49ers' John Lynch: 'I'll Always Defer' to Shanahan on QBs Amid Mac Jones Rumors

Jenna CiccotelliAnalyst IIIApril 26, 2021

FILE- In this Jan. 24, 2020, file photo, San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch, right, and head coach Kyle Shanahan, left, watch as players practice at the team's NFL football training facility in Santa Clara, Calif. The San Francisco 49ers have agreed on a one-year contract with free agent tight end Jordan Reed,  Lynch announced Monday, Aug. 3, 2020. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar, File)
Tony Avelar/Associated Press

San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch refused to give insight into the team trading up in a quarterback-heavy NFL draft, telling reporters he would "always defer" to head coach and play-caller Kyle Shanahan regarding quarterback decisions.

His comments come amid a report from NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, who said Sunday that the team is choosing between Alabama quarterback Mac Jones and North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance. 

The 49ers traded up from their No. 12 pick by sending it along with a package of future draft picks to the Miami Dolphins in March. 

Shanahan shed some light on the 49ers' mindset heading into Thursday, though he didn't touch on anyone specific. That's a change from the team's plan from when they originally moved up in the draft, as he told reporters that they swapped picks "with one candidate in mind." 

Mike Garafolo @MikeGarafolo

Kyle Shanahan says the #49ers had a QB in mind when they traded up but wanted to evaluate all the options. Says all of the prospects have gotten better in their minds, including that guy. Won’t say who: “No one’s gonna know whether we know or not until we pick.” 🤔🤭🤔🤫😬😜

Days removed from the draft, he said the team would be happy with any of five players with the No. 3 pick, and he's not taking any input from draft experts or anyone on social media. 

Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter

Kyle Shanahan said he and John Lynch are not paying attention to what draft experts and 49ers' fans are saying the team should do on social media. "It is so irresponsible to let something like that affect your decision."

What does all this mean for Jimmy Garoppolo, whose future has been in flux ever since the 49ers traded up? Shanahan avoided the question and countered with some existentialism, instead.

Dan Graziano @DanGrazianoESPN

Asked whether he can guarantee that Jimmy Garoppolo will be on his roster Sunday, Kyle Shanahan says, "I can't guarantee that anybody in the world will be alive Sunday." Things getting pretty grim out here in these zoom streets.

That's another departure from their mindset when they traded up, when ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that the team was holding on to Garoppolo even though they would have their pick of most of the top quarterbacks in the draft class. 

Garoppolo has proven himself worthy of the starting job, but for all his success, he's injury-prone. He has only made 32 starts since joining the league in 2014, though that's because he began his NFL career as the backup to Tom Brady with the New England Patriots. Since coming to San Francisco, he has only appeared in 31 games across four seasons. 

In 2020, he posted a 67.1 percent completion rate with 1,096 yards, seven touchdowns and five interceptions. 

As it stands, there's no insight into what the 49ers will do on Thursday, and Shanahan certainly doesn't sound like he'll be revealing anything more anytime soon.