Mac Jones going No. 3 to 49ers drawing mass skepticism
But personnel from around the league are not buying the smoke.
Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports spoke to a number of rival executives who seem to question Jones being the choice for the 49ers at No. 3, with one AFC executive suggesting Justin Fields will ultimately be the third pick, presumably after Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson go 1-2, respectively:
“I don’t buy it,” one AFC executive said. “I think it’s Fields at 3.”
An NFC exec: “I don’t know one way or the other, but I have a hard time seeing Mac Jones as the third player in this draft.”
Another NFC exec: “Doesn’t smell right to me.”
Adam Schefter of ESPN previously suggested the 49ers are likely to draft Jones:
"It'll be Mac Jones."
— 49ers on NBCS (@NBCS49ers) April 6, 2021
However, La Canfora noted pre-draft buzz can oftentimes be thrown out the window, citing rumors last spring suggesting former Alabama star Tua Tagovailoa could fall out of the top 10. Tagovailoa was drafted at No. 5 by the Miami Dolphins.
Ultimately, it will come down to the guy head coach Kyle Shanahan sees as the best potential fit for his offensive system going forward.
Maybe Jones is the kind of “game manager” type who can thrive in a more run-heavy scheme. Or, perhaps Fields is the dynamic playmaker the 49ers need to gain more offensive balance and become more of a threat against NFC West defenses. Trey Lance could also still be an option:
Justin Fields and Trey Lance are both expected to incorporate Kyle Shanahan staples into their second pro days, giving the #49ers the best look possible at their options for the No. 3 pick. @nflnetwork pic.twitter.com/2GV4FCqWXd
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) April 12, 2021
There is sure to be plenty more buzz about San Francisco’s plans over the course of the next two-plus weeks.