Mac Jones Hype Dismissed by College Scout: 'You Trade All That S--t, for Him?'

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistApril 22, 2021

Alabama quarterback Mac Jones watches during warm ups before an NCAA College Football Playoff national championship game against Ohio State, Monday, Jan. 11, 2021, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

A college scouting director questioned whether the San Francisco 49ers made the right move if they traded up to No. 3 in the 2021 NFL draft to target Alabama quarterback Mac Jones.

"Mac's 'Bama tape is really, really good. There's no denying that," the anonymous executive told Tom Pelissero of NFL.com on Thursday. "But you watch him in Mobile—this doesn't really feel like a big, big, big-time guy. You trade all that s--t, for him?"

In March, the Niners traded the No. 12 pick, first-round selections in 2022 and 2023 and a 2022 third-round choice in order to move up the nine spots in this year's draft.

San Francisco tipped its hand by giving up three straight years of first-round picks to land a top-five selection, which all but guarantees it's going to select a quarterback at No. 3.

Niners' brass, led by general manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan, hasn't provided any insight about which signal-caller they're targeting, though.

"We looked at it as to move up to three, we had to feel good that there's three guys we'd be comfortable with leading our team for a long time and we couldn't make that decision before there was three guys so we had to feel that way with three," Shanahan told reporters.

All signs point to a quarterback-heavy start to the 2021 draft.

Clemson's Trevor Lawrence is the presumptive No. 1 choice of the Jacksonville Jaguars and the New York Jets are expected to follow with BYU's Zach Wilson.

That would give the 49ers their choice of the remaining QBs, a group led by Jones, Ohio State's Justin Fields and North Dakota State's Trey Lance.

"I'm really happy that they came," Jones said about Shanahan and Lynch after his pro day. "The trade is the trade. Hopefully, I impressed them. I would love to get a chance to play anywhere in the NFL, but obviously with a great franchise like that."

The 22-year-old Florida native is coming off a monster 2020 season that saw him complete 77.4 percent of his throws 4,500 yards with 41 touchdowns and just four interceptions while leading the Crimson Tide to a perfect 13-0 season and a national championship.

That said, while Jones possesses an NFL-ready skill set there are questions about whether his long-term upside can match the other top quarterback prospects in the class.

It's one of the many reasons there's plenty of intrigue about the Niners' choice at No. 3.