Kyle Shanahan on scouting Mac Jones: You don’t have to hide as much drafting third

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The moment the 49ers traded up to third in next month’s draft, their intentions became clear: San Francisco will draft a quarterback.

The 49ers aren’t disputing that.

“To move up to 3, we had to feel good there’d be three guys we’d feel comfortable leading our team for a long time,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said, via Cam Inman of “There’s a chance to get there with four or five. There’s five guys that are kind of at this party.”

Who will that quarterback be?

Shanahan, who doesn’t “like going to pro days,” is attending Alabama’s pro day Tuesday to watch Mac Jones.

It was important, Shanahan noted Monday, for the team not to tip its hand until the trade was completed.

“Now that you’re up at three, you don’t have to hide as much,” Shanahan said, via Albert Breer of

Shanahan added the 49ers have touched based with Justin Fields’ agent, and the Ohio State quarterback will have another pro day before the draft.

The 49ers paid a price to move up to third overall to land their quarterback of the future. The Dolphins sent the third overall pick to San Francisco in exchange for No. 12, the third-round compensatory pick the 49ers received when the Jets hired Robert Saleh as their head coach, a 2022 first-round pick and a 2023 first-round pick.

General Manager John Lynch said Monday the 49ers were afraid of being left at the altar.

“We paid somewhat of a premium doing it early, and why was that important: I remember one thing Bill Walsh used to talk about when I was at Stanford is that you’ve got to beat your opponent to the punch,” Lynch said, via Inman.

11 responses to “Kyle Shanahan on scouting Mac Jones: You don’t have to hide as much drafting third

  1. I’m sure Coach Walsh had some lessons about timing too. I believe Lynch is a smart guy… This feels like a reach though… for a guarantee on Lawrence, ya I get that. For Fields/Lance/ Jones (please no) …. not sure you’re getting the value…

  2. Beware of QBs from the big schools. Their numbers are grossly inflated by having all day to throw to wide open receivers and running backs to take the load with solid defenses to bail you out. Jones was surrounded by 1st round NFL talent with one of the best coaches in history. QBs who get hit a lot in college and have loses historically do the best in the NFL.

  3. It’s 50/50: if this works out, it’ll further the case of Lynch being a pretty top notch executive (he’s done a good job so far). If it flops, this is exactly what people will point to when talking about the Matt Millens of the world.

  4. The truth is whomever they take at 3, that QB will have two less first round talents to work with during his first 4/5 years in the league. That’s already starting behind the 8 ball.

  5. I’m not thinking they’re just blindly shooting from the hip here. I’d assume they have future trade plans with veteran players to get back at least a portion of that draft capital lost. Probably not a 1st, but at least go heavy on 2nd and 3rd round picks.

  6. Mac Jones is not a top 3 pick. Any QB would look good behind a 5 star line throwing to 5 star receivers and handing off to 5 star rb’s. He’s a 2nd rounder at best, but some team will waste a first on him.

  7. They do not have to look at Zach Wilson or Trevor Lawrence. Those two are good and also both are likely to be gone by the time Frisco picks. Whoever Frisco picks, it is extremely unlikely that they will cut ties with Jimmy G. before the season starts because no rookie quarterback has ever won the Super Bowl in 53 years of the Super Bowl history. If Jimmy G. stinks so bad that Frisco has no hope of making the playoffs by the trade deadline, then Jimmy may well be traded. But if that were the case, then few teams would be interested in him and few 49er fans will mourn his departure. It is also extremely unlikely that he would flop. Jimmy G. has a 22-8 record as a 49er starter, while Shanahan’s 3 other quarterbacks compiled a record of 9-25 as starters. Getting rid of the best quarterback you have as a head coach is not a good idea.

  8. This is a make-or-break deal for SF; the first 2 picks are 2nd-guess proof(if you think Wilson belongs). They’re taking a QB and it has to be the right one. They love one of these guys but it’s kind of hard, despite C.Simms opinion, to see Shanahan drafting a less athletic QB here, all due respect to Z. Jones. He did want Cousins, so, we will see.

  9. I hope they do draft Jones and use that pick on him, because it sure will help my team out.

  10. HOF HC the late Bill Walsh, was not afraid to make bold moves, trading for Steve Young, after Montana started having injury issues. As it turned out, Montana went on to win two more SBs before Young took over. Jimmy G’s history of injuries is what has stopped what may have been a HOF career. He has the ability but not always availability.

    Walsh was the QB coach when the Chargers drafted and developed HOF QB Dan Fauts. He was the OC in Cincinnati when they drafted and developed future league MVP Kenny Anderson. And of course there’s Montana and Young. Back to back HOFers with multiple MVP titles.

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