On Michael Silver’s Pass It Down podcast, former Falcons General Manager Thomas Dimitroff gave insight into Kyle Shanahan, Atlanta’s offensive coordinator from 2015-16, and his thought process regarding San Francisco’s third overall pick.
Pass It Down is available on all major platforms. Here's a link to Part 2 of our conversation with Thomas Dimitroff…https://t.co/EP3LTHHlJR
— Michael Silver (@MikeSilver) April 23, 2021
Dimitroff begins talking about how Shanahan is precise with everything he does. The key to his offense running as he designs it is knowing exactly which player he needs at every position. Not that everyone didn’t already know, Shanahan sounds like a mad scientist when it comes to apprehension of football on an Xs and Os level. This leads me to believe that Shanny already knows which quarterback he wants to take, even before John Lynch executed the trade that launched San Francisco nine spots from their original pick.
Dimitroff also gets into the attributes of which quarterback his former offensive coordinator prefers, “… if it is a quarterback, it’s a quarterback with movement skills and athleticism as well as a strong arm…” Going off this indictment, I would point towards Justin Fields or Trey Lance as the consensus pick Dimitroff is referring to. But Matt Ryan won an MVP with Shanahan and is as about athletic as Jimmy G, so the notion Shanahan needs an athletic quarterback isn’t completely true.
Shanahan needs a quarterback with some mobility, at least enough to execute his offense that involves many situations where the quarterback is required to roll out of the pocket. Ryan was enough, Garoppolo was enough, so I would feel safe saying Mac Jones is enough. Mac Jones ran an unofficial 4.86 40 with a 1.69 ten yard split, which is a bit better than I expected out of him. Silver then point-blank asks Dimitroff to bring listeners inside the mind of Shanahan on who he thinks the pick will be.
Dimitroff sort of dismisses that it’s a three-man race, insinuating it is between Jones and Fields, who are two completely different quarterbacks. Going back to his earlier comments on Shanahan’s preference of quarterback to have movement skills, athleticism, and a strong arm makes me lean towards the Ohio State product Fields. Obviously, Fields is a superb athlete with enough arm to make any throw on the field. In comparison, Mac Jones is lightyears ahead of anyone in this class above the shoulders, including the consensus number one pick Trevor Lawrence. Jones is much more accurate, cerebral, and decisive in his decision-making than Fields, but lacks the elements that Dimitroff mentions as Shanahan’s preferences.
Trading all the draft capital Lynch did for the third pick points toward Fields due to his incredibly high ceiling. However, from what I’ve learned in my years watching the NFL, everyone on the outside doesn’t know shit about what’s going on inside the organization. Jones has the lowest floor out of the non-Trevor Lawrence quarterback prospects, and he did much of what the 49ers offense does in college at Alabama. I think Jones is the pick.
If Fields is the pick, I would expect the Falcons to take Lance, Kyle Pitts, or Penei Sewell, and it dramatically lowers the demand for the fourth overall pick. If Jones is the pick, I’d expect Fields to be the pick or a massive haul of capital in a trade-down scenario. Either way, nobody knows anything about what the Falcons will do — because nobody knows what the 49ers will do.