April is upon us, which means the 2021 NFL Draft finally will take place this month. And it's going to be a long month full of 49ers rumors.
The 49ers made a blockbuster trade by moving up from No. 12 to No. 3 overall in the draft, that has the NFL world shook. General manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan have made it clear they will select a quarterback with their top pick. But which one?
Quarterbacks Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson are expected to be the first two picks off the board. That leaves Justin Fields, Trey Lance and Mac Jones available for the 49ers with the third pick. ESPN's Adam Schefter wouldn't be surprised if the 49ers turned to the Alabama Crimson Tide to find their QB of the future.
"I think they really like Mac Jones. I think they really like Trey Lance. I think they're intrigued by Justin Fields," Schefter said on "The Adam Schefter Podcast" on Tuesday. "If the pick were made today, I wouldn't be shocked if the pick were Mac Jones. And Mac Jones is a quarterback in talking to another NFC general manager this week said to me, 'The media does not have as high of grades on Mac Jones as teams do. ... Mac Jones has elite arm accuracy. He is an elite processor of seeing how the play is going to unfold. He is an elite leader.'
"That is how a GM from a non-NFC West team, not San Francisco, described Mac Jones to me. He said to me that his athleticism is as good as Matthew Stafford. ... Teams believe that Mac Jones is good enough to go No. 3."
Jones is seen as a strong 49ers candidate because he fits the mold of successful Shanahan quarterbacks. He makes all the right passes, is very accurate on intermediate throws and tosses a beautiful deep ball. Jones completed 77.4 percent of his passes last season at Alabama while throwing 41 touchdowns and was intercepted just four times.
He also had the luxury of playing in an offense rich with NFL talent. Jones threw passes to Heisman Trophy winner Devonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle, both of whom are seen as first-round talents, along with running back Najee Harris.
Though Jones likely doesn't have the upside that Fields or Lance has, many believe he will make a quick transition to the pros. But the plan this season appears to be Jimmy Garoppolo remaining the 49ers' starter in 2021, with a young QB taking over in 2022. Schefter even mentioned how the Kansas City Chiefs drafted Patrick Mahomes with Alex Smith still their starter and then handed Mahomes the keys the next season.
"Today a month out, that’s how I envision the 49ers quarterback situation playing out with this team -- giving the job to Jimmy Garoppolo this year with the understanding that the quarterback they picked third overall next month will be the guy that is the 49ers' quarterback in the 2022 season," Schefter said.
Speculation isn't slowing down. Rumors will run rampant. Is Jones really the 49ers' guy?
Let's wait and see.