The San Francisco 49ers made one of the biggest splashes of the offseason when they made the blockbuster trade to move up to the No. 3 overall pick at the 2021 NFL Draft. One of the more obvious motivations for the Niners to make such a move was to gain some stability at the position with Jimmy Garoppolo's durability seemingly always in question throughout a given season. Well, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter, there was also another factor at play.
On Sunday, he reported that one of the many reasons San Francisco decided to trade up inside the top-five of the draft was their belief that the New England Patriots could move up to that same spot to select Alabama quarterback Mac Jones. Schefter notes that the 49ers wanted to keep all of their options open as they scouted the position and were concerned New England would leapfrog them for Jones, who in their mind was the prospect Bill Belichick's club was targeting.
Of course, the 49ers did have their chance to select Jones at the draft but ultimately chose to pick Trey Lance at the No. 3 overall spot. And Jones did end up falling to the Patriots at No. 15 overall without the club needing to give away any additional compensation.
After beating out Cam Newton for the Week 1 job, Jones will now get his first NFL start with the Patriots on Sunday when they host the Dolphins. Meanwhile, Lance is set to begin the year as San Francisco backup to Jimmy Garoppolo, but CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora reports that a transition is already in the works.
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