The Least Risky Pick the 49ers Can Make in Round 1

The only way the 49ers can justify the trade they made is if they draft a great player. If they draft a bad quarterback, everyone will get fired.
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People keep saying the same thing about what the 49ers have to do with the No. 3 pick.

They traded three first-rounders and a third to the Dolphins, so they HAVE to take the quarterback with the most potential. That's the only way to justify trading away all those assets.

That argument makes sense, but I look at things differently.

The only way the 49ers can justify the trade is if they draft a great player. If they draft a bad quarterback, everyone will get fired.

So the important thing is to draft a player who isn't bad. And unfortunately for the 49ers, most of the top picks in this draft come with lots of serious quetion marks.

Let's examine each of the top player's three biggest negatives, according to NFL.com's Lance Zierlein.

Zach Wilson's Negatives

  • Hero ball needs to be dialed back a bit.
  • Ill-advised throws under pressure turned into interceptions in 2019.
  • Went 2-4 against top-25 teams during his career.

Justin Fields' Negatives

  • Below-average feel for edge pressure, running himself into pressure points.
  • Field vision is average in face of the blitz.
  • Gradual operation time prevents expedited release.

Trey Lance's Negatives

  • Highly inexperienced with just 318 pass attempts under his belt.
  • Has a tendency to void pocket rather than sliding and surveilling.
  • Pressure pulls his attention from deliverable throws.

Mac Jones' Negatives

  • Very thin lower body and struggles to fight off rush contact.
  • Leaves back half behind in his follow-through.
  • Doesn't play with the desired poise of an NFL starter.

Kyle Pitts' Negatives

  • Mass and core strength missing for in-line blocking.
  • Struggles to sustain at the point of attack.
  • Below-average instincts as a lead blocker in space.

It seems the worst thing you can say about Pitts is he won't be a great blocker as a tight end who also can play wide receiver and lead the league in receiving yards and touchdowns.

While the worst thing you can say about the quarterbacks is each might totally bust for different reasons.

Of course, one of those four quarterbacks might become a great player, but good luck figuring out who that one quarterback is.

The 49ers put themselves in an extremely risky spot.