Maybe the 49ers didn't get the quarterback they wanted after all.
Pre-draft speculation linked the 49ers to Mac Jones after they acquired the No. 3 pick in the draft in a blockbuster trade with the Miami Dolphins in March. The 49ers ended up selecting Trey Lance, the Chicago Bears traded up to select Justin Fields at No. 11, and Jones fell to the New England Patriots at No. 15.
49ers coach Kyle Shanahan then said after the draft that he and San Francisco GM John Lynch had been set on Lance all along. So those reports about the Niners' interest in Jones obviously were either a smokescreen or simply inaccurate, right? Not in the eyes of one NFL insider.
The Athletic's Michael Lombardi still believes the 49ers fully intended to draft Mac Jones as their franchise quarterback and, as pressure mounted, changed their plans.
"I’m not buying it was Trey Lance all along,” Lombardi told FOX Sports Radio's Jason McIntyre on Monday. "Anybody you talk to in the NFL that has sources -- they aren’t buying that either. [San Francisco] can say it was Trey all along -- that’s a crock of crap. They traded up to get Mac Jones and the outside pressure became really bad.”
Shanahan denied that Lance came on late to overtake Jones.
"When we made the trade, we knew exactly where we were going and what we were doing," Shanahan said. "Now, we wanted an opportunity to go look at everybody."
They did so, and went with Lance. Whether that was their plan all along, or outside influences impacted a franchise-changing decision, is a secret that will remain between Shanahan, Lynch and the four walls of the 49ers' draft room.