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#pounditThursday, December 2, 2021

49ers reportedly traded up to No. 3 because of Patriots

Kyle Shanahan

The San Francisco 49ers were once viewed as the most likely team to select Mac Jones, and many believed they were going to do just that after they made a massive move up the board prior to the NFL Draft. At one point, that may have been the team’s plan.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Niners traded up to No. 3 in the draft because they were concerned that the New England Patriots would move up so they could beat San Francisco to Jones. The 49ers believed that there were multiple worthy quarterback candidates to be taken third overall at the time, but they felt the trade was necessary to give themselves the option of drafting Jones.

The Niners, of course, then drafted Trey Lance. They obviously believe he’s the better NFL prospect. However, the report has to make the Patriots feel even better about getting Jones at No. 15, assuming it’s true.

Kyle Shanahan previously mocked the rumors that linked Jones to San Francisco, but it sounds like there was at least some truth to them. The Niners may have simply known at the time of their trade that they wanted to draft a quarterback. That doesn’t mean they were set on Lance from the start.

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