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‘It begins and ends with accuracy’: Jeremiah explains why he thinks 49ers will draft Mac Jones

Apr 27, 2021 at 1:12 PM--

What is it that possibly has San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan so enamored with Mac Jones of Alabama? So much so that he might pass on Justin Fields of Ohio State or Trey Lance of North Dakota State. The latter two are seen as having higher ceilings in the eyes of most analysts. That includes NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah.

If the decision were up to Jeremiah, he would pick Lance before Jones. He would even pick Fields instead of the former Crimson Tide quarterback.

"Kind of going through the whole process of both those guys, that would be my choice, between those two, because I do think they expand the playbook," Jeremiah told Rich Eisen on The Rich Eisen Show. "And to kind of use a phrase you hear more and more in the NFL right now, you get to play 11-on-11. When you've got your quarterback that can move around and run a little bit, you're no longer playing 10-on-11 anymore. That's somebody that the other side has to worry about."

But the decision isn't up to Jeremiah. It's up to Shanahan, and the analyst certainly understands the 49ers coach's thinking. While he thought the idea of adding a playmaker like Fields or Lance might be appealing to Shanahan, he understands why the coach might favor Jones.

"Trying to do my homework on this pick in the last couple of days, I talked to somebody who had interviewed Kyle for a head-coaching job before he got the Niners job, and he said, 'When we talked about quarterbacks, he said it begins and ends with accuracy,'" Jeremiah said. "Like, that is the most important thing, is how accurate you are with the football. And that's a huge strength of Mac Jones."

Jones completed an impressive 77.4 percent of his passes last season against some good competition. Fields completed 70.2 percent of his passes. In 2019, during his last full season, Lance completed 66.9 percent of his passes.

"So, [Jones doesn't have] the arm strength, not the great athlete," Jeremiah continued. "Obviously, you hear about how smart he is, how quick he processes, all those things. But if accuracy is the be-all, end-all, the guy completes 77 percent of his passes. He's the most accurate guy right now. So, that's why, in my opinion, that's why Kyle is where he is on this evaluation."

Jeremiah added: "I just personally believe that both Trey and Justin, while they might not be at Mac Jones' standard of accuracy right now, I think they can get there. I think they can get there. I know Mac Jones is never going to acquire the athleticism that those two kids have."

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