Nick Saban says 49ers didn’t talk to him about Mac Jones at Pro Day

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Since the 49ers traded up to the third overall pick in the draft, a consensus has emerged that they plan to draft Alabama quarterback Mac Jones. But they haven’t tipped their hand to Alabama coach Nick Saban.

Saban said on the Dan Patrick Show today that the 49ers attended Alabama’s Pro Day but didn’t show an outsized interest in Jones.

“[Kyle Shanahan] didn’t ask me a thing. I stood right next to him. I said hi to him. John Lynch too. They didn’t ask me a thing. Maybe they thought they weren’t allowed to,” Saban said, via Andrew Perloff.

Saban has previously expressed surprise that teams don’t talk to him more before drafting Alabama players, saying that other than Bill Belichick, he rarely hears from an NFL coach or GM who wants to know more about the players Saban has coached. So the 49ers not talking to Saban about Jones isn’t necessarily unusual, as they continue to hold their cards close to the vest.

27 responses to “Nick Saban says 49ers didn’t talk to him about Mac Jones at Pro Day

  1. I wonder if Shanahan and Lynch are baiting Jets head coach Saleh. They like Jones openly so much that may be it will trick Saleh into picking Jones, leaving Zach Wilson available for the 49ers. May be the 49ers would rather draft Wilson than Jones. Who knows?

  2. There are plenty of examples of teams drafting someone that “never talked to” the coach, player, or agent. Somehow, they get their information. Or maybe they have a different target. Who knows at this time of the year.

  3. Can’t see Jones/SF happening whatsoever, at least not at #3.

    I just can’t imagine the Niners making a rookie their starter when their team is one of the most talented in the league and one of the real contenders.

    By the time a rookie learns the offense enough to lead them to the playoffs the team will have missed it’s opportunity with all that talent.

    My guess is they are going to trade that pick to the Vikings for Cousins. Then trade Jimmy G back to the Pats for a 2nd rounder.

  4. Didn’t Mac Jones have a crappy pro day? Don’t Alabama QB’s have a history of laying an egg in the NFL. Good reason for all of this. Jones is not worthy of a first round pick.

  5. Sept 1st 2020: “Mac Jones? Who is Mac Jones?”
    April 1, 2021: Niners going all in on Mac Jones at 3!”

    Considering Shannahan’s offense, Trey Lance is the only QB that plugs right in due to under center and play action experience

  6. Cause they arent really interested in Mac, they already know everything they need to know. Fields at 3

  7. Olyhawkguy says:
    April 6, 2021 at 1:33 pm
    I can’t wait to see how they decide to screw this up! Gonna be so good.


    Coming from a man whose team has three “whole” picks in the draft, can’t maintain a relationship with their quarterback and had the best running back in the league at the 1-yard-line in the biggest game of the season, where they could have repeated as Super Bowl champs, and threw a PASS that was intercepted and lost.

    Yeah, let’s see how the Niners “screw this up.”

    They can’t screw it up. If the Jets don’t draft Zach Wilson, they draft Zach Wilson, and Shanahan has a weapon. If they draft Fields, it’s like a more accurate version of DeShaun Watson, with Shanahan holding onto the joystick. If it’s Jones, he’ll be accurate and smart, a younger version of Matt Ryan. If it’s something weird, like Pitts, they play Kittle on one side, Pitts on the other.

    Either way, it’s not looking good for Seattle, who now gets Aaron Donald WITH Matthew Stafford, Kyler Murray (with a better cast), and Shanahan and new weaponry TWICE a year.

    Yeah, how can SF screw this up. LOL

  8. There is absolutely no incentive for Saban or any other college coach to share anything negative about his guys. Getting guys drafted helps with recruiting and it could really hurt recruiting if it ever got out that a coach wasn’t giving glowing reviews about his players.

  9. Last time we drafted an Alabama player, let’s just say, “ it didn’t work out well.”

    Actually only Alabama WRs and RB’s experience NFL success. Their QBs definitely flop like a fish out of water.

  10. I love the scene in the Belichick Saban documentary where Bill asked, ‘who is the best football player here’?’ Saban says no one ever asks him that question.

  11. Just can’t see the 49ers using three 1st round picks to take someone as limited as Jones. He’s probably the safest bet to be at least an average starter outside of Lawrence, but again you don’t use that much draft capital to go for average. It’s 100% Fields or Lance.

  12. boogermcf says:
    April 6, 2021 at 1:43 pm
    Didn’t Mac Jones have a crappy pro day? Don’t Alabama QB’s have a history of laying an egg in the NFL. Good reason for all of this. Jones is not worthy of a first round pick.

    If I am not mistaken Alabama will have three starting QBs in the NFL next year. Tua Tagovailoa, Jalen Hurts, and Mac Jones.

  13. Maybe they thought that it is in a college coach’s best interest for recruiting to have their players drafted as highly as possible, so unless you have a strong personal relationship with that coach and have established that they will level with you, that it really is not worth asking, especially if its going to tip their interest or lack thereof

  14. The next time a coach gives a team an unbiased, objective report on one of their own players will be the first time.

  15. What’s the point of talking to Saban? What he going to say to Shanahan and Lynch? “Don’t draft this kid, he’s horrible.”

    Besides, the last time the 49ers got an honest assessment from a coach about a QB it was from Urban Meyer about Alex Smith. He said that Smith needed to be able to fully absorb the offense (he needed time to study) before he could be “functional”. So what did the 49ers do? They started Smith on their rebuilt team (due to salary cap problems) for half the games his rookie year.

  16. I would have at least asked Saban why Jones doesn’t have a ‘k’ at the end of his first name.

  17. Olyhawkguy says:
    April 6, 2021 at 1:33 pm
    I can’t wait to see how they decide to screw this up! Gonna be so good.
    Me on the other hand can’t wait to see Schneider and Carroll screw up the career of Wilson and him going to media to complain. Seahawks remain the sad sack franchise that can’t get it done with a great QB.

  18. Why bother since he’s just going to shine them. Besides, that’s what they have scouts and game film for. My guess is they won’t be taking Mac Jones.

  19. craigspuki says:
    April 6, 2021 at 6:14 pm
    SEA should’ve ran the ball…. right OlyHawk?
    All you have to do is YouTube “Wilson interception superbowl” – it’s a gift that keeps giving.

  20. I wonder if those people who want the 49ers to cut or trade Jimmy G. before 2021 are rooting for failure. Do they have the best interests of the team at heart? The team loses nothing if they keep him but they lose the chance to win the Super Bowl if they get rid of him. Is saving $25 million in cap space good enough justification or compensation for trashing the 2021 season.

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