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#pounditSunday, September 26, 2021

Kyle Shanahan seemingly dropped hint about QB preference

Kyle Shanahan

The San Francisco 49ers’ decision to trade three first-round picks to move up in the NFL Draft came as a stunner to most, but coach Kyle Shanahan may have hinted at it several months ago.

Shanahan is famously picky about his quarterbacks’ skillset, valuing accuracy and anticipation more highly than any other attributes. In December, however, he suggested that he was growing more willing to shift toward a more mobile quarterback as long as his preferred attributes weren’t significantly effected.

“Things change, people change,” Shanahan said at the time, via Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area. “You start to see you can win football games with any type of quarterback as long as they are good enough and you can be good enough in hundreds of different ways.

“So I evaluate quarterbacks in terms of trying to find people who can have a chance to be one of those elite-type guys and there’s lots of different ways to do it. You can see now there’s plenty of different ways, so I don’t think that’ll ever change.”

This raises the question as to how the Niners see the quarterback class in the draft. There’s no way they traded up to No. 3 for any other position, after all. Trey Lance, Justin Fields, and Mac Jones should all be on the board at that spot. The first two are more mobile, while Jones fits more neatly into the accurate pocket passer mold that Shanahan would usually seem to prefer.

Whatever the case, it sounds like the 49ers plan to keep their current quarterback for 2021. That may be so Shanahan has time to mold the team’s draft pick into the signal caller he wants.

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