Richard Sherman has never been a man to mince words. Much has been made about the San Francisco 49ers’ reported interest in Alabama QB Mac Jones with the third pick in the 2021 NFL draft and on Wednesday, as he always does, Sherman had his say.
“I think Justin Fields is the one,” Sherman said on the Cris Collinsworth Podcast featuring Richard Sherman.
Sherman’s comments came after new information was brought to light about the 49ers intended involvement with another star quarterback prospect next week.
The news, as it pertains to Jones’ status as a lock for the No. 3 selection, had Sherman making comments that evoked the famous catchphrase of the incomparable Lee Corso:
“Not so fast, my friend!”
Per Justin Fields’ agent, the plan right now is for Fields to throw again when Ohio State holds pro day No. 2 on April 14. Kyle Shanahan has signaled that the 49ers will be on hand.
— Matt Barrows (@mattbarrows) April 7, 2021
Matt Barrows, long-time 49ers reporter for The Athletic, took to Twitter Wednesday, April 7 to report that Head Coach Kyle Shanahan and General Manager John Lynch plan to attend a second Ohio State pro day scheduled for April 14.
The trip is centered around scouting OSU quarterback Justin Fields.
Are Shanahan and Lynch Playing the Fields?
San Francisco’s pair of top decision makers made a curious call a little more than one week ago, which set the internet abuzz, when they decided to forego Fields’ first pro day on March 30 in favor of scouting Mac Jones.
The trip was about more than just the warmer weather in Tuscaloosa, per Adam Schefter, who went on ESPN Radio’s DiPietro, Canty & Rothenberg Show and declared definitively that Alabama’s signal caller was the 49ers’ preference.
“It’ll be Mac Jones,” said Schefter, when asked who San Francisco would select.
But not everyone is so sure, including individuals intimately familiar with the 49ers locker room and the methods by which Shanahan and Lynch operate.
Sherman Sermon on Why 49ers Will go With Fields
Sherman on Wednesday said straight out that he believes Justin Fields will be the next quarterback selected by the team when the draft rolls around on Thursday, April 29.
“If you just took him as a standalone pocket passer. His efficiency and completion percentage and what he’s able to do week in and week out. He’s a winner,” Sherman said. “He’s been at a program that competes at a high level year in and year out. Always in the championships and always in the big games. And he’s played well.”
Sherman continued to heap praise on the Ohio State quarterback, who completed more than 70% of his passes on the way to 2,100 yards and 22 touchdowns through the air in a season abbreviated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Fields also rushed for close to 400 yards and five scores.
“He is literally the most efficient, if not one of the most efficient quarterbacks, in the draft,” asserted Sherman, before comparing Fields to the man currently under center for the 49ers.
“(Fields) was completing I think 70 percent of his passes. He has similarities to what Jimmy (Garoppolo) does. Jimmy G is a very efficient quarterback,” Sherman continued. “(Fields is) going to have a high completion percentage. He’s going to get the ball to his spots. He’s going to move the ball down the field. He’s really smart. He has great command of Kyle’s offense. It’s really awesome to see.”‘
The future Hall of Fame corner, who has indicated publicly that his return to the 49ers this upcoming season is unlikely, said he does expect Garoppolo to stand under center for at least one more season, regardless of who the franchise selects with its third pick in the upcoming draft.
Schefter indicated the same on Tuesday, when he said Garoppolo will be back with the team in 2021.
The 49ers have indicated they are not currently willing to part with their four-year starter for anything less than a first round draft pick. Though it is appearing more and more that Garoppolo will be a placeholder for whichever quarterback, Fields or Jones, San Francisco select 22 days from now.