As of writing this, we still have yet to hear a concrete decision on who the 49ers will select No. 3 overall. There’s a three-headed coin between Mac Jones, Trey Lance, and Justin Fields.
Or, is it?
"Over the last 24 hours, I'm told that Kyle Shanahan is coming off his staunch stance on Mac Jones – and it seems that the scouting department is at least bending his ear to listen to why Trey Lance should be the pick." Tony Pauline ⬇️⬇️https://t.co/xLDBpqZsoK— Pro Football Network (@PFN365) April 29, 2021
I’m calling BS, for the 48th time, that Shanahan is this Mac Jones truther who had to be convinced that another QB is the pick.
The 49ers have done a good job of keeping their plans under wraps, and that has caused the media to guess, put the puzzle pieces together, and project. Whether that’s due to the history of quarterbacks Shanahan has gravitated toward or the most plugged-in national media members hammering home that it’s Jones.
If the pick ends up being a quarterback other than Jones, then the 49ers pulled off the biggest pre-draft hoax in recent history when you consider the stakes. At the same time, it feels like there would be just as much of a surprise if Jones is the selection.
You have to imagine the 49ers are loving every minute of this attention. They’ve done a fantastic job during April of dragging the process out. April has been the longest month of all time.
Back to Fields, who has somehow flown under the national radar throughout this process. A large portion of 49ers fans wants Fields to be the pick. At this point, it feels like “anybody besides Jones” would be acceptable.
We shouldn’t have to talk down on Jones to prop up these other quarterbacks. Jones is a quality quarterback. He’s just not Fields or Lance. It’s pretty simple.
Circling back to the premise of this article, which is NBC’s Mike Florio’s discussion with a former NFL general manager. Here’s how that convo went:
“Hey, I got a former GM insisting that it’s Fields—insisting that it’s Fields—which is stunning to me.
Shanahan believes Jones is the accurate coach-on-the-field type he craves. As one coach in QB-prospecting mode told me this spring: ‘Jones has elite NFL traits. He’s a natural thrower, is technically very sound, very accurate, and throws a catchable ball. His base and mechanics are excellent.’ He’s not the athlete Lance or Fields is, but he doesn’t have feet of stone. I’ll be fascinated—we all will—if Jones is the pick. And I can see it happening.”
I’m not sure what a natural thrower means, but I agree about Jones’s accuracy. He can put the ball wherever he wants to — when he’s not under pressure. It’s difficult to describe the phrase “catchable ball,” but there’s merit to that statement, too.
In perfect Florio fashion, he came up with an analogy for the 49ers decision with the third overall selection:
“When you pick one, you gotta watch what the other two do with other teams, it’s not like they disappear. This is like going into an expensive automobile dealership with the idea that you’re buying the Ferrari. I got the money, I took out the huge loan, I mortgaged the future and I’m getting the Ferrari. You walk in, you have a Ferrari, you have a Porsche, you got an Aston Martin in there.
All of a sudden you realize, ‘I kind of like these other two cars.’ Here’s the difference, whichever one you take, your neighbors are going to have the other two. They’re buying the other two, you have to see the other two, you have to drive down the street next to them in that other one. That other one may end up being a hell of a lot nicer than the one you got.”
Thanks for that, Mike.
In 12 hours, there won’t be anymore analogies. No more speculation. We can finally move on and talk about the players.