The media push for Mac Jones to the 49ers at No. 3 overall has been overwhelming during the past week. That’s all we’ve heard, and it’s led fans to “freak out” that the Niners traded up for a quarterback who isn’t worth trading up for.
My read on the situation is that the media caught up to what the NFL thinks about Jones, and there’s been an overcorrection. The never was low on Jones, as he’s the type of QB they fall for every year. Jones isn’t bad by any means, and I could see why a team would take him early. He’s just not the type of QB you trade multiple first-rounders for.
ESPN’s Dan Graziano was on ESPN’s “Get Up!” and had this to say about the 49ers quarterback situation:
“All you hear is Mac Jones, Mac Jones to (the) 49ers. I mean, that’s all over the league, and it could happen. He could be their guy. But conversations that I’ve had in the last couple of days have led me to think that I can’t rule out Trey Lance as a possibility.
Look, if Jimmy Garoppolo is really going to be on the team this year, which they’ve said, Lance is the one guy in this group that everybody kind of agrees needs a year, right? Because he hasn’t really played much in college; only one game this past year. We’ve talked about how few throws there are to evaluate of Trey Lance.
He has the athleticism. He has the size. He has the arm strength. He kind of gives Kyle Shanahan the opportunity to sort of evolve his offense beyond where it’s been, and I just don’t think we can rule that out, the idea that Kyle has in mind a guy that can take him places the others previously have not been (able).”
I thought it was Lance for a few reasons, but he already has his pro day, and that matters more to the NFL than it does to the media.
I couldn’t disagree more about Lance needing to sit. He started one more game than Jones and ran more of an NFL-style offense than Jones, who lived off RPOs. There are a ton of throws to evaluate Lance. What Graziano said comes off as groupthink.
Another reason I think the 49ers love Lance is for all of the traits Graziano listed. He’ll be 21 by the time the season starts. Lance is the moldable ball of clay for Kyle Shanahan. He also ran the closest offense that the Niners have been running, too.
Former center Jeff Saturday believes the biggest winner is whichever QB ends up with Shanahan:
“The guy who goes three is going to be in the best position to win and be developed as a quarterback. When you think about [Kyle] Shanahan and what he does in this system, this guy creates quarterbacks. I liken him to Andy Reid, right? Every time you go in here, he makes the best of his quarterbacks. You saw him take Jimmy Garoppolo to the Super Bowl. You saw him develop this football team. This team is ready to win right now. So, whoever is in that three spot has to be excited about where they are.”
Based on everything he’s said and all of the evidence we have from both Kyle and Mike Shanahan, it's hard to believe that the team traded up to No. 3 for a Mac Jones type of QB. The media has been in the dark all along, but all of a sudden, they know Jones is the pick?
Last month, Ben Allbright hinted that Shanahan’s QB1 in this draft is BYU’s, Zach Wilson. Graziano said the Niners tried to trade up to No. 2 with the Jets to select Wilson, but New York has made their mind up.