NFC Notes: 49ers, Cardinals, Rams


49ers HC Kyle Shanahan said he would’ve been comfortable with Trey Lance or Mac Jones at No. 3 overall and also considered Justin Fields as a “great pick.”

“I think either one would have been a good decision,” Shanahan said, via The Ringer’s Flying Coach with Sean McVay and Peter Schrager. “Like, you’re not moving up if you don’t feel good about both of those. And if it had just been one then we probably would have said no — well, we probably wouldn’t have said that because it’s still risky. But we really — either one of those players would have been a great pick, in my opinion. And the third guy with Justin, he would have been a great pick. It’s just what direction do you want to go.”

Regarding speculation that the 49ers were going to select Jones at No. 3, Shanahan said he doesn’t blame people for considering Jones as their pick but added that Lance “brought another element” to their offense. 

“There’s so many things that go into it and you’ve got to make that decision. But I didn’t blame people at all for thinking it would be Mac Jones. Because Mac Jones deserves that. He’s that good of a player and he put it on tape for a whole year, and everyone did want to relate me to Kirk [Cousins] because that’s the only guy that I was openly going for as a free agent, so people talk about him. But Trey brought another element. And it doesn’t mean he’s better or worse. It just means he brought another element that over the course of us studying it really intrigued us, and that’s a direction I would love to go and have always wanted to go,” said Shanahan. 

Shanahan added that they wanted a starting quarterback who could “do it all,” which ultimately sold them on Lance. 

“But the guy has got to be able to do it all, and Trey sold us that he could and that’s why I’m excited to work with him and it’s up to us to get him to do it.”


  • Cardinals’ WR Larry Fitzgerald said he doesn’t know if he will play football this season but did say that he is staying in shape.
  • Ben Volin believes that Fitzgerald wants to play in 2021 but is yet to receive the right offer.


When asked about the Rams’ Super Bowl expectations for next season, QB Matthew Stafford said he’s looking to the opportunity of playing in “big games and those big moments.”

“I want to be playing in those big games and those big moments,” Stafford said, via Lindsey Thiry of ESPN. “It’s an opportunity more than anything.”

Rams QB Sean McVay called Stafford a “special guy” and praised his presence around the locker room. 

“He’s a special guy,” McVay said. “I think one of the best ways that I can describe him when you hear people that have been around him, there’s a known confidence where when he walks into a room, you feel his presence but he’s got a great humility about himself, everybody loves being around him and he’s one of those guys that’s a true igniter. He makes everybody around him better.”

Rams’ second-year RB Cam Akers said he has a deeper understanding of the playbook and blocking schemes this offseason.

“Everything is a lot easier for me,” Akers said. “[I] understand the playbook a lot more, I understand blocking schemes.”

McVay mentioned that Rams RB Darrell Henderson is recovering from an undisclosed injury and is expected to be recovered in time for training camp. 

“He’s feeling better and better,” McVay said. “We expect him to be full speed by the time training camp rolls around.”

As for Rams’ second-year WR Van Jefferson, McVay said that the receiver is “establishing himself” in their offense and thinks “big things” are ahead for him. 

“You can see he’s really put the work in,” McVay said. “He’s come back establishing himself as a legitimate dude, a guy that we’re counting on for big things and I think the future is so bright for this guy.”

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