Drafting Mac Jones is a legitimate reality for the 49ers.
The thought of Jones taken No. 3 after all the draft capital the 49ers gave up has fans freaking out. And the only reason Jones even is a reality is Kyle Shanahan.
It is widely known, if not a consensus, that Shanahan is infatuated with Kirk Cousins. The fact that he elected to not take a quarterback in the 2017 NFL Draft says all you need to know about his love for Cousins. But Cousins is just the posterchild for what Shanahan's preferences seem to be. Matt Ryan, Matt Schaub and Jimmy Garoppolo are all quarterbacks with limited physical traits. Your prototypical pocket quarterback.
Because of that, many pundits and fans alike have it in their head that these are the ideal quarterbacks to Shanahan. However, I believe there is another reason Shanahan loves the "Kirk Cousins type quarterback."
Shanahan loves that type of quarterback because he has to. They are the most common in the league and a major part of Shanahan's genius is the ability to adapt. In a way, he has become enamored because that is all there is. Finding the mobile-off-script quarterback is rare and those quarterbacks are usually in the top-10 best in the league that Shanahan refers to.
In Shanahan's mind, Cousins is the best pocket quarterback out there because of his consistency. Whereas you look at Garoppolo, sometimes he can't even deliver a simple pass or he'll make the wrong decision. So that is a key reason as to why Shanahan was so infatuated with Cousins, and it also helped that he knew he was going to be a free agent. That does not mean that a "Cousins type quarterback," as some call it, is Shanahan's dream quarterback. In fact, he himself has debunked that by saying "that's pretty ridiculous to say that," which I could not agree more.
"There's a number of quarterbacks like that, but that's the only one I've been associated with because people thought I was trying to bring him here, which I was at the time," said Shanahan at his Mar. 29 presser. "It's not because that's how you draw it up. If you're going to draw it up, you're going to draw the biggest, fastest, strongest and best quarterback in the pocket. So, I think that's pretty ridiculous to say that, but I also tell you, I love Kirk. I know I'm not allowed to talk about other players, but Kirk's a hell of a player and a lot of people would be lucky to have a quarterback like that."
This is why the 49ers traded up to the third pick. It guarantees them Zach Wilson, Justin Fields, or Trey Lance. Shanahan is finally going to spoil himself by emptying out the "savings account" of the 49ers by getting a quarterback who can be in the top 10.
Jones at No. 3 is a bunch of fluff. Shanahan wants a quarterback he doesn't need to handhold every play of the game. Once he gets that type, the sky is the limit.