Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN’s Yates, Orlovsky, and Tannenbaum still convinced 49ers will draft Mac Jones

Apr 20, 2021 at 10:15 AM--

ESPN's Dan Orlovsky, Mike Tannenbaum, and Field Yates aren't wavering from their Mac Jones to San Francisco 49ers draft predictions. They all still feel that the former Alabama quarterback is the most likely pick at No. 3 in next week's draft and explained why on Tuesday morning on ESPN's Get Up!

"I still think the San Francisco 49ers look at Mac Jones and go, 'When he's going to be our quarterback, we're going to win a lot of games with this guy,'" Orlovsky told host Mike Greenberg and the others. "And because he's so good at knowing who to throw the football to, and when he has to throw the football to them, and where exactly it needs to be thrown, we won't lose a lot of games with him either."

Orlovsky admits that the ceilings are higher with Justin Fields of Ohio State or Trey Lance of North Dakota State, but Jones is less flawed right now. However, if a team can fix Fields' or Lance's flaws, it can win games because of them and not simply win with them.

"But if you don't fit that stuff, and it continues to show up in their game, you're going to lose a lot of games because of those guys," Orlovsky added. "And I think that's the difference between those two players in comparison to Mac Jones.

"And the projection for Mac Jones may not be as high talent-wise, but Mac Jones does everything that has always been of paramount importance when it comes to playing quarterback."

Tannenbaum calls Jones a "young Matt Ryan." Ryan had an MVP season and led the Falcons to a Super Bowl under Kyle Shanahan when the 49ers head coach was the offensive coordinator in Atlanta.

"[The 49ers] are loaded on offense with young skill players," Tannenbaum said. "You put Mac Jones in there, and Kyle Shanahan is saying to himself, 'We can get back to the Super Bowl,' because he's smart, he's accurate, and he's more athletic than people realize."

In March, Tannenbaum felt the 49ers traded up for Mac Jones, and that feeling hasn't changed. Yates feels the same way.

"I expect it to be Mac Jones," Yates declared. "I understand that there has been some sentiment recently of those believing that Justin Fields or even Trey Lance could be the third overall pick, but the 49ers zeroed in on a quarterback the minute they made that trade [on March 26] to move up from pick 12 to pick three.

"And I understand that pro days carry some weight, on occasion. And I understand that individual workouts and Zoom meetings can carry some weight. But when you're paying the price of two additional first-round picks to move up from pick 12 to pick three, that was a clear indication, to me, at that time, Greeny, that they were locked in on a guy.

"... I really believe Mac Jones was their player they were targeting when they traded up, and there's no reason for me to believe he won't be their player in nine days from right now when they pick third overall in the draft."

H/t to Patrick Tulini for the find.

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