The San Francisco 49ers traded a lot of draft capital to move up to the No. 3 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. While they ultimately took North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance with the pick, a new report suggests that might not have been the team’s original plan.
According to a report from ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter, the 49ers initially made that move out of concern that the New England Patriots would move up to that spot and draft Alabama quarterback Mac Jones. The 49ers reportedly wanted to keep themselves in the position to take Jones or Lance, hence the urgency of the trade.
San Francisco ultimately traded three first-round picks to the Miami Dolphins to move up from No. 12 to No. 3. The Patriots, on the other hand, stayed put and ultimately saw Jones fall to them.
Whether Mac Jones or Trey Lance was the guy for the 49ers at the time of the trade is ultimately irrelevant. They settled on Lance after many more weeks of scouting and analysis.
One of the many reasons why the 49ers traded up to the No. 3 spot in this year's NFL draft was their belief that the Patriots could trade up to No. 3 and beat them to Alabama QB Mac Jones, league sources told ESPN. Pats didn’t – but still got their man.https://t.co/16vgPQ8qx6
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 12, 2021
But despite taking Trey Lance with that No. 3 overall pick, the San Francisco 49ers won’t be starting him in Week 1. Jimmy Garoppolo will remain the starter for the time-being.
Meanwhile, the Patriots were so impressed by Mac Jones in training camp that they cut last year’s starter Cam Newton to pave the way for him to start.
It remains to be seen if the 49ers’ strategy pays off or not. We may not know for weeks whether or not Mac Jones is the real deal. It may be months before they get a chance to see Lance.
What are your thoughts on this alleged San Francisco 49ers draft strategy?