Mac Jones is no smokescreen as the San Francisco 49ers’ potential third pick in the upcoming NFL draft.
At least, that’s what Ian Rapoport, league insider with the NFL Network, said on the Rich Eisen Show Friday, April 9.
“Obviously, the Mac Jones buzz is real,” Rapoport said. “I know he is someone that they are considering. I know that they really like him. I know he’s someone that Kyle is very interested in. And when I asked Kyle Shanahan about this, basically, ‘Is this real? Is he someone you’re considering at three?’ He was like, ‘Yeah, he is. We’re definitely considering him.’”
All eyes are on the #49ers and the 3rd overall pick in the #NFLDraft… so we asked @RapSheet what he’s heard and if John Lynch ever picked up the phone and called the #NYJets to inquire about #2? pic.twitter.com/4qAlpOx3fn
— Rich Eisen Show (@RichEisenShow) April 9, 2021
Rapoport Says Jones to 49ers Real, but not a Certainty
But unlike ESPN’s Adam Schefter, who earlier this week said more or less definitively that Jones was headed to the Bay Area, Rapoport hedged his bets.
“A lot of the people who know Kyle Shanahan well will speak of his, and Mike Shanahan’s, love for Mac Jones. So, I think a lot of the buzz is legit,” Rapoport told Eisen. “What I don’t 100 percent know is, are they actually doing it? Because if you talk to other teams in the top 10, and really, just other teams in general, everyone agrees Mac Jones is a first-round pick. Not everyone agrees that he should be picked there.”
“Is he Kirk Cousins-plus for Kyle? Maybe,” Rapoport continued. “But I’m not 100 percent ready to say, ‘This is definitely the guy, let’s move on to the fourth pick.’”
49ers Draft Preference a Mystery, Even to Much of Team Staff
It is a dangerous game for Schefter or Rapoport to pin their reporting to any definitive declaration on what Shanahan and John Lynch, the 49ers general manager, will do come draft day. Namely, because most of their high-level colleagues within the organization have little inkling themselves.
Josh Schrock, of NBC News, reported Monday, April 5, that Shanahan and Lynch have not shared their quarterback assessments of the 2021 class with notable assistant coaches Mike McDaniel, Rich Scangarello or Bobby Slowik.
Rapoport acknowledged with Eisen how close to the vest 49ers leadership has been about potential draft prospects this year, admitting that it is hard to know anything definitively.
“What I also know is that Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch have not told people in their organization,” Rapoport said. “So there’s only a couple of people who actually really know, and they’re not saying.”
“We can talk about the Mac Jones buzz, and we have. I think a lot of people originally thought [the trade] was for Trey Lance because he would probably sit a year,” Rapoport continued. “I could make arguments on all sides, but I believe that very few people actually know the answer to this.”