Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Draft analyst calls Mac Jones-to-49ers speculation ‘very premature’

Apr 8, 2021 at 7:52 AM--

Tony Pauline of Pro Football Network is well-informed when it comes to pre-draft chatter around the league. The draft analyst hears all of the Mac Jones-to-49ers speculation, with many proclaiming the scenario as a near-lock. Pauline wants everyone to pump the brakes on that a bit because he doesn't see it as the certainty that many others would lead you to believe it is.

"People, I think, are just under the assumption of belief that it's a foregone conclusion that [the San Francisco 49ers are] going to take Mac Jones with that third pick in the draft," Pauline told Trey Wingo on a recent podcast (h/t to Patrick Tulini). "I'm told that's not the case at all. There are some things that they're looking at with Mac Jones that they're going to look into a little bit deeper that may concern them. I'm told, right now, it's about 50-50 Mac Jones or one of the two other quarterbacks."

Those two other quarterback options are Justin Fields of Ohio State and Trey Lance of North Dakota State. While many see Jones as having a higher floor and being more pro-ready right out of the gate, the other two are seen as having higher ceilings and being more worthy of a top-three pick.

San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch were in attendance for Jones' pro day last week, passing on attending Fields' workout on the same day. Although, assistant general manager Adam Peters and other team representatives were present to watch the former Buckeye.

Shanahan and Lynch will have a chance to see Fields in person next week.

"Listen, Justin Fields announced today he's going to have a second pro day," Pauline continued. "He's going to throw again on April [14] at Ohio State. That is a stroke of genius by Justin Fields and his people because, as we all know, when Alabama had the second pro day, the San Francisco hierarchy went to [Jones'] pro day at Alabama and missed the Justin Fields pro day. Fields is now going to have another shot to throw for the San Francisco 49ers.

"So, the bottom line is this: People are automatically penning in Mac Jones to the San Francisco 49ers at three. I'm told that's very premature, at this point in time."

Pauline added: "What I'm hearing [is], yeah, the Niners may like one of the quarterbacks more than the other, but they're comfortable with many of the three guys because they like the skills of all three quarterbacks. ... I'm just hearing, at this point in time, it's not a given that Mac Jones is going to be selected by the Niners with the third selection."

You can listen to the entire draft discussion below. The portion about the 49ers' selection begins at about the 18:40 mark.

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