The buzz that the 49ers are going to draft Mac Jones isn’t going to die down. In fact, after Todd McShay’s latest mock draft for ESPN, it’s probably going to ramp up.
McShay has the 49ers selecting Jones at No. 3 overall, in the first mock draft ESPN has dropped since the 49ers traded three first round picks and a future third rounder to the Dolphins to move up from No. 12. Jones was once predicted to be an underrated prospect who could be a high value selection in the second round. Then his stock rose and some projected he could be taken by the Niners at No. 12. Now he’s going to be the third overall pick in the draft according to McShay, and a bevy of others.
The knock on Jones is that he’s not mobile, and that limits his upside when compared to the likes of Justin Fields, Trey Lance and Zach Wilson. Do you really trade up for a guy who has the lowest ceiling of those four? Jones was an excellent pocket passer in college. He threw for 41 touchdowns and only 4 interceptions, completed over 77 percent of his passes for 4,500 yards, was a first-team All-American and won multiple awards given to the top quarterback in college football. He also played on an Alabama team with NFL players throughout the roster, including three players (two wide receivers) projected to go in the top 10.
Here’s McShay’s breakdown. He believes Jones will be selected after Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson go No. 1 and No. 2 respectively:
The Niners sacrificed first-rounders over the next two years and then some to skip the line. Which player did they do it for? Coach Kyle Shanahan surely has his guy in mind already, and it’s going to be a QB — teams don’t make these types of massive early deals for non-QBs. I’m hearing a lot of noise about Jones being the 49ers’ preference. He is accurate and reads the field so well, which helps assuage mobility concerns. Plus, he excels when passing in the pocket or off play-action, two staples of Shanahan’s system. San Francisco paid a hefty price, but quarterback was in need of an upgrade. Now it just has to hope it selects the right one.