As the debate intensifies about the 49ers' options with the third pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, Chris Simms is planting his flag.
Simms, an NBC Sports analyst and Kyle Shanahan's longtime friend, believes will Mac Jones will be a more adaptable pro than Justin Fields.
"Justin Fields, he translates to the NFL game, but you're going to have to play a certain way with him," Simms told NBC Sports' Ahmed Fareed. "Mac Jones can play the position from any offense other than Lamar Jackson, and do everything you want and get in and out of huddles and checks plays, let alone going to make the right read and make one great throw after another, and that's the value in what people are seeing with Mac Jones."
Jones was extremely accurate in his lone full season as Alabama's starting quarterback, leading the Crimson Tide to a national championship last season while connecting on 77.4 percent of his passes. He certainly got some help from Heisman Trophy-winning wide receiver Devonta Smith, not to mention two other expected first-round picks in wideout Jaylen Waddle and offensive lineman Landon Dickerson.
Jones and the Crimson Tide defeated Fields and the Ohio State Buckeyes in the national championship game. Fields came out of high school as the nation's top dual-threat QB, and he lived up to that hype college. He didn't rush for fewer than 250 yards in each of his three seasons, despite only starting a full 12-game campaign just once.
Jimmy Garoppolo, an FCS product and second-round draft pick, has thrived when healthy in Shanahan's 49ers offense. Considering that, it's not hard to imagine someone as talented as Jones or Fields succeeding under Shanahan.
Jones has been linked to the 49ers in more and more mock drafts since they moved up from No. 12 to No. 3. ESPN's Adam Schefter said Tuesday he believes the 49ers plan to select Jones, based on what he has been hearing.
But as many pundits and 49ers fans have pointed out, no one had any idea or inkling that the team was putting together a trade for the third pick until Schefter broke the news the morning of March 26.
This isn't a front office prone to leaks, so the rising smoke surrounding Jones as the 49ers' preferred option could be another prime example of smokescreen season.
Not a single person, not even Shanahan or 49ers general manager John Lynch, truly knows which of these quarterbacks would fare the best in a Shanahan-engineered offense. It's all speculation and projection until the ball is kicked off on the 2021 NFL season.
But with 23 days until the first round gets underway from Cleveland, there will be no shortage of opinions and anonymous sources coming across your televisions and timelines.