NFL rumors: Kyle Shanahan wants Mac Jones; Trey Lance preferred by personnel

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Josh Schrock
·2 min read
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Report: Shanahan wants Mac; personnel dept. wants Lance originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

The 49ers appear to have whittled down their choices for the No. 3 overall pick with the draft four days away.

NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported Sunday that the 49ers' choice is down to Mac Jones and Trey Lance. On Monday, ESPN's Todd McShay reported he's hearing that Kyle Shanahan wants to pick Mac Jones but the 49ers' personnel team is trying to convince him to draft Trey Lance.

"I'm told that many in the 49ers' personnel department have pushed for North Dakota State QB Trey Lance but that coach Kyle Shanahan wants to draft Alabama's Mac Jones," McShay writes. "One person I spoke to even heard that Shanahan might 'acquiesce' to the scouting department on the selection, but others have said that seems unlikely. At this time of year, there is a lot of seed planting with the rumor mill, and it could certainly be the case here."

This is something we heard shortly after the 49ers made the blockbuster trade to acquire the No. 3 pick. While it's certainly possible there are differing opinions on who the pick should be in the building, it's hard to fathom that the 49ers gave up two future first-round draft picks and swapped first-round picks in this draft without knowing exactly who they had their eye on.

RELATED: Final 2021 NFL mock draft

In the immediate aftermath of the trade, rumors of Shanahan's infatuation with Jones started to trickle out and it's beginning to feel like the Alabama signal-caller will indeed be the selection come Thursday night.

The biggest issue with the 49ers selecting Jones at No. 3 is not so much the talent as it is the value of the trade doesn't match his expected draft slot. Of course, we say that based on the belief that Jones was projected to be drafted in the eight to 10 range prior to the 49ers' move up the board.

But perhaps the NFL teams and their scouting departments hold a higher opinion of Jones than the draft analysts and mock draft experts, so Shanahan and general manager John Lynch chose to eliminate all the risk of losing out on Jones by going all the way up to No. 3, where he's sure to be available.

This is a decision that will shape the next five to 10 years of 49ers football. Shanahan will be the one who ultimately makes the decision. His future with the 49ers and his legacy will be forever linked to the quarterback he chooses. It seems, at least for now, that QB is Mac Jones.

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