Report: 49ers led Mac Jones to believe they were drafting him
It was widely believed that the San Francisco 49ers traded up to No. 3 in the NFL Draft earlier this year so they could select Mac Jones, but they wound up taking Trey Lance instead. While that may have been their plan along, they did not communicate that to the former Alabama star.
Jeff Howe of The Athletic spoke to several sources about what went on behind the scenes with what was considered a loaded quarterback class this year. According to Howe, Niners decision-makers indicated to Jones in pre-draft interviews that he was the QB they wanted. The team also did an extensive amount of background work on Jones and spoke to some of his high school coaches from Jacksonville, Fla.
The Niners claimed they traded up because of Lance, but that is hard to believe given everything we have learned since the draft. There’s no reason why they would mislead Jones or go through all that effort of finding out so much about him if they traded up with only one player in mind.
What likely happened was that the 49ers believed there were multiple quarterbacks worthy of the No. 3 pick. They may have even still thought they had a shot at Zach Wilson, as there was talk for a while that the New York Jets could select Justin Fields at No. 2.
Kyle Shanahan previously mocked the rumors linking Jones to San Francisco, but they certainly were not pulled out of thin air.