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Schefter: 49ers would draft Jones today but keeping open mind

/ by Matt Maiocco
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Mac Jones at Alabama

The 49ers still have nearly three more weeks to make a decision.

They could not turn in their draft card now, even if they wanted. There is also no reason for them to make an early decision.

Until the Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Jets make their selections at the first and second spots in the 2021 NFL Draft on April 29, coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch can consider their options.

The 49ers will select a quarterback with the No. 3 overall pick, and publicly they are providing no clues into their thought process.

“I think they have an open mind right now,” ESPN’s Adam Schefter said on 49ers Talk.

“I think they go into this looking at three quarterbacks who will be there. They’re obviously going to watch Justin Fields go work out again. I think they have a high opinion of Trey Lance, and I think they have a high opinion of Mac Jones. So I think they like all three.”

Shanahan and Lynch traveled to watch Jones’ second pro day workout nearly two weeks ago in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

The top 49ers’ decision-makers are expected to be In Columbus, Ohio, on Wednesday to watch Fields. Then, they are likely to evaluate Lance in person on April 19 in Fargo, North Dakota.

The Jaguars are expected to take Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence with the No. 1 overall draft pick. The Jets are likely to select BYU quarterback Zach Wilson at No. 2.

 

Then, the attention will turn to the 49ers, who have three quarterbacks in contention for No. 3.

The 49ers made a blockbuster trade on March 26 with the Miami Dolphins to trade up from No. 12 to No. 3 overall. The 49ers gave up two future first-round draft picks, as well as a 2022 third-round selection.

“Now if you’re asking me today who I would guess, I would guess Mac Jones today,” Schefter said. “But we’re also three weeks away from the draft. There are going to be a lot of meetings. There are going to be a lot of discussions. They are going to be attending workouts.

“So what happens between now and then? I don’t know. We’ll see. We’ll find out what enters their thought process, what gets brought up in the discussion, and what factors push them ultimately to the quarterback they decide to take.”

Shanahan rarely attends pro days, so he would not waste his time visiting Ohio State and North Dakota State if he did not consider Fields and Lance as serious contenders to ultimately replace Jimmy Garoppolo.

Schefter sees it as the 49ers seeking as much information as possible before locking themselves into the quarterback they hope will be the face of the franchise for a long, long time.

“I think when you have the third pick, you do as much work as possible to see every possible option,” Schefter said.

Fields will get his chance this week to convince the 49ers’ decision-makers that he is the best candidate for the job.

RELATED: Schefter confident 49ers will draft Mac Jones

“For all we know, Justin Fields is going to blow them away, light it up that day, have great meetings, they’re going to hit it off, and they’re going to fall for that guy, that day,” Schefter said. 

“That could happen. That could happen. They’re going (to Ohio State) because that’s the right and responsible thing to do when you have the third overall pick and you’ve given up as much as you have to get it. And there are enough people who like Justin Fields and believe in his future. You owe that to the process to see what he has and what he’s about before you make your pick.”

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