A quarterback will undoubtedly be selected third by the 49ers.
Giving up essentially three first-round picks to move up to the No. 3 slot guarantees that. It is all just a matter of which quarterback will they end up selecting.
Picking third would mean that the 49ers will have their choices of Zach Wilson, Justin Fields, or Trey Lance. Those are the quarterbacks who the 49ers assuredly would have no shot at drafting at their original No. 12 position.
However, there is a chance that the 49ers didn't trade all the way up with those three quarterbacks in mind. One quarterback prospect that is being discussed as a possible selection for the 49ers is Mac Jones. The type of passer that Jones is fits the mold that Kyle Shanahan was adored and worked with over his career like Matt Schaub, Kirk Cousins, and Matt Ryan.
Jones is also the safest pick and possibly the most NFL ready since his floor is higher. Picking Jones would essentially be the safe play by the 49ers and shouldn't be fully ruled out.
But selecting Jones third would be a massive whiff by the 49ers.
Look, I am not saying the guy is a bad quarterback or wouldn't be solid under Shanahan. He very well could have a sweet career ahead of him. But the reality is that the 49ers didn't give up all that draft capital to take a player who very likely would have been there at the 12th pick.
Jones may be the safest pick and highest floor of the quarterback prospects, but you don't draft in the top-10 to take the conservative. The 49ers have already forfeited so much to get the third pick. Now it is time for them to fully commit to that homerun swing that they're taking and select Wilson, Fields, or Lance.
Each of these three players has a higher ceiling than Jones. That is what the 49ers should be and hopefully are keying in on. If they are able to bring out that potential in any of these three quarterbacks that they end up selecting, then giving up the first-round picks in the next two drafts will be a moot point. The 49ers will end up being in playoff contention in every season.
That makes their first-rounders expendable because they will be in the 20s. So taking any of those three quarterbacks has to be the route they take. I believe Wilson is a lock to go to the Jets, so I would advocate for Fields to be the pick. Lance wouldn't be bad either, but there is more risk with him I believe.
Regardless, staying away from Jones at all costs should be the plan for the 49ers. Taking him third after what they gave up could end up being one of their worst draft decisions since Solomon Thomas.