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Rapoport: Mac Jones not being 49ers pick would be a surprise to many

Apr 24, 2021 at 2:21 PM--

49ers fans won't find out for sure who their team will be taking at pick three in the 2021 NFL Draft until just after the first round begins on 5 p.m. PT on Thursday. Regardless, NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport believes there is currently a frontrunner for the distinction and that many around the league would be surprised if that frontrunner doesn't turn out to be former Alabama quarterback Mac Jones.

Rapoport spoke recently about what he's hearing regarding pick three with 49ers senior reporter Keiana Martin. Among the tidbits he shared was his belief that a frontrunner exists and that the team would like to make sure everyone in the building is happy with the pick before making the final call.

"My understanding was there was a leader in the clubhouse and this process has been about making absolutely sure everyone is consistently on board with 'This is the guy,'" Rapoport said. "So they really should know probably pretty surely 'Is this the guy?' I think what the 49ers are going to spend the next (few) days doing is getting 100 percent sure."

Later in the interview, Rapoport told Martin that the common opinion around the league is that Jones will be the pick.

"Based on the people I'm speaking with, the other NFL teams right around that spot, the teams who think they know, I would say most people believe Mac Jones is the guy mostly because he's got a photographic memory and the Shanahan love for Mac Jones has not exactly been hidden," Rapoport said. "If they take someone else it would be a nice surprise, I think a surprise to a lot of people. But it certainly does seem like publicly, Mac Jones is the guy that many people believe the 49ers should take."

Whether it's Jones, Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields, or North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance, Rapoport believes the 49ers will need to pick someone who can handle the complexities that come with playing for 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan.

"You can talk about different characteristics, 40 time and mobility and everything -- finding someone who is extremely smart, with a great mind, someone who can match Kyle's wits I think is essential to this quarterback pick regardless to what other physical attributes there are," Rapoport said.

Rapoport also dove into what happened at Lance's recent pro day, while also touching on what needs (if any) the 49ers should address in the later rounds of the draft. Watch the full interview below:

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