The 2021 NFL Draft isn't happening for several months, but there is already a well-defined line of demarcation between the top tier of quarterbacks and the second tier of quarterbacks. The San Francisco 49ers have reportedly focused their attention on the second level.
Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence and Ohio State QB Justin Fields are universally considered the two best quarterbacks in next year's draft, in that order. They might eve be the two top prospects overall. Lawrence is almost guaranteed to be the No. 1 overall pick no matter which team lands in that spot. Fields is projected to go somewhere between No. 2 and No. 5 overall, but definitely the second QB to come off the board.
The San Francisco 49ers probably won't be picking in the range to get Lawrence or Fields.
But the San Francisco 49ers might be looking for their next starting quarterback in next year's draft. So according to Bleacher Report's Matt Miller, the Niners have sent scouts to evaluate a couple of QBs who are considered a notch below Lawrence and Fields.
NFL Draft Rumors: San Francisco 49ers looking toward BYU, Alabama for quarterbacks
Zach Wilson of BYU and Mac Jones of Alabama are the two quarterbacks San Francisco is rumored to be interested in.
Wilson is a 6-foot-3 junior who has led BYU to an 8-0 record this season. He's thrown for 2,512 yards, 22 touchdowns and only two interceptions.
Jones is also a 6-foot-3 junior. He'd guided Alabama to a 6-0 record and the No. 1 ranking in the country. Jones has thrown for 2,196 yards and 16 touchdowns with just two interceptions.
The San Francisco 49ers made it to the Super Bowl last season, losing to the Kansas City Chiefs. They went into this season projected to again be a powerhouse in the NFC, but the team has been decimated by injuries.
Starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, defensive end Nick Bosa, tight end George Kittle and left tackle Trent Williams -- arguably the four most important players on the team -- have all missed time with injury or illness for the San Francisco 49ers. So have RB Raheem Mostert, WR Deebo Samuel, CB Richard Sherman, DL Solomon Thomas and others.
Garoppolo is currently out for the next 6-8 weeks due to a high ankle sprain. He's being relieved by backup QB Nick Mullens.
The San Francisco 49ers are 4-5 and currently projected to pick 15th in the first round of the 2021 draft.
If the team decides to move on from the injury-prone Garoppolo at quarterback, they won't be able to grab Lawrence or Fields from that 15th spot, but they could get someone like Wilson or Jones.