FARGO — The San Francisco 49ers made a big splash Friday, March 26, trading up into the No. 3 spot for the upcoming NFL Draft, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter, a move that could affect former North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance.

The 49ers are sending back their No. 12 overall selection to the Miami Dolphins along with a third-round pick and two future first-round selections Schefter is reporting. San Francisco is likely making the bold move to draft a quarterback, which some experts are predicting could be Lance. Lance participated in NDSU's annual pro day at Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome on March 12.

The Jacksonville Jaguars are expected to draft Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence at No. 1, while the New York Jets have been projected to select BYU quarterback Zach Wilson at second overall. Wilson took part in his pro day Friday. That likely leaves the 49ers to choose between Lance and Ohio State's Justin Fields at No. 3 to select their quarterback of the future.

Fields and Lance are widely regarded at the next two best prospects behind Lawrence and Wilson. Alabama's Mac Jones, however, is another QB prospect who could be factored into the mix.

Bison quarterback Trey Lance throws the ball to a teammate during Bison football pro day on Friday, March 12, at the Fargodome.
Alyssa Goelzer / The Forum
Bison quarterback Trey Lance throws the ball to a teammate during Bison football pro day on Friday, March 12, at the Fargodome. Alyssa Goelzer / The Forum

WDAY logo
listen live
watch live
Newsletter signup for email alerts

Dane Brugler, the NFL Draft analyst for The Athletic, thinks San Francisco made the move to draft the 6-foot-4, 226-pound Lance.

Brugler is not the only one who thinks Lance could land with the 49ers. Gil Brandt, the former legendary Dallas Cowboys vice president of player personnel, agreed that San Francisco may be targeting Lance.

ESPN's Todd McShay added this could force the Carolina Panthers, who have bee reportedly coveting drafting a QB, to trade up from No. 8 overall to land either Lance or Fields, depending on what the 49ers do at No. 3 overall.

The NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah said the San Francisco move seems to indicate the 49ers are interested in Lance, who started 17 games during his college career and led the Bison to undefeated NCAA Division I FCS championship as a redshirt freshman in the 2019 season. Lance didn't throw on interception that season.

"To me Trey Lance makes the most sense because he brings you a unique skill set you don't have with Jimmy Garoppolo, (Lance's) ability to move around, create and make plays," Jeremiah said Friday during the NFL Network's "Path to the Draft" show. "And then when you hear (general manager) John Lynch say that Jimmy Garoppolo is still part of the plan, that leads me to believe, 'OK, we don't have to rush this guy out there.'"

Jeremiah added Fields and Jones could also be considered at No. 3 overall.

"I don't rule out Mac Jones," Jeremiah said.

Former NFL quarterback Chris Simms, an NFL analyst for NBC Sports, thinks Jones makes more sense than Lance or Fields for San Francisco.

Below is additional reaction to the 49ers trade and how it relates to Lance: