Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Simms ‘will be shocked’ if 49ers don’t select Mac Jones at No. 3

Mar 29, 2021 at 9:31 AM--

Who will it be? Justin Fields of Ohio State or Trey Lance of North Dakota State? Or could the San Francisco 49ers go in another direction? Immediately following the trade from No. 12 to No. 3, NBC Sports analyst Chris Simms, voiced his opinion. He feels Mac Jones of Alabama is the best fit based on what he knows about his close friend, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan.

Simms reiterated those thoughts on Monday while speaking to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. Florio asked his PFT Live co-host who he thinks Shanahan is leaning toward with a draft still a full month away.

"I think it's Mac Jones. I do," Simms responded. "I don't know that, but just knowing my friend, knowing his history, knowing his school of thought to make that type of move, that's the one that makes sense to me. ... I think he makes sense to him, one, because, I think, after Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson ... he's the most NFL ready right now."

Shanahan and general manager John Lynch will speak with reporters on Monday afternoon. Then they will head to Tuscaloosa to watch Jones throw on Tuesday in his second workout in a week's time. Fields will also be throwing on Tuesday, but Lynch and Shanahan chose to watch Jones instead, sending assistant general manager Adam Peters and a contingent of staff to observe Fields.

"And I would say, really Zach Wilson and Mac Jones, to me, are more NFL ready as far as reading NFL defenses and being able to do NFL-offense type of stuff," Simms continued. "... And I think that's the type of guy you trade up to No. 3 to get. You don't trade up to a Trey Lance (type) of a, 'Well, he's got great talent, but we're not sure. It's a little bit of a gamble. There's some things we've got to help him out with and grow his technique and figure those type of things out.'

"And I think that goes with Justin Fields too, that it's a little bit more of a project. I don't think you trade up to a No. 3 pick for that type of guy. I think you trade up for a No. 3 pick where you go, 'No, I kind of think this guy, if I had to, could start and play this year, ready to go, Week 1,' and that, to me, smells Mac Jones because I expect Zach Wilson and Trevor Lawrence to be gone, of course."

Jones fits more of the Kirk Cousins mold. The Minnesota Vikings quarterback has been linked to Shanahan and the 49ers at almost every opportunity—mostly by Florio. Shanahan has always been and remains a fan of the former Washington Football Team draft pick.

"I think he's sitting there going, 'I think this guy's just like that,'" Simms added. "He's talented like Matt Ryan, and he can dice you up with his arm and his brain, his decision making. And the athleticism is enough for him to do the boots and play-action for my offense. And if you give me a crack of more than two years with a quarterback like that, I think he thinks, I'm going to win a Super Bowl.

"And I think that's ultimately why he makes that type of decision. And I like I said, I will be shocked if it's not Mac Jones at No. 3. I really would be."

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