Alabama NFL Draft Prospects

49ers are down to Mac Jones and Trey Lance for the No. 3 overall pick in the upcoming NFL Draft

Mac Jones attempts a throw at Alabama's pro day
Photo by Kent Gidley of Alabama Athletics

The NFL Draft starts Thursday night, and the San Francisco 49ers have narrowed its options to two quarterbacks.

According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, John Lynch, Kyle Shanahan, and the 49ers are looking closely at Mac Jones (Alabama) and Trey Lance (North Dakota State). Lynch and Shanahan were both at Ohio State for Justin Fields’ pro day, but the two players listed above have caught their attention the most. San Francisco acquired the No. 3 pick in a trade with the Miami Dolphins.

It has Jimmy Garoppolo, but the 49ers believe its signal-caller of the future is in this draft class.

The franchise is in “win now” mode, and it needs a quarterback that can guide it through a high-powered NFC West in the National Football League.

Jones spoke highly of Shanahan before Alabama’s second pro day. He rattled off different plays, schemes, and formations that the team likes to run. A native of Jacksonville, Fla., Jones would feel very comfortable in the 49ers’ system. During his lone year as a starter for the Crimson Tide, he set a single-season school record for passing yards (4,500) and tossed 41 touchdowns.

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He led all quarterbacks in passing yards, completion percentage (77.4), passer rating (203.1), and total quarterback rating (96.1) for the 2020 season. The 6-foot-3, 214-pounder had five 400-yard passing performances (school record), including a College Football Playoff National Championship Game record of 464 yards in Alabama’s 52-24 victory over Ohio State.

Jones earned All-American honors and won Davey O’Brien National Quarterback of the Year.

He finished his redshirt junior campaign as a Heisman finalist. According to some media personalities, the former Tide standout is the most “NFL ready” quarterback of the group.

His tape says it all, especially the accuracy, ball placement, timing, and leadership he possesses.

He also proved doubters wrong with his athleticism on pro day. Jones ran times of 4.68 and 4.72 seconds in the 40-yard dash.

Mac Jones’ numbers from Alabama’s Pro Day/Combine

-40 time: 4.68, 4.72

-Vertical: 32″

-Broad: 9’8″

-Shuttle: 4.39 seconds

-3 cone: 7.04 seconds

Jones was not required to be a dynamic athlete at Alabama; however, he showed pro teams that he can be one.

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It will be intriguing to see who the 49ers pick.

Jones is expecting to hear his name called early.

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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