Analyst calls the idea that the 49ers traded up for Mac Jones ‘a punch to the stomach’

Mar 31, 2021 at 12:29 PM--


Longtime draft analyst Matt Miller is convinced that the San Francisco 49ers traded up to the No. 3 overall pick for Alabama quarterback Mac Jones, and he doesn't sound too happy about it. He grew up as a Niners fan, and the idea that his favorite NFL team might select Jones over a prospect like Justin Fields of Ohio State disturbs him on two fronts—as a fan and an analyst.

"As a lifelong Niners fan, that's such a punch to the stomach," Miller said on the Dan Patrick Show. "I'm trying to trust (general manager) John Lynch and (head coach) Kyle Shanahan, but I remember when they said they didn't need a quarterback and they passed on Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson only to pick up C.J. Beathard in the third round.

"I'm still a little gun-shy about trusting this front office. This just feels like something they would do. They would overthink it again, just like trading back to get Solomon Thomas or drafting Reuben Foster in the first round. It feels like this front office is a little too cute sometimes."

The other question surrounding the trade—assuming Jones is the target—involves the leap all the way up to No. 3. Was that necessary?

"They didn't have to go to three, Dan," Miller explained. "I don't think they did. Now, maybe to seven. Maybe to six, which we saw that pick get traded already. But I don't think you needed to go from 12 to three to get Mac Jones.

"I don't think the Atlanta Falcons [were going to select him]. ... I feel like the Falcons would be all-in on Justin Fields, who's a local kid, Trey Lance, who has great athleticism, throws a beautiful deep ball—if they even go quarterback.

"The Bengals aren't drafting a quarterback at five. The Eagles aren't going to at six. The Niners had other options. My hope and prayer, as someone who's still a little bit of a 49ers fan, is that [this] is a move for Justin Fields. And I would say that even as an unbiased evaluator."


Shanahan and Lynch were both in attendance for Jones' pro day in Tuscaloosa on Tuesday. The 49ers' assistant general manager, Adam Peters, was in attendance for Fields' workout in Columbus, which took place on the same day. Shanahan and Lynch plan to arrange a separate workout for Fields later so the duo can watch him in person.



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