Leading up to the 2021 NFL Draft, the overwhelming belief was the 49ers would take Jones, the former Alabama quarterback. Shanahan went another direction, taking Lance, the former North Dakota State star. The 49ers’ decision was a surprising one, but it’s not like no one was expecting Lance to come off the board so early.
It’s worth noting most of the Jones-to-the-49ers predictions were 100-percent speculative or educated guesses. The reality is, only Shanahan and San Francisco GM John Lynch knew who they were going to pick, and it was Lance all along. Lombardi isn’t buying it.
The former NFL GM believes Shanahan and the 49ers preferred Jones. So what happened? When the Jones rumors accelerated, the overall fan reaction was extremely negative. Lombardi believes Shanahan and Lynch felt the outside pressure and went with Lance instead of Jones.
“I’m not buying it was Trey Lance all along,” Lombardi told Jason McIntyre on Monday via FOX Sports Radio. “Anybody you talk to in the NFL that has sources – they aren’t buying that either. [SF] can say it was Trey all along – that’s a crock of crap. they traded up to get Mac Jones and the outside pressure became really bad.”
Take this for what it’s worth.
Mike Lombardi: “I’m not buying it was Trey Lance all along. Anybody you talk to in the NFL that has sources – they aren’t buying that either. [SF] can say it was Trey all along – that’s a crock of crap. they traded up to get Mac Jones and the outside pressure became really bad.” https://t.co/kSrPc7gQe5
— Jason McIntyre (@jasonrmcintyre) May 3, 2021
We have a hard time believing Kyle Shanahan cares so much about outside opinion.
If the 49ers really cared about public perception surrounding the quarterback position, they would’ve moved on from Jimmy Garoppolo a long time ago.
Shanahan knew Trey Lance was his guy all the way back in January. Unlike most of the rest of the NFL front office’s, though, the 49ers were able to keep it a secret until the pick was made.