The San Francisco 49ers made a very aggressive move up the draft boards last month, trading this year's No. 12 pick, two future first-round selections and a third-round pick to the Dolphins for the No. 3 overall pick. Most figured general manager John Lynch had his eye on a quarterback, but which one?
Interestingly enough, pundits pointed to Alabama quarterback Mac Jones as the prospect that had piqued the 49ers' interest, even though he was not seen as the third best quarterback in this class. Jones was a Heisman finalist this past season, and led the Crimson Tide to a national championship while picking up All-SEC honors on the way. But he also had the benefit of working with all-world athletes at receiver, on the offensive line and at running back -- players who will also be taken in the first round of the draft. While the 49ers have been tied to Jones, a recent development could indicate he's actually not the quarterback they are zeroing in on
On Sunday, ESPN's Dan Graziano reported that former North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance went to work with quarterbacks coach John Beck ahead of Monday's second pro day at the request of 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan. Beck is a former NFL quarterback who was coached by Shanahan in Washington years ago, and Graziano reports that Shanahan trusts his opinion on prospects. According to Graziano, the 49ers gave Beck a list of drills they wanted Lance to work on ahead of his pro day. What's interesting about this is that Akash Anavarathan of Niners Nation reported that Zach Wilson and Justin Fields worked with Beck leading up to their respective pro days. The quarterback who did not was Jones.
Is this a major development or not? Could it mean that Jones is the favorite in San Francisco's clubhouse and that the 49ers are giving the other prospects a chance to work with more specialized coaches, or could it mean that the 49ers aren't actually too interested in Jones? It's anyone's best guess at this point. As we all know, it's smokescreen season, it's "due-diligence" season and we won't know anything for certain until the evening of April 29.