The second wave of mock drafts have been released. Since the close of the 2020 regular season, analysts continue to weigh in on the direction the San Francisco 49ers could take with the 12th-overall pick in this year's draft. Here's a look at the second installment of the 49ers 2021 mock draft projections with several trade scenarios.
In case you missed the first, check out the 49ers 2021 Mock Draft Monday 1.0 here.
Daniel Jeremiah, NFL.com: TE Kyle Pitts, Florida
Don't freak out, people! I know the Niners already have an elite tight end. However, they have embraced the positionless-player movement, and Pitts would team up with George Kittle, Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk to give Kyle Shanahan an embarrassment of riches.
Benjamin Solak, The Draft Network: QB Zach Wilson, BYU
- TRADE: San Francisco receives 3rd overall pick (2021); 6th round pick (2022); Miami Dolphins receives 12th overall pick (2021); 43rd overall pick (2021); 1st round pick (2022); 2nd round pick (2022); 5th round pick (2022)
San Francisco is in a strong position to trade up for a quarterback. With the Saleh hire for the New York Jets, they'll be delivered two extra third-round picks—one in 2021 and one in 2022—according to the new rules to incentivize minority coach hires. This covers their absent 2021 third-round pick, which they sent to Washington in the Trent Williams trade. Having made multiple first-round picks last year, and having hit on their last few first-round picks (Javon Kinlaw, Brandon Aiyuk and Nick Bosa), it's time to get aggressive.
So yes, they'll lose some talent this year in the secondary and need help on the offensive line—but Wilson is good enough for them to forget about that. He's played in a similar play-action based system in college and brings out-of-pocket ability that Shanahan really hasn't had as a coordinator since Johnny Manziel in Cleveland. Wilson, who has been called the Mormon Manziel, broadens the playbook with his ability to throw on the run and push the ball downfield.
Jordan Reid, The Draft Network: EDGE Kwity Paye, Michigan
The 49ers have to find a firm solution under center as Jimmy Garoppolo can't stay healthy and it has been a game of musical chairs with backup QBs. With none making sense at this spot, they turn to edge rusher, which is another need for the team. After tearing his ACL during Week 2 of last season, Nick Bosa is expected to return to full strength. The outlook of Dee Ford hasn't been as optimistic, though. A lingering back issue has created question marks and this isn't the first time this injury has appeared. While with the Chiefs, Ford missed 10 games during the 2017 season as a result of back surgery and it is also an injury that hampered him during his collegiate career. Paye provides an immediate presence off of the edge in case Ford isn't able to return.
Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports: CB Patrick Surtain II, Alabama
San Francisco has five cornerbacks headed for unrestricted free agency (including Richard Sherman and Jason Verrett) and two more as exclusive rights free agents. Surtain II was Alabama's best CB the last two seasons and and is coming off a strong junior campaign.
Chris Trapasso, CBS Sports: OL Christian Darrisaw, Virginia Tech
Absolutely love this pairing. Darrisaw is a wide, strong, athletic blocker who could eventually replace Trent Williams at left tackle.
Josh Edwards, CBS Sports: QB Trey Lance, North Dakota State
My 49ers friends have been scouting the incoming quarterback class for months and it comes to fruition. Trey Lance is still a bit raw but his skill set in Kyle Shanahan's offense would be exciting.
Dane Bruglar, The Athletic: CB Patrick Surtain II, Alabama
The 49ers don't have any cornerbacks under contract for next season so saying cornerback is a need is an understatement. And in this scenario, need matches talent with Surtain II, who might not have elite speed or twitch but has NFL-ready cover skills and instincts.
Zach Segars, ProFootballNetwork.com: QB Justin Fields, Ohio State
- TRADE: San Francisco receives 4th overall pick (2021); Atlanta Falcons receives 12th overall (2021), 43rd overall (2021), 96th overall (2021) picks and 2022 second-round pick.
Picking fourth is rarely ever bad, but it might not be the perfect spot for the Atlanta Falcons in this 2021 First Round NFL Mock Draft. Their needs don't line up with the value on the board at all. Unless they want to find their Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, or Jake Matthews replacements early, it makes sense to trade this pick.
