SANTA CLARA (CBS SF) — There is little doubt what position the San Francisco 49ers will be targeting in Thursday night’s NFL Draft. What remains in question just who the quarterback will be that they use the No. 3 choice to select.
While most NFL pundits seem to be in a consensus that selection will be Alabama starter Mac Jones, head coach Kyle Shanahan remained coy and non-committal on a Monday afternoon zoom call.
“I’ll say when we made this decision (to move up in the draft), we knew that there were five guys that we thought, we felt that we’d be okay with taking,” Shanahan said. “After going through this whole process, I feel good about five guys at three. Yeah, we had a guy probably at first back then, but we knew that wasn’t set in stone and we knew the only way we could figure out a little bit more, especially when you can’t work out guys, you can’t meet with these people.”
Here are five things to know about Jones.
- Patient: Jones waited patiently for his turn to start as first Jalen Hurts, then Tua Tagovailoa, guided Alabama to the top of the college football world. A glimpse of this skills emerged when Tagovailoa was injured in his final season and Jones started the last four games in 2019. He led the Tide to a 35–16 win over Michigan in the Citrus Bowl and finished the season with 14 TD passes for 1,503 yards in 11 games.
- Plug and play: As a senior, Jones emerged spring practice as the Tide’s starter. Orchestrating Alabama’s potent offense, Jones displayed amazing accuracy. He tossed for 41 touchdowns with just four interceptions. He set the NCAA single-season record for completion percentage (77.4) and finished with an NCAA-leading 201.1 passer rating and 96.1 QBR.
- For the record book: Jones recorded four of the Crimson Tide’s ten 400-plus yards passing performances in program history, the most by any one quarterback and tied for the most in single-season SEC history. He finished his career as Alabama’s all-time single-season passing yardage leader with 4,500. Jones led all Division I quarterbacks with 4,500 passing yards while averaging 346.2 passing yards per game, good for third nationally.
- Look at that swing: Channeling his inner Happy Gilmore. To relax the night before the NFL Draft, Jones spent time with his family at a Top Golf facility looking remarkably relaxed. Jones has a strong connection to his family.
— Mac Jones (@MacJones_10) April 29, 2021
- Heisman winner: If the 49ers select Jones, he will be the fourth Heisman Trophy finalist to man the quarterback position in the team’s history. The other three were Frankie Albert, Steve Spurrier and Jim Plunkett.