Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Sean McVay shares why he thought Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers might draft Kyle Pitts

Jul 7, 2021 at 10:31 AM--

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan joined the Flying Coach podcast, hosted by Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay and NFL Network's Peter Schrager. So naturally, the draft came up during the conversation.

A lot of speculation followed San Francisco's trade up to No. 3 overall with a month remaining until the draft. Nearly everyone felt a quarterback would be the selection, with the top three candidates being Mac Jones, Justin Fields, and Trey Lance.

Shanahan admits that he liked all three choices and felt any of them was worthy of the high selection. But, of course, neither he nor general manager John Lynch tipped their hands.

The 49ers' secrecy surrounding who they were targeting even left McVay, a close friend of Shanahan's, unsure of the outcome. The Rams coach wasn't even confident that Shanahan was targeting a quarterback.

"I thought there was a possibility that Kyle was gonna go Pitts at three," McVay said. "In all seriousness, because he's such a visionary. I'm telling you, I didn't think it was going to be a crazy thought because you go back to when New England had the two-tight end set, and they were doing things totally different. You think about what (George) Kittle. And then, the thing that makes sense is that, hey, Jimmy's (Garoppolo) produced all the way. This isn't a production thing. This is an availability thing that you're saying, 'We can't have that,' like, all the things.

"But I was like, 'If it's not Mac Jones — and I hadn't studied Trey, just because there wasn't a lot of film exposure going back a couple of years, and we weren't in that market, so I didn't know other than watching him throw at his pro day that you're saying, 'Alright, you can see a lot of the things that you would like and that would make sense.'"

Schrager added that video from the draft room of the Atlanta Falcons, who selected after San Francisco, showed that there was some concern there that the 49ers might steal Pitts away from them.

"And I see by Kyle, he thought about it too, man," McVay added. "Don't let him tell you otherwise. No, I'm kidding."

Lance ended up being the 49ers' selection and is the team's quarterback of the future. However, not even Lance knew what San Francisco planned to do at No. 3 until he heard his name called on draft night.

Said McVay of Shanahan: "He had everybody fooled, and he got the people that he knew we'd be looking to to fool us as well."

You can listen to the entire interview below.

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