On the other end, San Francisco is a Super Bowl-ready roster that's starving for average quarterback play. Justin Fields could present a major upgrade on what the 49ers have had at the position.
He might not be a dream fit for the scheme like Zach Wilson, but he's close. Fields has a tremendous arm, terrific accuracy, and the athleticism to make almost any throw from any platform.
The move up to the fourth pick costs San Francisco the 12th, 43rd, and 96th overall picks from this year's draft and a second-round pick next year.
Matthew Valdovinos, ProFootballNetwork.com: QB Justin Fields, Ohio State
- TRADE: San Francisco receives 2nd overall pick; New York Jets receives 12th overall (2021), 43rd overall (2021), first-round pick (2022), third-round pick (2022) and Dee Ford.
Based on the information we currently have, it seems like Jets GM Joe Douglas and newly hired head coach Robert Saleh would rather trade out of the number two pick and collect more assets than take a quarterback. A full-scale bidding war will ensue once the trade becomes officially available, and the 49ers have the means and ability to pull it off.
A San Francisco team that is just one year removed from a Super Bowl berth is in a prime position to mortgage future assets in exchange for a quarterback perfect for Kyle Shanahan's offense. They also have a solid relationship with the Jets' new head coach.
In this trade, the 49ers get the second overall pick and use it on Fields. Meanwhile, the Jets net the 12th and 43rd selections in the 2021 NFL Draft, San Francisco's first and third-round selections in 2022, and edge rusher Dee Ford. In Ford, Saleh gets a capable and experienced pass rusher that his roster currently lacks.
The 49ers are risking it all on Fields hitting, but it's a calculated risk that they've set themselves up perfectly to take. San Francisco already has the offensive firepower and defensive strength to compete for a playoff spot. The limitations of its quarterback have bottled up the offense. With Justin Fields, those limitations wash away. This team is a Super Bowl contender in year one with rookie Justin Fields.
Ben Rolfe, ProFootballNetwork.com: QB Zach Wilson, BYU
- TRADE: San Francisco receives 5th overall pick; Miami Dolphins receives 12th overall pick (2021), third-round pick (2021) and first round pick (2022).
The Dolphins are back at it as they look to trade further back. All three of the consensus first-round wide receivers are still on the board, giving the Dolphins the flexibility to move back. If they have a preference, then they would need to jump here to ensure they got their target. However, assuming they are satisfied with whichever of the three they get, this trade makes too much sense.
The Dolphins would receive two first-round picks and a third-round pick to drop back to the 12th spot. Already they have added two first-rounders in 2022 while still having two first-round picks in 2021.
The 49ers are in an intriguing position. They need to save cap, and they have a QB who can be cut to save over $20 million in cap space. Even if they decide to stick with Jimmy Garoppolo, adding a new QB seems imperative. We have already seen that Nick Mullens and C.J. Beathard are not the answer. Zach Wilson has improved his stock considerably in 2020 and now gets to be paired with Kyle Shanahan.
Vinnie Iyer, SportingNews.com: QB Trey Lance, North Dakota State
Lance is slowly climbing back up boards with his massive upside. As more teams see tapes of his one statistically brilliant lone season as a starter (2,786 yards passing, 28 passing touchdowns, no interceptions, 1,100 yards rushing, 14 rushing touchdowns) it's harder to ignore the impressive physical and athletic skills he displayed in his first full season of action. The 49ers can get out of Jimmy Garoppolo's contract and needs to shoot for the QB ceiling to better dominate with their array of offensive skill talent, including George Kittle, Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk. Lance's running would add a new dangerous element to Kyle Shanahan's scheme and he has the head, quick release and accuracy to handle the passing precision of it all.
Steve Palazzolo, Pro Football Focus: CB Jaycee Horn, South Carolina
With three of their top four cornerbacks set to hit free agency, this is a crucial offseason for the 49ers secondary. Horn comes off the board a bit higher than we'd like here, but he has good size and is a ball magnet who ranked in the 95th percentile in forced incompletion rate over the last two years. Horn allowed a few big plays along the way, but he has the size and footwork to develop into a top-notch corner.