DETROIT -- What an odd way to start the season.
Just as the 49ers were waking up and getting ready to play the Detroit Lions, ESPN's Adam Schefter dropped a bombshell that makes the 49ers seem like they misjudged the quarterback market badly this offseason.
According to Schefter, the 49ers traded up to No. 3 because they wanted Mac Jones and were afraid the Patriots would trade up to that spot and take him. Then, the 49ers changed their minds, drafted Lance, and the Patriots stayed at pick No. 15 and got Jones anyway, and now he's their starter.
Here's Schefter's report:
One of the many reasons San Francisco traded up to the third overall spot in this year's NFL draft was their belief that the New England Patriots could trade up to No. 3 and beat them to Alabama quarterback Mac Jones, league sources told ESPN...This belief contributed to the Niners completing the late-March trade that sent three first-round draft picks to the Miami Dolphins to move up to the No. 3 spot, which gave them the opportunity to draft Jones or any other quarterback they deemed worthy in that slot. San Francisco ultimately decided Trey Lance was its preferred quarterback, and Jones wound up with New England at the 15th pick anyway -- without the Patriots having to surrender any additional compensation. Jones will start New England's season opener Sunday against Miami, while Lance will serve as San Francisco's backup to Jimmy Garoppolo against the Detroit Lions.
It's impossible to know if Schefter is right, but he probably is -- he's the most connected media member in the NFL. What I find most interesting about this report is the tone. Schefter couldn't hide his amusement at the 49ers' mishandling of the situation. He didn't come right out and say the 49ers bungled the trade for the No. 3 pick, but he implied it.
I believe the 49ers picked the right quarterback once they moved up to No. 3. But it's starting to look like the 49ers panicked and traded up before they knew which quarterback they wanted, or worse, they traded up for Jones and changed their minds at the last minute.
Schefter clearly isn't impressed.