Kyle Shanahan explains attending Mac Jones' pro day over Justin Fields'

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Josh Schrock
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Shanahan explains why he's attending Jones' pro day over Fields' originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch's decision to attend Alabama's pro day on Tuesday over Ohio State's made waves Monday.

Shanahan electing to go get a first-hand look at Mac Jones over Justin Fields could only mean one of two things: Either Jones is atop the 49ers' board and Shanahan wanted to get a first-hand look at his top target, or the 49ers coach already knows what Fields can do and has more questions about Jones' ability.

The answer, as is normally the case, was neither. Shanahan, as he explained Monday in a Zoom press conference with local reporters, will have another chance to watch Fields throw and explained why he didn't attend BYU's or North Dakota State's pro days to watch Zach Wilson and Trey Lance earlier this year.

"We have people at all the spots. A lot of people we trust and people we'll meet with over the next month," Shanahan said. "I normally don't like to go to them a bunch unless I feel like I need or unless I have to for some reason. I also have kind of grown up in the idea that you don't want to go everywhere and show people things. When you're sitting at No. 12 and stuff, I don't want to go to a bunch of quarterback pro days and things like that. Now that you move up to three you don't have to hide as much. It's not as big of a deal to me as it might have been when we are sitting at 12.

"Also, Alabama has already had one. This is their second one. Just talking with Fields' agent and everything, we'll get another one from him too. So we'll be able to see him so that kind of made it an easy decision."

With Trevor Lawrence and Wilson expected to be the first two players taken in the 2021 NFL Draft, the 49ers, who now sit at No. 3 after their blockbuster trade with the Miami Dolphins, should have their choice if Jones, Lance or Fields.

While Jones is viewed by many as the fifth-best prospect in the class, he could be exactly what Shanahan is looking for. Jones is a quick processor who is extremely accurate in the short and intermediate areas, throws a good deep ball, has great in-pocket mobility and a high football IQ. Jones would appear to check many of the boxes for the prototypical Shanahan quarterback.

The Alabama star does lack the elite athleticism of Fields and Lance, but his arm talent and anticipatory ability should make him appealing to Shanahan and the 49ers.

RELATED: How Jones feels about potentially being 49ers' draft target

The 49ers made the bold move to go up in the draft to control their quarterback future.

Now, they'll spend the next month getting as much information on the three quarterbacks expected to be available when they go on the clock, hoping they find the perfect guy to pair with Shanahan and the Super Bowl-ready roster they've built.

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