Mac Jones is once again being linked as the favorite for the 49ers at No. 3.
The reality of Jones becoming the new quarterback of the 49ers just grows stronger and stronger as the NFL Draft is just a few days away from now.
Trey Lace is also being linked as a second option for the 49ers to draft, which would be the wiser pick to make instead of Jones. However, Kyle Shanahan calls the shots in San Francisco. His infatuation for Kirk Cousins could be made anew with Jones, and all of Shanahan's talk about physically gifted players being ideal at quarterback goes out the window.
The very moment the 49ers take Jones, perception of Shanahan will change as well as the heat on his seat. Drafting Jones over Lance or Fields would make scrutiny and criticism of Shanahan at an all-time high.
Shanahan would be jeopardizing his career should the 49ers draft Jones.
His career as the head coach of the 49ers will be put under the finest microscope. Anything he does and what Jones does will be forever linked, including the careers of Fields and Lance. These two players must not have better playing careers than Jones or else Shanahan will look like a fool.
All of his past errors, like the 2017 draft, will continually be brought up. Shanahan will have proven that he is still the same ole' coach that loves his stiff quarterbacks. I would like to believe that Shanahan has matured and grown some since he first took up the head coach position.
Then again, even the brilliant coaching minds do not have a great eye for evaluation talent and making personnel decisions. Should Jones not reach Pro Bowl caliber status, or the offense hits similar snags as it did with Jimmy Garoppolo, the time will start ticking as the head coach.
If Shanahan drafts Fields or Lance, his leash weakens. He will be allotted plenty of time to allow these players to grow because the draft capital given up to move from No. 12 to No. 3 will be justified since he is taking a player with gifted traits that you can't coach.
However, should Shanahan be able to make Jones into a stud and the 49ers succeed, he will and rightfully should be revered as a genius. I just do not see it as a very likely scenario as opposed to taking Lance or Fields. In a way, taking Jones is almost like "career suicide" for Shanahan. His job will be put on the line more heavily. Should Jones fail, Shanahan will have to be content with an offensive coordinator position down the line since he'll assuredly be fired if that is the case.
Jones is not a terrible prospect. It is just that the cost of getting him is terrible. Then again, for all we know, this all nothing but smoke to people outside of the organization.
Thursday cannot arrive soon enough.