Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers

Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers


NFL exec on 49ers: “I just don’t buy Kyle Shanahan moving up all the way to three for Mac Jones”

Apr 2, 2021 at 10:40 AM--


Mike Sando of The Athletic has been doing his rounds around the league, asking about the San Francisco 49ers trading up to the No. 3 overall pick to select a quarterback. Even with the top two picks considered a lock—Trevor Lawrence to the Jacksonville Jaguars and Zach Wilson to the New York Jets—no one is really certain about the 49ers' plan.

There is speculation—a lot of it.

Because of his history with quarterbacks like Kirk Cousins and Matt Ryan, many feel San Francisco traded up for Mac Jones of Alabama. Two NFL executives who spoke to Sando can see that happening. Whether or not they agree with the potential selection is another story.

"I've heard they are really seriously thinking of Mac Jones and it would blow my mind," one of the executives told Sando. "One year ago, if you asked Alabama who their starting quarterback was going to be, it would not have been Mac Jones."

A third executive isn't sure Jones is why the 49ers surrendered several first-round picks to leap toward the top of the draft order.

"I don't believe they moved up for Mac Jones," the unnamed person told Sando. "I think it's North Dakota State (Lance), but it could be Ohio State (Fields). They keep Garoppolo for a year, redshirt the rookie and then, if all goes to plan, they have a Kansas City situation with Mahomes.

"My guess is that Carolina or Denver pulls the trigger on Mac Jones, or maybe the Bears move up, but I just don't buy Kyle Shanahan moving up all the way to three for Mac Jones."

That should come as some relief to 49ers fans who feel Jones could have been acquired using a lower selection—or don't want Jones at all. Surrendering so much draft capital for a player whose ceiling might be lower than Justin Fields' or Trey Lance's seems like a reach.

Obviously, this is a franchise-altering pick that Shanahan and general manager John Lynch have to get right. A miss could be devastating for the organization.





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