Schefter Backs Off Definitive Prediction of Jones to 49ers

Getty Mac Jones of the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Adam Schefter has walked back definitive comments he made last week about where the San Francisco 49ers would head with the third selection in the 2021 NFL Draft.

The NFL insider went on ESPN Radio’s DiPietro, Canty & Rothenberg Show on Monday, April 5, when he was asked who the 49ers would select after trading up from pick No. 12 to pick No. 3.

“Oh, it’ll be Mac Jones,” Schefter said. “That’ll be the pick.”

But less than one week later, he has significantly changed his tune.

Schefter stopped by the 49ers Talk podcast and spoke with Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area. While ESPN’s premier football reporter did not entirely back off of his prediction that Jones would be the guy when the 49ers go on the clock Thursday, April 29, his tone and choice of words were less than absolute.

“Now, if you’re asking me today who I would guess, I would guess Mac Jones today,” Schefter said. “But we’re also three weeks away from the draft. There’s going to be a lot of meetings. There’s going to be a lot of discussions. They’re going to be attending workouts.”

“So what happens between now and then? I don’t know. We’ll see,” he continued. “We’ll find out what enters their thought process, what gets brought up in the discussion, and what factors push them ultimately to the quarterback they decide to take.”

Justin Fields, Trey Lance Sew Seeds of Doubt

Justin Fields

Getty ImagesJustin Fields got shine from Richard Sherman, who compared the OSU quarterback to current 49ers signal caller Jimmy Garoppolo.

Part of what has made Schefter, and other draft experts, step back and reevaluate San Francisco’s draft prospects are reports that 49ers Head Coach Kyle Shanahan and General Manager John Lynch plan to attend the second pro days of both Ohio State QB Justin Fields and North Dakota State QB Trey Lance.

Fields will throw on April 14 and Lance will hold his next workout on April 19.

The 49ers brass did not bother to attend Lance’s first pro day, one of only two NFL franchises absent. Shanahan and Lynch also chose to forego their first opportunity to get an in-person look at Fields, opting instead to head to Tuscaloosa, Alabama to check in on Jones.

49ers Could Go Any Direction

Seahawks Trade

GettyNorth Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance is an intriguing prospect in the 2021 NFL Draft.

More data is available on Fields and Jones, who squared off in the National Championship Game just a few months ago, than exists on Lance, who started only one game in 2020 as a member of a team that plays in the Football Championship Subdivision.

However, Lance could be a unique fit under center for the 49ers, which led Schefter to speculate that any of the three QBs might end up the selection come draft day.

“I think they have an open mind right now,” Schefter said. “I think they go into this looking at three quarterbacks who will be there. They’re obviously going to watch Justin Fields go work out again. I think they have a high opinion of Trey Lance, and I think they have a high opinion of Mac Jones. So I think they like all three.”

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