I did a four-part interview with former NFL head coach and 49ers defensive coordinator Jim Mora Jr. on Monday.
Here's Part 3.
Q: Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch went to Mac Jones' Pro Day today and not Justin Fields' Pro Day. Do you put stock into Pro Days?
MORA Jr.: "Yeah, I do. Mac Jones is a heck of a player, and there are many that would say he reminds you of a guy who was pretty good with the 49ers named Joe Montana. I would put some stock into that. I don't know that they would have to move up to No. 3 to get him unless they had information that indicated that that was the move they had to make. I would say it's probably a backup move for them, and they're counting on getting Zach Wilson.
"But who knows? Great general managers do a tremendous job of not tipping their hand, creating deception. John fits in that case. He understands the importance of keeping people on edge, creating some disinformation. They may not be going to Justin Fields' Pro Day, but they may have someone there who they really trust. There's a lot of deceit that goes on in this month before the draft.
"My gut feeling is if they can get Zach Wilson, they're ecstatic. If he's gone for some reason, I don't know where they go. But I have a feeling they don't make that move unless they are 99.9 percent sure that they're going to get their guy, whoever their guy is."
Q: Can you explain the significance of a Pro Day? If you're a head coach and you're trading all those picks for a rookie quarterback, would you want to be at his Pro Day?
MORA Jr.: "It's important. You want to see him on the hoof throwing live. Kyle is a quarterback expert. He wants to the see the ball come out of the quarterback's hand live. He wants to see the accuracy live. He wants to the see the movement skills live. He also wants to see body language. He wants to see when there's a bad throw, how does the quarterback react? When a receiver drops a ball, how does the quarterback react? When he's asked to do something he has never done before, how does he react? When people cheer for him when he makes a big throw like we saw with Wilson the other day, how does he react? This guy kept his eyes exactly where they should be, he stayed focused, wasn't at all bothered by the noise, he didn't respond to it, he stayed on point. And that's what you want out of a quarterback.
"So they're going to go see that with Mac Jones as well. The Pro Day this year is more important than ever because we didn't have a Combine. This also is a chance for Kyle and John to sit down with Mac and spend hours with him, maybe go to dinner with him, watch film with him, to get a real understanding of his football intelligence. It's really important."
Q: I think you're probably right that the target is Zach Wilson, and I think it's interesting that the trade became official the day Lynch and Shanahan were at Wilson's Pro Day along with Robert Saleh and the Jets. Maybe they talked.
MORA Jr.: "I don't think it would be unethical or unusual for Robert to tell them in private, 'Listen, our guy is not Zach.' There's zero chance that a man of his integrity is going to screw them over. I can't see that happening. Conversations like that have happened many times. And because of the relationship between Robert, Kyle and John, I don't think it would be out of the question that Robert said, 'We're not taking Zach. Our guy is Justin Fields, or the kid from North Dakota State or somebody else."