what lies ahead in each of their journeys.
Joe Thomas On The Browns
In the meantime, Thomas sees a lot of promise in the Browns’ future.
.@joethomas73 on @KeyJayandZ on Browns "I think they're right there…They are the young and upcoming team who should be the favorites in the AFC North going into the season."
— ESPN Cleveland (@ESPNCleveland) February 24, 2021
The signing of Jadeveon Clowney should solidify that assessment.
The Browns are definitely addressing the areas of the 2020 roster that needed depth and improvement.
With the Coach of the Year Kevin Stefanski on the sidelines, the sky is the limit.
Joe Thomas obviously is happily retired, but he has to wonder what it would have been like to play on a Browns team with this level of talent and with the NFL Coach of the Year Kevin Stefanski on the sidelines.
If the Browns are able to win the AFC North and advance further in the playoffs in 2021, we know that Joe Thomas will be the loudest and best cheerleader for this team.
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